Tree pose

Tree poseI can’t tell you how many times I looked out the window at my mostly-dead Mimosa and thought “I could just take that down myself”. Luckily, two things prevented me from making any foolish attempt: The only saw in my actual possession is a Silky Pocket Boy; and I have a friend/fake brother who owns a tree care business (WhippleTreeLLC, 508-55-trees – awesome website – and blog?- coming soon). For the price of a trade that I didn’t even have to fulfill (Z has the skills E was after), I had the pleasure of watching my beloved gay tree felled by a very skilled tree yogi. I freely confess that I have trouble doing anything resembling these yoga poses on terra firma without falling over. I would also like to make a note here that landscrapers – your average mow and blow joes – should generally not be allowed anywhere near your trees even if they’re willing to send an underpaid and under-educated employee out on a cantilevered hydraulic limb during a windstorm. Hire a professional arborist. It’s also worth considering that any arborist without a boom truck in their fleet probably actually still knows how to climb and will not turn down a job for being unable to get their truck near your tree. Any arborist worth the title should know how to prune without leaving cringetastic stubs and how to drop a tree without bouncing branches off of power lines, your house or your garden. Take it from me, hire a professional. They’re totally fun to watch.

mostly-dead gay tree (mimosa/silk tree - Albezia julibrisson) - before. triangle ladder pose squirrel posewarrior one chickadee poseside angle saw pose(spread) eagle posewarrior two chickadees (and no more tree)

Have you done the tree work yourself (confess it – I know some of you have) or have you hired a professional? Did you watch?

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?