Not a Limb for a While

Published 1:22 pm Thursday, March 24, 2022

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I was having some trees cut in our backyard because of the danger of the trees falling and damaging, or in the case of one monster tree destroying, our house. It was a 110 feet tall pine and, in the words of Jerry Clower, you couldn’t put your arms around it and there wasn’t a limb for a while!

It was a healthy tree except for a couple of “cat faces” about forty feet up. I don’t know why the scars on pine trees are called “cat faces,” but that’s what the tree man called them. He also said it would, eventually, weaken the tree until it was dangerous.

The tree has scared me ever since we have lived in this house. It was only thirty feet from the house and sort of leaned toward the house. If it had fallen on our house, it would have made two messes of a house by splitting it into two pieces.Remember Hurricane Michael? How could you forget? During that storm, Donna Sue and I did what we were told to do. We gathered in the hallway and hunkered down as best we could, but, to tell the truth, if that tree had fallen on our house, we might not be here today. Its weight was over 15,000 pounds!

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The top of the tree consisted of about six huge limbs. If just the top of the tree had broken out and fallen on the house, 1209 Loblolly Lane’s house would be history. I was delighted that the tree company offered to take it down. There were other trees, but this beast of a tree made all the others look like boxwood shrubbery.

The company had a bucket truck that would extend upwards of 85 feet. The problem? There were still 25 more feet to go. I don’t know how they did it, but they took the tree down a little bit at a time, but it wasn’t easy. It must have taken 3 or 4 hours just for that one tree.

Here’s a few observations. First of all, the man who cut the tree down admitted that the tree scared him. He said that when he was younger, he would have climbed the tree and taken the top out one limb at a time. He put his fears away. He was a big man, but looked small 85 feet up in that bucket. I was impressed with his courage. Thankfully, I’m not in that business, but you couldn’t have melted me down and poured me on that kind of job.

Another observation. It takes great skill to cut down that size tree and have those huge limbs and the trunk of that tree fall in exactly the places that he aimed. High in that bucket, Earl, the man’s name, would throw a lasso around a limb and, then, cut it.

On the ground, there was a crew who would tie the rope around the trunk of the tree and, slowly, lower the limb. It’s amazing how small the limbs look 110 feet in the air, but how large they are when they are on the ground. Truthfully, the limbs, themselves, are trees.

I mentioned the courage of the man who was up high, but I also was impressed by the skill and professionalism of the crew.

One more thing. We hear, these days, of people who don’t want to work, but these wonderful people worked hard until every part of the job was finished, including the clean-up. Five trees in all were cut and, after all was said and done, you would be hard-pressed to remember that a tree was ever there.

Now, when the wind blows, I feel a little more comfortable.