Maybe a week ago, I got myself this pole saw:
It extends up to 30', which in reality, is a super insane amount of reach. But, it's allowed me to get to tree limbs I had no other rational way of reaching previously, and has been worth every penny. However, the tree karma powers that be did not appreciate the purchase.
Yesterday, NYE 2020, I threw a pic of the house on instagram and gave it some foo-foo verbiage regarding 2020 not being the end of the world, hopefully 2021 will be better, blah blah blah. Here's that pic:
Again, the karma fairies weren't happy with my dismissal of 2020 and eagerness to get the 2021 show on the road.
How do I know these things? Because today, 1/1/2021, I woke up and, when I let the dogs outside first thing in the morning, discovered this:
And all of it came from this:
That tree is stupid tall, and of all the trees in the yard, was probably the most complete and sturdy-lookin' of the bunch (aside from its lean, thanks to the maple tree in the front yard).
Not anymore. The bulk of the upper half of the left side of the tree came down sometime last night. I don't know if the limbs fell independently of each other, or if a couple fell from waaaay up high and took out the rest on the way down, but there were a LOT of limbs - big ones - on the ground this morning.
What made the limbs fall? Ice.
Everything was covered with ice overnight, and the weight of the ice on the limbs, which are already pretty heavy and droopy to begin with, was too much for a lot of the limbs to bear.
I was out in the yard, all bundled up -- it was raining and cold and icy and muddy and sucky all the way around -- with my saws by about 8am. One of my helpers came out for some moral support:
From there, it was cut, drag, stack, repeat. Somehow, as far as I can tell, in all the carnage there wasn't any damage to fences or houses or anything like that, so that's a plus. And the yard's gonna smell all piney and Christmasy for a while, so that's OK too.
But man, those limbs were BIG and because they were all green, pretty heavy. I probably had 3 dozen substantial limbs come down, many of which were definitely chainsaw-worthy. I wound up with a pile of brush that's almost 6' tall, and plenty of stuff I still need to cut up.
I would have completed the job, but limbs were still snapping off and falling. I was doing my cutting outside the tree's canopy and marginally out of harm's way, but at one point I had to just drop a saw and run; I was out from under the tree but I had my back to it, heard a big snap, and didn't bother turning around to see what came next...I just ran.
Several limbs had snapped off but were hung up in the tree, and I figured it was better to try to bring them down on my own versus letting them dangle and come down whenever they felt like it. Both dogs do a lot of sniffing around near that tree, and the last thing I wanted was for a limb to come down on a dog.
So I got out the big 30' pole saw, got 'er undone to maybe 20' or 25', and started cutting and poking and pulling and pushing and prying, whatever it took to get the rest of the limbs down.
I was successful, but it was a dicey operation. With one of the limbs, I had to do another drop-the-saw-and-run maneuver. With another big limb, I should have done that but didn't, and calculated that the limb would miss me when it fell. I also hedged my bets by being ready to act in case it didn't.
Luckily it did and everything worked out fine, but at that point I decided to put everything away, go inside, and wait for better conditions before finishing the project. The limbs can wait. I can't put them back in the tree, what's done is done. I've got a mess of needles to clean up and, now, another wonky-lookin' tree, but Mother Nature does what Mother Nature does and sometimes there isn't much anybody can do about it.
The good news?
The basement work had been wearin' me out and I hadn't been attacking it these past couple days. Now...working inside, staying dry, causing damage that I'm pretty much in control of, not having big, heavy ass things try to fall on me...it doesn't sound so bad.
(But I still really kinda wish 2021 had NOT started out this way...)