Spectator sport

dead as a door knob and not nearly as pretty.It’s exhausting watching other people work.  I would generally like to do everything myself – if I’m going to be wiped out at the end of the day, there might as well be a good reason for it.  But some jobs – like dead tree removal – are much better undertaken by professionals.

The back side of our property is bordered by a privacy screen of overgrown bramble.  What was once probably a typical Bristol Portuguese farmlet complete with barn, chicken coops, rabbit hutches, grapes and gardens is now essentially abandoned.  The house looks like a rental, the barn is fallingdown and the coops and gardens have been overtaken by every invasive species – from Norway maple to rose of sharon, from bittersweet to Rosa multiflora, from English ivy to poison ivy.  They’ve got it all.  And … now so do we.  Three out of the 6 existing trees on our property have been under direct threat from the bramble.  Whipple Tree, LLC The previous owners told us how beautiful the rose was in the spring and I thought, “uh-oh” – in a stronger language.  The white pine was the worst – fully draped in bittersweet and rose and although it limped along our first year, it succumbed this last.  The only things holding it upright during this winter’s wind storms were the tentacles that killed it.  I certainly didn’t have to worry about it falling on the house.  Lazy gardener that I am though, I couldn’t just leave it indefinitely to rot and drop its bits on my beds. I also knew that I couldn’t take it down myself.

Skippy slung and tugging bittersweetLucky for us then that our Best Man, Eric started a tree work business with his brother Bradford.  Whipple Tree, LLC to the rescue!  Timber!  The actual trajectory is not as it appears.They showed up Saturday armed with more sharp toothed gear than should ever be slung from one body, miles of rope, a chipper all the way from the Sunshine State, 2 bio diesel trucks and a trailer.   Eric made his monkey way up the tree while Brad orchestrated gear and debris and teased me mercilessly about the “grave” (which, I guess when considered along with our “dungeon” down cellar, is an especially skeevy looking thing).  Two and a half hours later, the white pine was felled, the bits and brambles chipped and we all stood around the kitchen inhaling Z-made guacamole and chips and sucking down ciders.

Their finesse with the felling was truly impressive and I’m not just saying that because they’re friends and letting us pay them in trade.  The pair of pears weren’t touched (aside from a little judicious pruning of one wayward branch), the bulbs coming up at the base of the tree weren’t squarshed and even though it looked like every branch was falling on my tiny gooseberry, not a stick or stem of it snapped.

the final cut for my new ... birdbath? ...potted specimen on a pedestal?

We have a pretty good view now of the thicket in our neighbor’s yard that is sending feelers into our remaining Junipers and with our neighbors’ permission (or without – under cover of darkness if need be) I’ll hop the fence and lop the thigh-thick vines off at the knees.  I’m pretty sure that’s a job I can do myself.

There it is - the perfect garden ornament. But they wouldn't let me keep it.

Have you had tree work done?  Did you wear yourself out watching them work?

4 thoughts on “Spectator sport”

  1. Oh, your poor pine! Sorry that your neighbor’s garden (if it can even be called that, probably not) is causing you so much woe. I saw an abandoned-looking place in the city here like that the other day, it was spooky. We had to have some diseased trees taken out once and the guys reminded me of pirates in the rigging, the way they seemed to have no fear of gravity. Plus that little extra swagger you get when you have a chainsaw strapped to your body… Nice that you got a trade going, and bravo to your friends for harming nary a bloom nor leaf! Now that is exceptional!

    GW, they did a really good job! Totally swagger worthy. An abandoned house in Seattle seems a rare thing – no wonder it was spooky. At least the house portion of this property looks lived in – ironically, by people who like houseplants… -kris

  2. How satisfying to have an eyesore removed and let more light in. Tree work is ongoing here and the EM handles most jobs. He has been avoiding one lately though and that is the border by the GFFD or Winter Garden. The woods are encroaching and my neighbor did say we could remove the trees. That was two years ago. Must start to nag…

    Layanee, does the EM have all the really cool gear and harnesses and straps and ropes and things to climb and hang out in trees? I was a little jealous of Eric up there – I used to love to climb trees as a kid… -kris

  3. Yes, I have had tree work…wrote a fun post titled The Boys are Back In the Wayback! They were too funny, very professional, but also rock climbing, motorcycle riding and parachute jumping adrenaline junkies! It was wonderful to watch them get up into the tops of the trees and gentle lower the limbs down! Gail

    Gail, I remember that post! I think the guys would probably all get along very well. -kris

  4. first thing I did, well one of the first, when we bought this house was have a Norway Maple taken down. One less weed tree grows in Lansdale.

    Good idea. There’s quite a little grove of the just on the other side of our fence. I think they might be holding up the fallingdown barn… -kris

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