Sunday, January 3, 2010

Let the Sun Shine In

The title for this post isn't really as off base as it seems when you look at the pictures. The story is thus: We had a large white pine tree along the road at the front of our house. Last winter's bad ice storm broke a number of branches off and made it so heavy that it developed a decided lean towards the road. We expect that the weight of all that snow and ice broke a root. At any rate, we began to notice that it seemed to be leaning a bit more, then more, then more. Although I was thankful that it wasn't leaning towards the house, it was, unfortunately, leaning towards the electric lines. Not a good thing for us or all of the neighbors should it decide to fall down. It took a couple of weeks after we called to them to actually show up to do the job, and every day we watched to see if it was leaning more or if we were just imagining that it was leaning more - and hoping that we didn't have heavy snow or ice before it was taken down.
Now, I hate to lose a tree, especially one that is that old and tall. It was between 90 and 100 feet tall and eventually I'll get out there and count the rings on one of the largest logs to find out how old it is. We think it is probably about 70 years old from what former owners told us about their tree planting. I can't say enough nice things about the Asplundh guys who came to work on it. It was a day long process - a full work day - and they worked hard. We got two huge piles of wood chip mulch out of the branches and about 25 eighteen inch tall, almost 2 feet wide logs which we will use for seating eventually, once the sap has gotten out.

I'm glad it wasn't me up in that bucket. I don't really mind heights, but he was about 60 feet up and it wiggled more than I would have liked. They were using it as a training thing for one of the new guys because we have almost no traffic and they could take their time.
First they started at the bottom and took off all of the branches. As he cut them and dropped them, some of the others ran them through the chipper. It was a cold day, but we spent a lot of time outside watching. I think the noise from the chipper was a lot worse than the cold.

I'm glad they knew what they were doing since you can see just how close that electric line is to the tree - just on the other side of the road.

They put a rope on the top of the tree and the guy in the bucket cut it as high as he could, which meant that about a 30 foot piece would come down first. They were so good that they only broke just a couple of small branches on a small shrub. Pretty amazing when you consider how much wood came down. The rest of the trunk came down in 18 inch long chunks which we hauled off the next day, across the road to be edging for our parking lot, at least for now. I wish we could have used it for the woodstove, but pine isn't good for woodstoves because of the high sap/resin/whatever you call it in the wood.
As for the title of my post - this pine tree was on the south side of one of our hosta gardens, so there are some hostas that are going to be a lot more sun this summer. I hope that the extra water they get because the huge tree is no longer sucking up so much will compensate for it, but we shall see. In the meantime, I'm getting used to a large hunk of the sky showing and almost being able to see the sun rise.

1 comment:

Sylvia (England) said...

Jane, I think this is one thing that shows a real gardener - we get excited by change! As much as you miss your tree, seeing more light is always good. Will you plant a new one? It looks as though there are plenty of trees which may grow and fill the gap.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas and I wish you a happy New Year. I have lots of posts to read - I think it will take me the rest of the month to catch up!

Best wishes Sylvia (England)