Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Questionable trees

A couple of sketchy trees so far this week whilst freelancing for a local firm, one was this ash (stem on the left) that was very much dead, rotten in the base and leaning towards a large very old farm house, with a deer fence directly underneath. We could not drop a single branch on the fence, and the estate manager was there to 'help' us i.e make sure we didn't break anything! Luckily there was a fairly tall sound tree next to it that I climbed up and put in an anchor point to allow me to climb the dead one with relative piece of mind that I was attached to a sound tree.

The initial plan was to use this anchor point to remove some of the overhanging branches, thus reducing the weight of the tree so we could then fell it into the field away from the house and fence. but at this point the wind picked up and my anchor tree was swaying around pulling me away from the dead tree, which was also moving in the base a substantial amount.

We both came to the conclusion that it was getting a bit silly to be attempting to remove any of the overhang as I would have had to have gone out quite far to avoid hitting the fence. So instead we decided to put a rope up as high as the sound wood went (pretty much where the branches fork off) with this we then had enough leverage to pull it in the opposite direction in one go (with the aid of a landy)

Fortunately it came down as sweet as a nut, with a couple of wedges in the back cut to stop it sitting back, I aimed the felling cut directly against the lay of the tree as its often easier to pull a tree the opposite way to the way it wants to fall rather than at an angle to the lean, when it it will often fall away before you have chance to pull it over.

After all the head scratching and adrenalin of the dead ash I was looking forward to something a bit safer and a bit more straight forward. Which is what this horse chestnut appeared to be...

Until I got closer and discovered this is what the base looked like! The wind had died down and after a few minutes poking around trying to discover the extent of the rot I decided that it was safe enough to climb, especially as the crown was not to spreading and it would be a pretty simple spike up chog down job. (this is where all the branches are removed on the way up and the stem is reduced in sections on the way down, as simple as a take down gets really.)

Sorry for the quality of the photos, only had my phone with me.