Downing a Danger Tree

 

Early in the spring I had told you about our local electric company, West Oregon Electric (WOE). They had come out to help us with a dead white fir tree that was near their electric lines and needed to be removed. This old white fir was about 120 years old and had been on the decline for the last decade. It was time to remove the dangerous tree before it ended up wiping out the power to the whole rural neighborhood and quite possibly the town 10 miles up the road.

WOE crew used their cherry picker to top the tree twice. The first cut removed the very top fifty feet of the tall tree and dropped it right by the base, likewise with the second fifty foot section. The fifty foot base was left standing since it was no longer a threat to the power lines and we would need some time to clean up the tree that was on the ground before falling the last portion.

We consider our local power crew as family.  It’s not just the wave and a honk as they drive past the farm. They are courteous and helpful, and work long grueling hours during horrible weather, to keep us in power. I witnessed first hand, the safety first attitude put into practice with each task. And the grateful giggles from the crew when a pan of brownies was rewarded to them as they were moving onto their next project.With the crew gone and the top two-thirds of the tree broken and splintered on the ground, we started the cleanup. White Fir is a soft wood, much softer than the hearty Douglas Fir. When the top portion hit the ground it shattered. We split the bigger pieces until they were manageable size and used it for firewood in our outdoor wood boiler.

Most of the second portion stayed intact as it hit the ground. Pest damage was observed and this section was fairly dry already since the tree had been dying from the top down.

Man splitting wood with hydrolic wood splitter.The section was cut into firewood lengths then the hydraulic wood splitter used to split the bigger pieces into firewood.

With the last portion down, the large power saw was used to cut rounds off the log. The tractor was needed to move the heavy rounds which weighed 2000 lbs. each. The rounds were maneuvered into position with the help of the loader on the tractor and the splitter broke them into manageable pieces before being split into portions that the wood boiler could accommodate.

Man cutting block off of large log. IMG_3644

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