Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Giant Sycamore -- jcarolek

One of the features that drew me to this old farmhouse was the gigantic sycamore that dominated one side of the yard.  I'm guessing the tree was planted about the same time as the house was built, which, from all indications, was 1880.  When first I saw the tree, it was the dead of winter and she was impressive, even without leaves.  I could only imagine how lovely she'd be in the spring and the shade she'd provide in the heat of the long summer days.
Sycamore in Winter

She did not disappoint me.  Spring brought the green leaves that eventually created a huge shaded yard.  But it also became apparent there were some dead limbs that would need to be removed, for safety considerations.  Last week, while shopping for a used car, the seller (I did not end up buying his vehicle) and I got into a conversation, which eventually led to the discovery that he does tree cutting for a living.  And so, the next day he came out to see the tree and quote a price for his work.  We struck a deal.  He returned today to do the job.
Sycamore in Late Spring

I was not here when the work was being performed, as I was the doctor's for my pre-op visit.  So, my friend was here and monitoring the work.  I can say only this about that... I am SOOOO glad I was NOT here, because I think I would have been completely stressed out by their approach!

To begin with, the job, as bid, was to be performed by the guy and one other guy... I met them both last week.  Today, the guy shows up with a different guy, his wife and two of his four children...  Now, our deal was that he was to remove dead portions of limbs, not simply cut any limb off that was dead on the end.  I wanted to preserve as much of the tree as possible.  Well, as I am CONSTANTLY reminded in EVERY transaction at this old farmhouse, whatever I want is only good as long as it agrees with their ease in getting the job done.  Thankfully, when my friend saw the first live branch cut and lying on the ground, he called them down and reiterated the deal.... if the job was too big for them, they could just say so, and no hard feelings, but please, cut ONLY dead pieces...

By the time I returned home from the doctor's, they had "finished" the job.  In fact, they left less than five minutes before I drove up.  And, typical of the workers I have been dealing with here, they left a huge mess for me to clean up.  My friend admitted he was just so ready for them to go, he'd had all he could stand of them, that he resigned himself to doing the cleanup.  I don't blame him.  There is something odd about bringing kids to such a dangerous work site anyway, and I believe I would have been ready to see them go too!

As is his practice, my friend captured the whole thing with his camera.  From the whole family trying to hoist the one tree cutter 30 feet into the air, to the mess left in their wake...  Enjoy!

Sycamore with my son-in-law, Sunday, June 20, 2010
Benoit climbing the  rope, while Jenn and Steve watch

"Tree Cutting Crew" attempts 30 foot hoist...
Tree cutter, hoisted using truck....
Yes, he's "up there"....
We have a little clean up to do.... tomorrow, there's always tomorrow...

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