Neighborliness and Preparedness

Our neighbor will soon be constructing a shop. He has to get some trees out of the way first, so we enjoyed a recent afternoon helping out.
Does this look safe to you? These two have worked together on just the same type project countless times, and so far they seem to know what they're doing. Attaching a loooooong cable and chain as high up on the tree as they can reach.
As you can see, my vantage point has receded to a safer distance. First, a notch is cut on the side of the tree in the direction they hope it to fall. Then a cut at about 45 degrees is made on the opposite side, until it is cut all the way through. Pressure applied by the cable and pickup encourages it to fall in the right direction.
And when all goes right, that is exactly what happens. The tree landed about six inches from where they wanted it to go.

However, when things don't quite go right... it's time for plan b... or c...

This isn't a very good picture, but if you look closely, you can see the very taut chain and cable stretched between the tree and pickup. You can also see the large notch on the north side of the tree. You can also see our neighbor frantically pounding a wedge into the 45 degree cut he has made on the south side of the tree because his blade keeps getting pinched.

You know what that means, right? It means that the tree is leaning toward the south instead of the north as the cut grows deeper. At about this point in time, everyone helping out scrambled to move any nearby vehicles out of harms way.
There really wasn't anything to be done. With a stiff breeze blowing out of the north west and the pickup slipping on the wet ground, this tree was going to fall in exactly the opposite direction they wanted it to.

Fortunately, it went EXACTLY in the opposite direction, neither to the east or to the west. It missed the garage and barn and did no damage whatsoever. If they hadn't had witnesses, they would have told us this is what they planned to do all along.

In the end, lots of firewood for warm fires in the years to come (it's too wet to use this year), and trees out of the way for the new construction. Not a bad days work.


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