Yesterday we had a tree taken down in front of our house. It was a water maple, and for years we have fought with the above-ground roots that have taken over the yard. Between the protruding roots and the shade from the leaves, it was almost impossible to get grass to grow on our small front lawn.
A few years back we had the tree pruned extensively, but it grew back quickly and was up to its old tricks of ruining our turf. We do love trees, but this one’s time had come. We will replace it with a smaller tree one day.
ANYWAY, the tree removal process was interesting. The lots in our neighborhood are small, so there was not much room to work with. The guys cut a wedge from the side of the trunk away from our house so the tree would fall that direction. They tied a rope onto the tree to pull it away from the house, towards and into the street, then tied the other end of the rope to a skid steer (bobcat) to pull the tree. And the man with the chain saw started slicing into the opposite side of the tree. Soon the tree would be down.
The rope kept breaking. Then one of the workers would walk up to the tree, jump up, and pull down the end of the rope that had snapped back up into the branches when it broke. This happened at least three times. Still the man with the chainsaw continued to slice into the tree.
I was watching from our dining room through the blinds. I was a nervous wreck. At first I had just been hoping that the tree wouldn’t take a bad turn and fall towards (into) the house. Now I was worried that the tree would fall onto a worker as he tried to retrieve the rope.
And then, a young lady in a camel colored dress coat, long flowing black hair, and high heeled boots strolled by, walking a dog. Are you kidding me? Walking a dog by a lot with a tree about to fall into the road? My nerves were about to shatter. What is wrong with people?
She made it safely by the yard. The workers retrieved the rope yet again and this time decided to pull the rope by hand as the bobcat went to the back side of the tree to push the tree down.
And here she came again! Walking the dog back the other way. Unbelievable! I held my breath – and thankfully she made it by one more time.
Then the tree cutters were ready. The driver had the bobcat back on its “haunches” pushing and two workers were out in the street pulling on the rope and the chainsaw cutter was slicing and slicing…
a car drove by. Slowly. The driver was staring at the tree and the work being done.
I had almost stopped breathing.
And the tree did not want to budge.
The pushing and pulling and slicing continued.
I could breathe again. And other cars and different dogwalkers (these had stopped to wait) went right on by.