Timber!

The trees are gone, well at least two of them.  Sunday, Danny’s parents came out and helped us start cutting down some of our trees.

We love the view of the fields out back but there are so many trees that it is hard to actually see the country view, so we decided to clear them out.

 

There were two reasons Danny wanted to do this, better view and who doesn’t want to use a chainsaw?  On our property there are two dead ash trees, thanks to the Emerald Ash Borer,  so we figured if those two are going why not get rid of a few more to open up our view? Danny’s dad showed up with a small, electric chainsaw (it did the job, but he is going to go out and buy a nice big one for the next few trees), rope, and a ladder and got to work. I have to admit I was a bit nervous (big trees, power lines, and two possibly over-confident guys) but it all went well.  They decided to start with the easier ones and slowly move towards the power lines (Danny still isn’t sure if they are going to attempt to pull those out, or call some professionals).

The first two trees we took down were two old cedar trees.  They have been here longer than I’ve been alive, but they were messy and blocking our view, so I decided I wasn’t getting sentimental and they were coming down. Danny also didn’t like mowing under them because he said spiders would drop from the branches on him, yuck.  Our property is lined with old cedars anyway, 8 others, so dropping two won’t eliminate the old feel of the home.  Cedar wood is great, but the trees are ugly, bald, and drop tiny needles and bugs everywhere.

Paul Bunyan and Babe the Big Blue Ox started on the first tree by looping the rope around the trunk, roughly 10 feet from the ground, and getting some tension on the rope, so they could direct its descent.  They wanted to guide it to the back of our property, avoiding our new house, without messing up the neighbors field behind, which ended up not being too difficult for them.  First, they cut a portion of the trunk, a cut out of each side of the tree, and then Danny gleefully attached the rope to his Jeep and gave a good pull.  Down it went with a crash of limbs and leaves. That was the easy part, the next part required cutting all the branches off the trunk, cutting the trunk up, and carting all the dead pieces away.  Unfortunately I was so nervous of Danny getting hit by a falling tree, I didn’t get any pictures of the first one coming down,  but here’s the after.

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Danny’s job was cleaning the brush while his dad cut up the pieces. From this beautiful tree I wanted to coasters, platters, end tables, seats, and other little goodies cut from the trunk of the trees, so Danny’s dad was kind enough to take the time to cut the pieces I wanted as they worked. Purple chips were flying, sap was everywhere (even eventually on Elmer), and the whole back yard smelled of sweet  cedar, Danny said it did make the work more enjoyable. The guys MacGyvered a way to pull mass amounts of branches with the Jeep and some rope. Danny tied both ends of the rope to his the rear bumper of his Jeep. Then he laid out the length of the rope, so their were two parallel lines of rope running from the Jeep, making a U shape.  The branches were cut, stacked in a pile on the two parallel lines of rope, then Danny threw the U part of the rope over the pile and wound that end around his trailer hitch. Danny then pulled all the branches with the Jeep to the side of the garage, which he found to be way too much fun.

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His mom and I collected some of the cedar chips to put in sachet bags for around the house. We did this by laying a towel under where the chainsaw was cutting the trunk so the wood chips would fall onto the towel, and then dumped the filled towel into some boxes to use later.  We have more than enough and the chips smell wonderful.

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The wood was stacked in the back and the guys managed to take a break from work to have some fun on a homemade teeter totter as they worked.

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The second tree actually split into two trunks so they pulled each one down separately.

IMG_4096Down she goes! I just love the look of the wood!  Unfortunately, it loses the purple color as it dries, but the wood still is pretty.

IMG_4102IMG_4108The same process was used here as well, cut and stack branches, tow to the garage, then cut up the trunk and clear out remaining debris. Here’s our view now!  The field will be so pretty next year with corn and our yard feels so much bigger.  All the shade actually comes from our silver maple out back so we weren’t losing our nice shady spots by taking these down.

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Once the first tree and a half were down, my parents showed up and my mom and I started painting the master bedroom.  We got two coats on pretty quick, but the color is not aqua like we wanted.  I’m really surprised because was saw a photo in a Valspar ad and we looked at the paint chip and both made this color look like a light aqua.  The color we put on the walls is more grandma light blue, so we are going to mix the leftover laundry room paint with the bedroom color and it will probably give us exactly what we wanted. So 1 1/2 trees down, bedroom painted and what was Elmer doing through all of this, sleeping of course.  He did make a Bob Evans run with my dad where, from what I heard, he was very popular, and returned with food for everyone. After dinner the newly christened lumberjacks decided two trees down was pretty good for a days work and everyone packed up and went home.  We still had plenty of daylight so I decided to do some weeding. Elmer loves gardening and since Danny ran to Lowe’s for an axe, Elmer was going to be my helper for the next hour or so.  I have to say gardening with a puppy isn’t the easiest, but Elmer had a blast and I had fun watching him.  We don’t have a fence in yet so he has to stay on his leash all the time, but that didn’t seem to hold him back.  He was inside my little pine bush, diving into weeds, eating day lilies, chasing flies, and poorly digging a hole (Yeah, it was kind of pathetic for a hole).

He got hot and was constantly trying to hide under his bed outside so I brought out is “pool” (it’s a tub from Walmart because I can’t find him a plastic baby pool right now) and that opened up a whole new level of craziness. He’s sweet…

wpid854-IMG_4126.jpg…until he gets the crazy eyes, then watch out! He rip-roared through the yard, splashed around in his pool, and then rolled all over his bed.  After a couple of laps of this, I had to throw the bed in the back because it was getting so disgusting I didn’t know if he could use it again.

That meant he was back to helping cooled-off, but full of puppy energy.  Several times I came up with a big handful of weeds only to find a growling puppy hanging in midair from the other end.  I’m sure the people driving by found it quite humorous.  After stealing my gloves and being covered in dirt, tree sap, and pollen, Elmer finally wore himself out.  Danny came home and cut the grass with him which game me time to do some edging.

 

We were finally finishing up at about 9:00, I was just finishing edging the last corner and Danny and Elmer plopped down on the front step as I worked.

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We definitely had a full days work and then some, but it was enjoyable and quite honestly didn’t feel like work. Unfortunately I still needed to vacuum, clean the shower, and somehow get tree sap off a puppy so we weren’t done yet, but the day was fun.

Sleepy sappy puppy

Sleepy sappy puppy

Helpful tidbit: Use Coconut oil to get tree sap off a puppy.  I worked it into his fur and feet while he slept and then Danny bathed him.  He ended up smelling like a little cookie.

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2 thoughts on “Timber!

  1. Great Aunt Karel says:

    Following this is just so much fun. Your descriptions are great….I could smell the cedar and, of course, Elmer is such a rising star!

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