Wednesday, July 18

Tree failure

Why does it always happen that the double-trunk part is on the road?

This morning at exactly 4:05 I heard a tree crash to the ground. I looked around the house after daylight came but found nothing. I did my usual morning chores then left to go down to the house site to make a progress payment to our contractor. Below our corral I was stopped by a large tree across the road. I went to the phone book for the number to call for the Madera County Public Works Tree Removal Service. Those stinkers must have intentionally left their number out of the book, so I called the next best thing—neighbor Bill.

I was basing my need for help on thinking I had been left with only the tiniest of our many chain saws; usually the big saws go to the high ranch for the summer. Imagine my surprise when I went out to the woodshed and discovered a brand new, never-been-used saw with an 18-inch bar. It still had the label advertising its features attached to the handle. Well now—watch out tree, here we come!


It was a big bull pine, and the part on the road was its double trunk. These trees often split off to many trunks when they get to be around 20 or so feet tall. This one was probably 80 feet tall. Bill and I worked on it for over an hour and reduced the part on the road to firewood-length pieces. For a short time, we considered felling its companion tree, which is also threatening to fall. Since I had been up since around four this morning, I begged off, claiming being pooped out already with more work to do today. Ah, the joys of living in the boondocks!


No comments: