Two Days Of Tree Trimming

Reader Contribution by Keba M Hitzeman
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Leaning/dying pine tree during removal

Trees are wonderful things. They provide shade and food for humans and wildlife, sequester carbon dioxide, filter water, along with more intangible benefits – beauty in every season, and the soothing sound of wind through the leaves. But they have lifespans, and like all living things, require upkeep. With so many trees up near our buildings (and power lines!), we discovered that this was a project much larger than we could handle on our own without a significant investment in equipment. Fortunately, good friends of ours recently had a wonky tree removed from their property and gave us a recommendation for the local company they used. I called, they came to give a quote, and said they would call when they were able to come out.

No more leaning pine tree!

Tuesday mid-afternoon, that call came – can we come tomorrow morning? Sure! Time to make sure all of the driveways were clear for their bucket truck and chipper to get through, and get the rest of the honeysuckle cut down for the goats and sheep to eat – didn’t want them to cut that down and chip it when the sheep and goats love to eat the leaves! Honeysuckle may be invasive and a pain, but it is candy to my flock.

We know that there is a LOT of tree work that needs to be done, but when you have a budget, you have to make choices as to what is the most important and what can wait until later. Now there were specific trees that needed trimmed back from buildings/powerlines, and specific trees that we wanted taken down because they were dead or dying. The man who came to give the quote is an arborist, and trying to keep him on track was a challenge! Yes, I know that all of those maple trees have dead branches that need trimming, but these trees over here are the ones that are completely dead. Yep, that tree should be removed, but this one is leaning over the roof and needs taken out first. I’m not complaining at all, because I know he is a professional and will do the job right. I felt like I had to pull out my “no-nonsense teacher voice” to keep things moving, though. hah!

It took about 11 hours over two days to cut down and chip up everything. They even cut the trunks into firewood size. The total was three trees removed, and four trees trimmed. I have two loads of wood chips piled by the barn, a whole bunch of trunk sections to do something with, and no branches around the powerlines or overhanging the roofs. The price tag wasn’t as much as we were expecting (that’s always good news), and it was completed as quickly as safety allowed.

Overhanging maple tree before trimming.

Maple tree – no longer overhanging the roof.

I know that we will need to cut these old maple trees down eventually, but I’m hoping we breathed a few more years of life into them. The arborist explained that by removing the dead branches, it would prevent the rest of the tree from becoming sick, or at least slow down the rate of decay if there were already “infected” spots. Now that we got the highest priority work done, we can start thinking about the rest of the trees and how we want to keep them trimmed and as healthy as possible. Lesson learned? Don’t put this off! You will have healthier trees to enjoy, and may not have to spend as much money, or at least spread the same amount of money over a longer period of time.

My next task? Order some new trees to plant! What are some trees that have done well for you (we are in zone 6A)?

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