A Story of a Tree

Once upon a time, there was a poorly-positioned, ugly, ivy-covered tree. And then The Husband busted a move on it. After peering at the tall, narrow conifer in the back corner with squinty eyes and murmering things about how we could get it down without paying for an arborist, and certain members of the household having watched too much Alaskan Bush People, The Husband took it on. In the beginning, he pruned off the branches and ivy from one side using the telescopic pruning saw so that he had a bare surface. He saw that it was good. Then he borrowed a pole ladder and harness from work, which he uses when doing power pole work, and continued to work his way up the side until he got as high as he could. And he saw that it was good. Next came the important and don’t-try-this-at-home part.

The tall, narrow, yellowy conifer before.
The Husband pruned the branches and ivy off one side of the tree so he could lean the ladder against the trunk nicely and see where to cut the trunk.

I somehow ended up standing on the ground with a rope in my hands with the top part of the tree attached to the other end of it. The Husband cut the top section of the tree as high as he could with the pruning saw in short-handled mode and I helped to encourage it to fall in the right direction by pulling hard on the rope. We saw that it was good. So, we did the same thing with another section of the tree. This time a little piece of wood got knocked off the raised garden edging, so we decided the rest of the sections of tree needed to fall on the raised garden rather than off it or off/on it. By this stage The Husband had tired of cutting slowly through the trunk with the pruning saw and the chainsaw suddenly appeared. Before I could say, “Not at this time of night…” The Husband had fired it up. Fortunately, it was out of petrol so it puttered out, allowing me to explain to The Husband that it was almost 9pm and too late for extremely loud chainsaw noises right next to the neighbours’ fence. The rest of the tree would keep until tomorrow. The Husband tied it to the fort just in case.

It’s kind of like working on a power pole…

The next evening The Husband was at the tree again straight after work. Such outdoor eagerness is a rare sight and not to be sniffed at. Now the chainsaw came out and the sections of tree cut got bigger. The Husband strapped each section tightly to the fort as it was felled so that it fell within the raised bed and didn’t break or endanger anything. He made a wedge cut in the direction the tree was to fall then a straight cut from the back. This worked superbly and The Husband earned a trophy of respect by felling the rest of the tree in the perfect place. I think I found me a lumberjack! Now the pruning mountain has been reinstigated to a definite mountain and we have a bit more firewood to add to the collection. It is a great feeling having that tree felled and the view looks better too. And now we rest while we plot what to do about the cedar tree with its similar ivy problem and sharp, chicken foot injury-causing pinecone scales. Hmm…

The first chainsawed section has come down and the last section remains.
Timber! The last section of tree falls nicely on top of the raised garden, guided by the blue straps tied to the old fort.
Now we can enjoy the shape of the neighbours’ tree without the awkward spike of strangled conifer poking through it. But the landscape will be drastically altered if we cut down the cedar tree on the right.

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