Its nearly 4am and I’ve only slept for about an hour or so. Before you ask, no, I’m not on call and I’m not up on the computer. Its a bit of a twisty tale…
When I arrived home after skating class and dinner this evening, I noticed a few bits of bark lying in the sidewalk. Now this is a somewhat normal thing for me to see because the tree in the front corner of the yard appears to be dead, and a decent wind will knock bits off of it. Today had been particularly windy since the afternoon, so it didn’t surprise me too much.
I cleaned up the bits and went on about my business of moving the trash cans out and my hockey gear in. Somewhere along the way, I noticed an unusual creaking noise. Now, creaking isn’t too strange either, because one of the younger, living trees in that corner has grow in such a fashion that the two trees rub together harmless at one point. This sound, though, wasn’t that same sound.
As I sought out the source of the noise, I noticed that the large tree was indeed the source… right where it had split, near the base of the tree.
A nice discovery at 10:30p, huh?
I almost immediately moved our cars further back on street after attempting to estimate where this tree might land when the next stiff wind came along. Then I came inside, explained the situation to Susan, and phoned the power company. After a short discussion with the representative, who was quite nice, he told me someone would be out within an hour or so. I headed downstairs and waited on the couch in the front room. I ended up napping fitfully until the power guys arrived about an hour and fifteen minutes later. I greeted them as they stepped out of their truck, and we looked over the situation.
These gentlemen, who were working overtime because of the high winds and were also extremely friendly, pointed out to me that the tree was actually considerably taller than I first noticed. Additionally, it was difficult to tell if this was in the jurisdiction of the power company, public works, or my own. It was determined that with the size of the tree and the age of the pole, it should probably be handled by the power company. It was now up to the duty supervisor to make the call… except he couldn’t be found! The two men from the power company told me I should likely expect someone by morning and if I didn’t, I should call again with a stiff questioning as to why not.
At this point it was around 12:30a and they headed out to their next call. I decided I should also move the cars again – this time to the relative safety of the school parking lot, as I didn’t have much faith in the tree trimmers arriving in a hurry. I also took a few minutes to clear the dining room of things I wouldn’t have wanted to lose if it hit the house or ripped off the power connection.
Finally, around 1a, I headed to bed. Now, just because I was in bed, doesn’t mean I slept. I tossed and turned, jumping at most every sound, thinking it could be the trimmers. I was suffering from heartburn and an active mind, so I didn’t get much rest. Around 2:30a I heard the low rumble of a significant truck, so I dressed myself and headed out the door.
Again, I greeted my visitors and spoke to them about the situation. The trimmer expressed great confidence in being able to remove the tree quickly, easily, and safely. He also agreed to do me a giant favor and trim back the portion of the tree that was hanging over the front yard, something he wouldn’t be required to do. With that, he took to the bucket truck like an extension of his body, and began taking the tree down, little by little.
Now I recall seeing men climbing trees around my parents’ house, taking down large trees in bits, so I had a general idea of what this guy was headed into. What was so amazing about it, was his skill with the bucket, and how quickly he was tearing into this tree. He was well over the house with a lightweight chainsaw and was tossing cut branches into the street. This continued for quite some time until he’d exhausted his current angle. They then moved the truck into the main street, and he attacked again.
Eventually it came down to the large trunk portion that had split and was being propped up by one of the younger trees. (Thank God someone planted all those other trees, because that’s what kept this monster from dropping tonight.) He and the other two men worked with the rope to secure the trunk via a standard tree man’s pulley system, then out came the big chainsaw. It was a stubborn piece, but eventually it broke free of the remaining trunk and hit the ground standing straight up. Slowly but surely the two men on the rope worked with the trimmer in the bucket to lower the tree to the ground.
So now all of this is stacked up in the front yard until at least Monday, but at least the neighbors will have a reasonable explaination for why they heard a chainsaw for 2 hours in the middle of the night! Actually, I’m not sure that a soul in the area noticed what was going on, as I saw no lights turning on or faces in windows. Susan was able to sleep through the majority of the work, and I even had the office window open!
All in all everything worked out just fine and everyone I dealt with tonight was fantastic. I plan on phoning the power company tomorrow and making note of everyone’s performance, as I was throughly impressed. The first set of guys were still working an hour after they were scheduled and the tree crew was hauled out of bed to spend the wee hours in my front yard, yet everyone was quite friendly.
I have pictures, but only of the detritus laying in our front yard. The rest of the time I was considerably more concerned with the moment, not the capturing of it. I’ll post those tomorrow night when I get home from work. And speaking of work, I’d better get to sleep so I can make it at a reasonable hour.