nichepoetryandprose

poetry and prose about place

Arthur – caution: men working in trees

with 4 comments


A milestone of our 2014 summer was certainly Hurricane Arthur (July 5).  For an account of our encounter with Hurricane Arthur, see: https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/arthur-during-the-storm/ and https://nichepoetryandprose.wordpress.com/2014/07/16/arthur-after-the-storm/ .

For six days after the storm we were without electricity and learned to live a different life, deciding how to allocate the power from our small generator and bringing water in from diverse places.  The biggest long-term result of the storm, however, was the damage done to our big red maple.

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The maple is at our front entry way.  It has grown from a small sapling – my husband could circle it with thumb and forefinger when we built the house 35 years ago – to a huge tree.  It is our best producer at maple syrup time and spreads a carpet of red leaves in a perfect circle in our driveway.  Best of all, it has a ‘voice’.  When I arrive home or leave, it ‘squeaks’ to me, the result of two branches rubbing together in the slightest breeze.

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After the storm, we congratulated ourselves on how few of our trees were damaged.  Then I looked out of the den window and saw – the winds had not spared the red maple – one of the big branches had a wide split in the wood.

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At first, my husband thought he could take the big limb down himself.  But after removing some of the smaller branches, it was obvious that trying to cut the branch ourselves would be dangerous.  The tree is close to the house and power lines and there was no easy way to safely control the fall of the branch.

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We decided to turn to the experts and called Treecologic, since they are fully insured.  They also have a trained arborist and an excellent reputation.  Their Vision statement is ‘promoting a safe & healthy urban forest’, so they were the tree removal company for me!  For more information on the company, see  http://www.treecologic.ca/.

Since there have been so many people in the Fredericton area with downed trees because of Arthur, we knew it might be some time before Treecologic could help us.  We spent August through October keeping vehicles away from the risk zone under the tree.  On Halloween night, we put up ‘Caution’ tape to keep the spooks from danger.  And every day I tiptoed to our front door, convinced I would hear a crack as the branch came down on my head!

Then, as promised,  Treecologic arrived, ladder, chain saws, climbing ropes and all.  They worked for almost three hours, taking down a big white pine tree planted too close to the house and trimming branches from some of our other maples.

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Then the arborist fixed a line in the highest branches of the red maple, put on his climbing belt and hoisted himself into the tree.

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Every move he made was calculated for safety and for the health of the maple.  Working his way through the tree, using a very sharp pruning saw, he gradually removed the smallest branches, including some which were scraping against our roof.

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At first I felt alarmed to see a man in our very tall tree, but after realising how carefully he worked, I began to enjoy watching the process.  To be an arborist, I now know, requires an understanding of the tree’s biology and health, but also dexterity, strength, flexibility and fearlessness.

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At the last, he tackled the split branch, first removing remote branches, then finishing with the chainsaw from a ladder.  Great work, Treecologic !

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Our tree will take a while to recover from it’s adventure with the hurricane.  Losing almost a third of its canopy will mean a couple of years of rest before another pruning.  No tapping for maple sap for the next few springs!  Meanwhile, the pruning has given us lots of hard wood for next year’s wood stove and, once they dry out, lots of kindling and twigs for my campfires!  Some will go into our wood chipper to add to the soft surface for our trails.

And, in case you were wondering, the tree still has its ‘voice’ since the branches that rub together remain!

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Copyright  2014  Jane Tims 

 

 

 

Written by jane tims

November 12, 2014 at 7:41 am

4 Responses

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  1. It’s amazing how comfortable tree surgeons are, high above the ground, as they navigate and cut tree branches and limbs.

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    Sheryl

    November 13, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    • Hi. I see from their website that they have regular tree climbing competitions! Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      November 14, 2014 at 9:41 pm

  2. I’ve watched tree surgeons trim some of our older trees, an impressive sight. We will likely have to have some of our trees removed next spring as they are past saving and prone to breakage now. It makes me sad to lose something that has been part of this property for longer than I’ve been alive, but they are going to be a danger to cars and the house if left much longer. I’m happy to hear your maple still speaks and will live.

    Like

    Carol Steel

    November 12, 2014 at 9:56 am

    • Hi Carol. We have tried to keep as many trees as possible around our house. We have succeeded to the extent that in a satellite view, you cannot even see our house or garage. However, you are right that so near the house, they can sometimes create a hazard. Jane

      Like

      jane tims

      November 12, 2014 at 2:49 pm


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