Friday, July 16, 2010

And the Tree Come Tumblin' Down: A photo essay

Text and images (c) Robert Barry Francos

How is this for a koan: If a tree grows in Brooklyn, must it crash in Saskatoon?

When we moved into the house August 1, 2009, there was a beautiful two-trunk Manitoba Maple that spread through the back yard, covering the whole area in shade. A neighbor was concerned that the tree may come down, so we had it checked with a few tree services: Some said the tree may come down, the others (the majority) said it probably had 5 years left. The consensus was to wait a year and then decide.

But the Canadian ice shields and glaciers are melting putting so much more moisture in the air, possibly (probably?) leading to more rain this year in Saskatchewan (recorded) history. The night of May 30 was a doozy. Lightening, thunder, hail the size of quarters, and 3-4 inches of rain in just about an hour and a half.

I woke up on the last day of the month at 5:45 AM, just in time to hear the electricity go off. I thought, "That's not good," and went to look out the back window. The tree had saved us from making the decision and decided to commit hara kiri. It was just one month shy a day that would be a year from the time we moved into the house.

The powerline people were already out in the back yard stringing wire when I got outside 10 minutes later. Seems the tree "went to Jesus" (in the words of Kinky Friedman) at around 3:00 AM, and I slept right through it, including another neighbor ringing the bell. Luckily, they called the power guys and so we were among the first to get serviced.

I called Backwoods Tree Service, and they came the same day and took the tree apart. They did a great job for a reasonable price (yes, this is a plug, as they deserve it). Amazingly, the tree came down right onto the porch without breaking any windows, landed on the roof without tearing it, hit onne eighbor's fence without crushing it, and another's garage roof with only a ding. We were indeed blessed. Meanwhile, anyone want some wood?

Here are some of the images I captured. They can be made larger by clicking on them.



[Old view out the back doors, and then the new.]

[An overview of the yard with both trunks down.]

[View of the back porch; note the two chairs and table...the railing is barely visible.]

[The edge of the tree held up by the point of the house. Amazingly, just about no damage.]

[The roots of the tree where it fell over, looking into neighbor's yard (he took down part of his fence for easier clean-up).]

[Leaning on the neighbor's garage, and over our veggie garden.]

[The main branch that was leaning on our porch, obscuring the chair and table.]

[Not only was the tree down over the garden, it was flooded from the rain, as well,more than four inches deep at one point.]

[The flood around the garage next to the garden.]

[The branches on the porch, which amazingly didn't break any of the glass.]

[Backwoods starts in to chopping.]

[Another view of the trucks, and one of the implements that will bring it down.]

[Chopping off the part that was on the edge of our roof.]


[Working off the part that was on the porch and the other neighbor's fence.]

[The part that fell off into the other neighbor's yard.]

[Piece by piece by piece...]

[Long arm of the saw.]

[Whittling it down.]

[Starting on the second trunk over the garden.]

[The "damage" done to the neighbor's garage was merely a scratch.]

[Debris and damage.]

[Most damage to the garden came from falling chunks of trunk as they were cut.]

[Wood chipping the branches. Where's Steve Buschemi?]

[Getting close to the end.]

[Guess the raspberry bushes will have to wait until next year.]

[The trunk wood and larger branches is stacked alongside the cement patio deck (was a kid's basketball court once). Some of the wood was given to neighbors, most we'll convert to firewood.]

[The storm night before that brought it all down.]