Teardown and Cleanup

On Tuesday Ray’s Tree Service showed up to remove our tree.  I, (Anne), took over a hundred pictures of the process, and the damage that was more fully revealed when the tree was gone.  Fortunately, the damage still looks fairly minimal, especially compared to the neighbors’ house behind us.

The first step was to figure out which way to position the cherry picker.  Then the guy in the cherry picker took off the main branches working his way up.  I picked up the witches broom that had formed at some point. When he had about half of the branches off, he stepped out of the cherry picker and walked up the trunk to our neighbor’s balcony, taking off more branches as he went.  As he walked up the trunk, I remember Danny and David climbing the tree when they were little.  “Remember; don’t climb any higher than the roof of the house!”

For a while the tree guys had tied a rope around the trunk and wrapped it over the cherry picker and around our standing tree.  Apparently this method of raising the trunk off the neighbor’s balcony wasn’t going to work, so they went to Plan B.  They moved the cherry picker out of the driveway, and then moved in “The Claw”.  With “The Claw” holding the trunk in place, and a safety rope, they were able to chain saw through the trunk and lift the upper portion off our neighbor’s house.  “The Claw” grabbed each successive piece as it was cut free and swung it around to the truck.  Finally, “The Claw” grabbed the stump and pulled it free from the grip of the ivy, leaving a loverly heffalump trap.  I kept one round of the trunk from near the base.  I will count the rings and see how old the tree was. After lunch, the tree crew ran all the branches through the chipper and used a leaf blower on the driveway and sidewalks, and drove off to their next job.  Thanks, guys, you did a great job!

Later in the afternoon, I watched a little bit of the tree removal job from our backyard neighbor’s house.  Her tree broke the corner of the house, and damaged the empty house next to her too.  Since the tree was in the backyard, they used both a cherry picker and a huge crane, to lift segments of the trunk up and over the house to the street.  I didn’t see as much of this, because I spent a couple of hours looking for pictures of our tree throughout our time in the house.  Didn’t find the ones I was looking for, but did find some from my (futile) attempt to rescue a blue jay fledging that had fallen from the nest in our tree.  Dan can tell you all about the parental zeal of blue jays to protect the nest.

I had swept and collected bricks and broken glass (from the porch light) by the time Mark got home from work.  Working together, Mark and I were able to take down the awning.  There were only three cement bolts left to mess with, and Mark’s best tool was a crowbar.  Tomorrow, it will be time to wash the windows, the absence of the tree reveals how dirty they are in the afternoon sun.

8 thoughts on “Teardown and Cleanup

  1. Good to see you had a sunny day for all this. Glad you saved a chunk to count the rings! Here’s another side-“benefit” of the sunlight you now will experience post-tree: more weeds! Knew you’d be excited!

  2. I am always saddened by the loss of a tree – especially the big ones that became friends. In fact, I still mourn the loss of that glorious Siberian Elm that had been between the sidewalk & street on the south side of our driveway. That tree – so I understood – pre-dated the subdivision (which was started around 1960 or so), and provided us with the perfect shade for those summer afternoon car-washing projects! We lost both that tree and the flowering crab (it split in half thanks to wind) in our front yard within the same year (and that was the year after we’d lost Jim) – I’ve since planted a planetree and a ginkgo in the front… but wondering if the ginkgo will have to be replaced this year (it got almost completely girdled this past summer by an overly-enthusiastic weed-whacker wielder while I was in China 🙁 ).

  3. Karen, we both feel your same sense of for our pine tree. It was already full grown when we bought the house and was already a major landmark of our block. We’ll plant a new one, but it will be a lot smaller. On a more positive note, we can now more clearly see what a beautiful house that we have. More than one of our neighbors has already made the same comment. Here’s to turning lemons into lemonade. 🙂

  4. Jane, Danny is cute, but the picture with this post is actually our neighbor next door. Ethan is about 5 or 6, and has rigged this rope and pulley structure in a very small dogwood tree in his backyard. Apparently watching all the tree crews, and a circus class have inspired this. I couldn’t find any pictures of our kids climbing the old tree.

  5. wow – I totally made that Danny in my head. can you see it?

    well, ok – how cute is your neighbors kid? 😉

  6. I could also see it as Danny, except that I’d taken the pictures this week. Throw it in a box with pictures from 20 years ago, and let me lose a few more brain cells, and it would morph into a positive memory, that, “absolutely, I’m sure that’s Danny.”

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