Friday, March 9, 2018

And the Branches Came Down

Friends, it's been a week. 

Northeast Kansas has seen it go from the 60's to the 20's outside, 
with snow flurries, terribly gusting winds to 40 mph, and everything 
in between. 

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the young men from 
Forest Keepers Tree Care were here working, despite the 
insane conditions outside. 

Longtime readers will remember our beautiful old 
walnut three which we called the Green Goddess... here she is last summer. 

She was mostly dead at this point, and had stopped dropping walnuts some years 
ago, but poison ivy and Virginia Creeper used her as a support, and of course, 
the birds were everywhere in her branches. 

I snapped this picture of her on Monday evening, as I came out of the 
hen spa.  

Her base (huge) was shifting and the trunk had twisted, and in the winds 
of the last few weeks, many pieces of trunk and branches had fallen down. 
Keith and I had put off taking care of it as long as we could, but she 
was becoming dangerous. 

And here, in the other direction, is Mabel, the huge silver maple by the house.  Mabel was also 
getting to where she would drop bits and pieces of her branches, and some 
were dangerously close to the deck. 

There was also one that hung down and brushed your head as you mowed, you 
can just barely see it to the right, behind the pole.  

Mabel this morning, as I came out of the henspa.  

Notice the cross bar on the last fence section near where you see Lilly standing, is gone.  That is the only damage done in two days of intense tree removal. 

Mabel is now good to go for a while, the dangerous limbs have been removed, and 
she is safe to sit under.  Some of the limbs showed sign of rot within, and the arborist 
told me it was lucky we got them down. 

Notice the bird flying at the top of the tree!  

Where the walnut stood.  From her rings, it was estimated she was close to or over 
100 years old, just as I had always thought.  That mound of wood mulch is not from her.... the walnut shavings were hauled away as they are toxic.  

Approximately twenty decent-sized saplings and young trees were removed from the old hen yard. 

I left a clump in the middle, right behind me in this picture.  
These trees, and the trees removed from the side of the barn/shop... were what went into the mulch. 

Some of these trees were 16 feet tall (maybe 20) and were pretty big around. 

I can now start re-habbing the fence around this yard.  Some of it is tilting, but the exterior fencing is still in decent shape, and yes, it's going to be a pain to fix.  Slowly, but surely, we'll get it done. 

I don't expect to use it until next year, I have to figure out a place for the ferals to sleep, first. 

I also had trees along the road removed or trimmed from the bank.... and one walnut there 
which was trimmed back considerably, since it had dropped a huge branch last fall that was 
still hanging dangerously.  That is all cleaned up.  I wish, now, that I  had had them remove all the 
small saplings from the road bank, as some are growing way too close to the fence. 

I was impressed with the safety precautions, the crew leader, who did the trimming, 
tied off carefully before he cut each branch, and moved slowly and methodically. 

Remember, it had plunged to the twenties, and the wind was blowing, hard. 
Some branches had to be tied and lowered to the ground. 

Each worker wore a helmet that also included a speaker phone, so they could communicate. 

I stayed on the porch it was SO COLD. 

As the branches came down, they were promptly ground. 

Little by little, the big tree came down. 

But not without some drama, enlarge that picture and you will see it was blowing snow. 

The crew chief laughed after he was safely back down, saying he had had to grab around the trunk at one point to keep from being blown off. 
And then there was this: 

There had been a piece of metal pushed or pounded into the tree at some point, probably 60 years ago, and it caused some problems... the scar of it is on the right, where you see a darker place to the right of the central opening.  (not the red).  It did cause a little problem. 

However, they left me with a four foot high trunk, smooth on top, as I requested... I am going to 
put planters up there.  (I think).  

I asked them to haul the huge trunks away, and they did, on Wednesday.  I was in the 
house concentrating on something and did not see the big crane truck come and 
drag the trucks onto it's bed!

They have a small mill at their place, and are going to put that wood to good use. 

Lilly was in and out, (remember, it was cold) keeping an eye on things. 

Jester mostly did this. 

Oddly enough, the chickens were unfazed through the whole ordeal, despite the loud noise of the grinder, etc., and the big machines moving all over the yard.  They went about their business, shifting themselves away from where the men were working. 

I also saw an unusual phenomena, but did not get a picture.  The maple tree was the 
last thing they did.... and after they had finished and were getting ready to go, 
I stood with the crew chief in the yard and saw hundreds of birds flying around the maple.  He told me he sees it all the time, it's as if the birds are recalibrating in their minds where the tree is now, 
and what shape it is in.  Fascinating!

Peace has returned to Calamity Acres. 


  1. Hari OM
    that was interesting, about the 'recalibration'! Very tidy job and I am sure it is a relief for you to have that out of the way, ready to look forward. March has certainly been a crazy weather month. YAM xx

  2. I'm glad the trees came down safely. I know it's a huge relief to have them come down in a good way and not during a storm.

    I need those guys in my yard.

    happy weekend.

  3. What a big job and I'm sure you are glad it's done ! It will be safer and more eye appealing that it was before. The little saplings can grow fast. I used to pull little trees out of the flower beds all the time. From a tiny acorn great oaks to grow.
    It had to have been something seeing all those birds. Like us I supposed they get used to where the furniture is and need to realize just where it is they are going. Hope you have a wonderful weekend !

  4. Thank goodness for some peace of mind!


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