Shedding a Little More Light

As mentioned in my last post, we had a couple of trees that needed to be taken down back home. One was poised to take out the chicken coop and the other – the house. It was time to call in the professionals.

The first tree to go was a cedar that was sharing a root ball with a Douglas fir. A few months ago we noticed a crack going up the trunk.  The crack kept getting bigger and although the cedar was leaning away from the house, the fear was that if the cedar fell it would lift the Douglas fir up by the root ball which would land on the house.

Leonard the tree guy roped up and climbed up to the top of the Douglas fir and then swung like a monkey over to the top of the cedar. He removed branches on his way down cutting and dropping 10 – 11 foot sections all the way to the bottom.

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I took photos of his entire descent but you couldn’t see him. He is at least halfway down the cedar in this pic. I’m taking the pic from my front door.

We are hoping to make 10 foot fence posts from any parts of the cedar that are still in good shape.  The tree was rotten at the bottom and bug infested.  I can’t believe it didn’t drop in the meantime but am grateful it didn’t.  The Douglas fir seems to be unscathed by the whole event.

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The second tree was a hemlock that was leaning over the chicken coop. High winds could knock it over and crush the coop. If the root ball came up, it would take out the wood shed.

Hemlock looming over the coop

For this tree, he removed all of the branches on the hemlock working his way up to the top.

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He secured the large branches to a rope and pulley system and lowered them down to the ground since the hemlock was sandwiched between the chicken coop and the wood shed.

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His assistants made a huge pile of branches in the yard and then he cut chunks of the trunk and pushed them off. For the most part they landed on the pile of branches – there are a few holes in the lawn from the misses.

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The picture is blurry but if you look closely you can see a cut log mid-air.

As he worked his way down and the trunk got larger and therefore heavier, he couldn’t push the chunks towards the landing pad so he cut smaller sections and dropped them straight down. He only had a few feet between my garden bed and the coop to aim for and I’m glad to report there were no plants or coops harmed in the process. The assistants ran in after each drop to drag the log out of the way.

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They were in and out of here in less than 4 hours. I wish I could say that the clean up left for me would only take that long but we will be chipping branches, bucking up logs, splitting firewood and milling posts for quite some time.

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The chickens are also going to be limited in their foraging opportunities until we can clear the way for all of their fencing to go back up. I managed to get a section of the poultry net back up around a portion of the coop but the rest of fence will have to wait.

The added bonus with these two 90 foot trees removed from the thick canopy surrounding our house is that things might be looking a little bit brighter around here. It’s just hard to tell yet as it has been raining all day it is pretty dark and gloomy. Oh, and the chickens have a stump to hang out on.

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About La Femme Farmer

Starting up a small farm is the goal for the second half of my life. It's a late start I know, but better late than NEVER! Growing food, cooking and eating are my passions and now I get to do it full-time (and then some). and yes, that's a tomato from my garden!
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3 Responses to Shedding a Little More Light

  1. Wow, pretty slick operation. One of our best friends is a tree service guy, and I’ve seen him perform similar feats on a tree here. I’m impressed that nothing got damaged. As you know, I can completely sympathize with having to get the chicken wire back up :), but they’ll love the stump for sure. You must feel a lot safer without those two impending disasters hanging over you, as the winter wind storms start. (we had a doozy last night, blew straight up from Puget Sound…).

  2. Oh, and I meant to say, what a gorgeous chicken coop! How many birds?

  3. Yeah – it was a little windy while they were here but it didn’t seem to even faze them! I’m sure glad to have those trees not hanging over our heads anymore – literally!
    I hear ya – poultry net is not fun in 100 ft long rolls – especially when you have to wind in and out of the woods! I’d much rather do it on open pasture for sure.
    and thanks – we built the coop based on designs we’d seen on the internet a few years ago. It’s worked really well for us. We designed it so we could leave the birds in it over the weekends and they’d still have plenty of room to roam around. Right now we only have 12 (11 layers and 1 really great rooster). I didn’t let the girls go broody this year as we have too much going on at the farm and want to wait to expand the flock when we are in one place.
    Thanks for the visit SSF!

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