Monday, May 18, 2009

Arboraerial Photography:Tree Surgery Post 1

The view above shows the old retired BBQ grill, my beloved retired 1982 GMC truck, the green marine shed, a portion of the barn shed, and my pistol range center/top of pic. The round tank behind the marine shed is my aquaculture tank.

Saturday, I went like a machine, all day long in the heat, with a chainsaw, machete, and very long ladder. My goals were:

  1. Trim some large oak limbs that were shading my garden
  2. Cut down two large laurel oaks that were just too close to the garden and could not just be trimmed. I had let them go as long as possible, but they were shading my blueberry patch too much.
  3. Work myself to physical exhaustion and burn off a few calories from the bowl of ice cream I had for breakfast.
  4. Produce a vast amount of firewood that I will never be able to use ... want some?

Above is a view of the garden, mostly a fallow area.

Here's a view from the top of the ladder. The big limb in the foreground was surgically removed shortly after this shot.
Ever start a chainsaw between your legs while standing atop a very tall ladder?
You should probably practice on a short ladder first.

Trust me, it can be done, and that limb is no longer shading my blueberry patch.

The view down. I love this ladder. The rungs are nice and wide so your feet are secure and comfortable. It's not even fully extended in these photos. Moving it around the yard is a challenge ... it's a little heavy.

Looking up.
In that picture, you can see the limb from a few pics ago, now down and lying across another limb.
Now, it might seem that I am being flippant about being high in trees (that's high, as in vertical distance from the ground, hippies). I am a little, no way to get around the fact that starting a chainsaw on a ladder is not recommended, but we all make our own risk assessments, and then act accordingly.
If you study the picture above, you will see a red ratchet strap high on the ladder. It is holding the ladder tight to the tree. Not visible is a second yellow ratchet strap down low, holding the base of the ladder to the tree.
The ladder is strapped to the tree so tightly, it can't move at all.
Still, Terry, Annette, and Aunt Shelba ... this is not one of those posts to print and take to Mom.
More to come tomorrow, on the art of tree destruction by a confessed tree hugger.


tsiya said...

Hmmm, I don't see any OSHA approved body armor, you will probably get a visit from the gubmint, LOL!
When my daughters new double wide was being tractored back into the wilderness. the tractor driver pointed out a limb that was in the way. I walked over to the Jeep, hauled out the 12 guage pump, and took that limb off clean, with a load of number fours. You would have needed something bigger, but for the smaller jobs nothing beats a pumpgun!

Sharon said...

Yikes. That is all.


amarkonmywall said...

I was just over coveting Robin's neighbor's Kestrel but now I think I covet your ladder more. NICE aerial views of the place- a different perspective. I am about to undertake some tree work down state- there's a vine of rain forest proportion pulling way too hard on one of our oaks. Heights, snakes- why are people afraid of them? :-)

Sayre said...

I'm dizzy just looking at these pictures! Of course, standing on a stepstool in my kitchen makes me dizzy these days.

I've got a sweet gum tree I need taken care of... do you rent out?

(actually it's my neighbor's tree)

kathy a. said...

yikes, indeed. glad you are bracing the ladder and careful and everything.

Dani said...

Pablo is not going to be happy that you've got the ladder out.

threecollie said...


TROLL Y2K said...

Got Mama Troll a step-ladder for Mother's day. Had 11 warning labels in English and Spanish. But none about the off-balance top-of-ladder start-chainsaw-between-legs tactic.

Florida Beach Basics said...

Your blog label was very accurate. marge

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Love your label:"The boy ain't right."
Geez-I married one of those boys! Guess that's what happens when you marry a Florida Cracker......

Floridacracker said...

We don't do OSHA here. Like your method. I used to get mistletoe that way... sold it on the corner at Christmas time next to McCartney's Drugstore.


I don't know. My big strong son does not like heights at all. I don't get it. So peaceful way up there.

I decided a couple of years ago that I would invest in some ropes and this ladder rather than pay the crazy fees of commercial tree surgeons.

Kathy A,
In reality, I am an extremely careful risk taker with a lot of thoughtful contemplation before the first rung is climbed. Having said that, I am not above engineering a solution rather than have somebody else do it.

He probably won't waste his breath!


"Warning: You Might Fall Off" in English would suffice, I think.

I know. But I'm not recommending anyone try this ... just showing it can be done.

Chris and Jon,
We are in touch with our inner boy.

MyamuhNative said...

Ok FC,
From the looks of it, I'm not so sure that your ladder would pass the "plumb and set, ready for climbing SIR!" excercises I remember from a long time ago, but I will give you bonus points for the multiple tie offs (it's probably what I would do too).
And as far as that chainsaw between the legs deal, Egads, I know you boys like to show off that way, but how bout you make Mrs Fc ,FCMom and me happy by just starting it on the ground and taking it up in neutral?

SophieMae said...

'the boy ain't right'... *sbert* I'm with JR on this one. While you were up there, did you do any decorticatin'? (Look that up in your Funk & Wagnall's). Duller is talking about getting a chain saw... any suggestions re what to NOT buy?

Dig your marine shed! Was it a traveling salesman's sample? 8-}

High in trees. *heheheh*

Floridacracker said...

M Native,
I warmed it up on the ground first so all it took was one quick tug to start it.
Easier to me than climbing with it rumbling.

I made that shed for one purpose so it is an odd size. When you step in, it all makes sense. This chainsaw is a Craftsman and it has run superbly for the longest time. I work it way past it's designers intentions too.

caroline said...

Hooray for ice cream for breakfast! With that limb gone, you can have blueberries on your ice cream for breakfast. With all those anti-oxidants on top, sounds like the perfect breakfast to me. :o}

Deb said...

Yikes. But, if transportation was not an issue, I would take you up on the firewood offer!

Smilin-buddha said...

That old s10 would make a cool electric vehicle project

Rurality said...

I so long to rat you out to your mother! I think if my husband were up a tree with a chainsaw, I'd have to kill him.

debbie said...

Do you have a death wish? There are some jobs that you leave to a professional. Cutting down tree limbs from that height is one of them. You are going to be in SO much trouble with your mama!

FiveHawgs4me said...

Looks like something I would do...when the wife was away!

On another note, I saw pics of your lab in a previous post. Nice looking dog! Where did you get him? We got our lab Dawson from a guy named Larry Lewis near Douglas, GA. He's got some great pups.

Also, I still have some datils if anybody wants 'em.

Thunder Dave said...

Lightnin would be proud of you for anchoring the ladder, but will probably want to know if you were tied off when you started the chainsaw! ;-)

Sandcastle Momma said...

Your property looks like a true slice of paradise!

Anchoring the ladder was a good move but that chainsaw manuver doesn't sound too bright LOL

roger said...

two words..electric chainsaw. does require a long extension cord, starting.

Floridacracker said...

Vanilla chocolate crackle with a chocolate biscotti and cocoa roasted almonds.

When you come down for that band trip, tell each kid to bring one piece home in their instrument case.

Tru dat. It's not going anywhere so who knows?

Now, now Rurality, don't be a stool pigeon.

Why should pro's have all the fun ... and my $$$? I do use pro's for surgery, auto mechanics, and most electrical work.

He's a paperless backyard Lab, rather than a pedigreed one.

No, but I did lean against the tree.

Thanks! Not too bright, but really not a big deal to do with a little planning.

yes, much preferred for limb work up high. i actually had one, but wore it out.

Miz S said...

"Ever start a chainsaw between your legs while standing atop a very tall ladder?"

FC, honey, I know you are being careful but, I can't help saying it, BE CAREFUL!

Floridacracker said...

Miz S,
Will do.