Sunday, June 21, 2009

Week Four ...I Want More!

Its always something new and exciting. That is why I love doing treework. You never know what your going to get. This past week was a grab bag of jobs that kept me on my toes.

Monday we went to go take care of a couple Sugar Maples (Acer saccarinum) to start the day. My boss, Dwight, took the smaller tree near the road. In this tree, he removed a dead top and some other deadwood. Also, he took some weight off the ends in order to reduce the weight on the already stressed tree. I went up the one in the backyard. This tree was so large, I had to put a knot at the end of my 120' rope. My line was set at around 50' which uses 100' of rope. Only 20' to play with minus the 3' ft used to tie in with. If I had to set my line higher, i wouldnt be able to make it to the ground! Once in the tree, I set the other end of my line in another leder in order to walk out on it and take out deadwood. The tree, overall was about 75' tall and afforded an awesome view over Douglas. It took me a couple hours to get in the tree, prune out deadwood, take some weight off the ends, and inspect for decay and structural deficiencies, which there were some. Most of my time was spent slipping around due to the rain. Here is a video to show you my view from the tree.

Tuesday was wet too, but the rain itself held off a little. We worked at a condo village in Hopkinton, MA. We split into two groups of two. Nick and I went to the bottom of the village while Dwight and Greg went towards the topside. Dwight gave me the list of jobs for the area and Nick and I went to work. I pruned a beech first, taking off a couple limbs near the condo. Then, I moved down the road and removed a leader from a black birch tree that was over a Dogwood. It went smoothly and I managed not to break any dogwood branches. I also took a few limbs off the backside of the tree that were on a garage roof. Last, I pruned some branches off another beech that was crowding the entrance to another condo. After all that, Nick and I chipped the brush and cleaned up. We met up woth Dwight and Greg, who took off for lunch while Nick and I set up at a large two leadered Red Oak. After lunch I removed a large branch that was hanging over the roof of the condo. First, I set my line, footlocked my way to the top of the tree, pruning any lower branches that were in the way of dropping the limb or growing towards the condo. Then, I ran a tag-line (a rope used for lowering) through the top of the oak so that the branch would swing towards the tree and away from the condo when lowered. I then walked out on the limb and took a few smaller branches off the end to reduce weight. Then, I tied it off with a clove hitch and dropped out the top of the branch. I then moved down and took the remaining wood out in two more pieces. On the way out of the tree, I removed a couple of large pieces of deadwood just for kicks, so the condo people would be happy with the look of the tree. Last, I moved down another road to prune a Red Maple. It was very busy, so I thinned it out, and took some weight off the ends over the rod and a driveway. Last, I made a few structural cuts to help the tree later on as it grows more. We then headed back to the ranch to end the day.

Wednesday we went on the pipeline. The pipeline refers to the Town of Uxbridge's sewer line. We have been contracted to clear the line of brush and trees so that the town can access the man-holes. It was built and then left of some 30 to fifty years, in which time, the forest has succeeded in reclaiming the area. Our job is to clear a 25' wide path along the entire line. Over the course of three years, the company has cleared almost 10miles worth of piping, with only a couple hundred yards to go. We started that couple hundred on wednesday and we are one day awy from finishing all the lines in the town. Pipeline days are always different, but on each day you can be sure there is a lot of tripping, bugs, poison ivy, and in this days case, rain of top of it. Its mmierable work, but we always make the best of it. We bck the chipper in with my boss's 4-wheel drive pickup and chip all the vines, thorns, shrubs, and trees we encounter. It's on these days that I saw how destructive invasive species are. We cut a lot of multiflora rose, deer-briar, russian olive, and tons of honeysuckle, all of which are not native. Today was a good day though, because we cleared around an old oak that must have been over 200yrs old. Nothing like the sight of an old oak tree to brighten the spirits!

Thursday and Friday were fun days. It rained on us both days, but by this point we were getting used to being wet all the time. We went to a cul-de-sac in Mendon and knocked down a whole bunch of oaks and a birch so the homeowner could put in a pool and have it not be shaded. In total, we cut down 21 trees with a grand total of 24 stems, because some trees were doubles. The reason this made a difference was because I set a tagline in each tree so that we could pull or winch over each stem to ensure they all fell in the same area. This made chipping and logging a breeze. We called in a local sawmill to grab the stems. Thursday, we had finished the cutting and chipping and the logtruck took a full load of logs out. Friday, Greg and I went back to grind 5 of the stumps, and help the logtruck grab the rest of the logs, wich turned out to be another half-load. We finished up there, and then headed a few miles across town to take care of another quick job. At this house, I pruned a Purple Plum that had been massacred by the homeowner. I fixed her cuts, took some height off of it, thinned it a little, and took out the dead twigs. After I finished, it looked much better. Then, i moved on to a red maple that was structurally terrible. It had multi-lederd stem that was jointed in a V-crotch with included bark. I topped one of the leders and thinned out the tree as it was really busy. I also made a few smaller structural cuts that helped with the thinning. When I was done, I took the pole-pruner and tipped back some of the longer branches. When I finished, the tree looked uglier than when I started. Hopefully the homeowner calls us back in a few years so this tree can get pruned again and fixed the rest of the way. I would love to see how it reacted to my cuts.

Well, I am off to bed to try and get some rest before I start work up again tomorrow. This week sounds promising with some more pruning and cutting. Hope you enjoyed the post. Keep an eye out for my next!


T-BO the Tree-Walker


Beech Trees said...

Wow, that doesn't sound miserable at all, you should check out the weather here in the UK! But maybe I'm just being romantic.
I agree that it is sad to see the effect that non-native plants can have on an ecosystem. At the same time, in a few hundred years, they will be as good as native and will become part of the area's ecology. Which doesn't make hacking them down any less fun!

T-BO said...

Right! As a plant guy with an interest in ecology, I would like to see less invasive species. In time all things change, but humans are aiding that change and therefore it is occuring more rapidly than it should. Pest such as Emeral Ash Borer, Asian Longhorned Beetle, Hemlock Wooley Adelgid, and Elm Bark Beetle have or are currently changing the North American Landscape in a negative way very rapidly, which doesnt give native species time to adjust and adapt to the change.