21 November 2009

One Dead Tree & Lots of Noise

In my pre-sabbatical days, I used to get violently angry when I heard a chainsaw. A chainsaw doesn't just cut something. It cuts lots of those somethings.. It does acres of damage and creates thousands of deaths in a short time.

Today we used a chainsaw.

We cut one tree down. One dead tree.

I don't know how old the tree was or why it had died. It wasn't a huge tree (about 3-4 metres in height and 30 centimetres in diameter) but its grey leafless branches made the entrance to our property 'sad'.

So, this morning we stood under it with chainsaw, handsaw and axe.

First, we pulled off the thick ivy that was crawling up it's bark. Great swathes of the tree's bark came away with the ivy until suddenly the tree stood clean, naked and vulnerable before us.

Next, we cut off one of the three main branches with a handsaw, then the second branch, then the third branch.

Then we cut the trunk into several pieces with the chainsaw.

The branches and large pieces of trunk that lay scattered around the stump then had to be cut into smaller transportable pieces with the chainsaw.

Then the stump had to be mulched and grubbed with the axe.

All in all, we worked for 4 hours to remove this tree. Half a day of chainsaw noise.

What did I learn? What is my new wisdom?

I learned that the noise of a chainsaw doesn't necessarily mean irresponsible forestry bloodletting. It could simply mean a couple is struggling with a single dead tree, eager to use it as firewood before the white grubs get it as food...

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