A couple of weeks ago I was talking with a competitor about a maple tree service job in Bellingham WA . He decided to pass on it and said I could give the home owner a call. I had actually looked at this tree last year but the Bellingham WA home owner never made a decision to get the tree down.
The best way to describe this maple tree is show a couple pictures. Maple trees can get really rotted out in the core. Because the way they branch up, it creates a pocket for water to collect. Eventually, the tree decays and falls to the ground.
This maple tree has been breaking apart for several years. A huge arm had snapped over and was lodged and stuck in a cedar tree. Wasn’t hired to get that out but ended up getting it down at the end of the day.
Ok, the first part. The maple tree had two main trunks going up. One of them went 70′ and had a lot of branch weight on the very top. I cut off the branches all the way to about 20′ from the top and stopped. The branch that I was climbing was at a steady angle, like the angle of steps. I was concerned about the weight I would be putting on the top. The maple tree was really damaged from water-rot, and we found out later when bringing down the last 30′ that it was hollow from the ground to about 15′. Not good!
So I made a decision to climb back down and at about 40′ I put a chain around the back trunk, then wrapped it around the front trunk that I was climbing. As I was going back up I saw the top of a small cedar. I imagined the maple breaking and falling to the ground, and me jumping over to the cedar. I am sure everything happens so quick when things go bad, that you just have to enjoy the ride, but your mind is constantly role playing about disastrous possibilities.
Made it to the top and we had one more slight challenge. The high wires. That’s the very hot one that you don’t want to touch and it was almost in the way. I wanted to keep going to take the three top branches off individually but did not want to put the extra weight on the angle of the tree, so I took about a 15′ piece. No way to direct the piece. Cut the face, then the back and snap off it came, tumbling through the air, it slapped the high wire. No sparks and the transformer didn’t blow, that’s a good sign. Everyone had power, that’s good too.
From there it was chunk and go to the height where we could fall it from the ground.
As I was talking with the home owner from the tree I told him that the other snag was just as dangerous and caused a treat to the lines and road. The reason why I was doing this tree job in Bellingham WA, and he agreed and said “take it down”.
This was a very dangerous situation too. The 50″ trunk had broken over but stayed on the remaining base of the tree. It was wedged hard into the cedar and pushing the cedar five feet off center.
I climbed up through the many cedar branches to where the maple tree was lodged and started cutting off pieces. Very unpredictable. The weight was immense from the maple tree and with each cut you are not sure how it was going to affect the cedar. Major concern was blowing out the top of the cedar and taking me with it. The only precaution I could do was to keep a repelling line 10′ below where I was standing. This way if the cedar blew out, hopefully my rope would be below the break.
Made several cuts but the trunk had not fully separated and would not release the tree to the ground. Brought up a pull rope and tied it on. Then with three or four tries, I through the rope over all the branches of the trees and it hit the ground.
Tied the pull rope to my truck and gave it a good pull. Snap, crash, boom. Trees make a tremendous noise when the hit the ground.
Gave a couple cords away to my neighbor, Matt, I took a few rounds and left the rest for our tree faller, Steve. Great job. Wasn’t looking forward to it and am glad it is behind me.
If you need an estimate for tree service, we work in Bellingham WA and all of Whatcom County. 360-318-9795
Doing a 130′ cedar in Lynden WA next Tuesday, we’ll let you know how that goes.
If you are interested in understanding the process in a little more detail, here is a blog I wrote about what it takes to get a tree down: Procedures