treeRecently, I had to have 2 large trees in my yard cut down, one in the back that is dead, and one in the front that is much larger than the tree in the back. As I sit here in my office watching them work on the dead tree in the back yard, I am so impressed with the crew that is doing the work.

This is dangerous work, and they have this process down. The crew works very well with each other, and it appears that each one has his or her role in the process. I am also noticing that there are similarities between their work and what professional organizers do, we both use a process.

The first step is to set up the work area. They have heavy equipment that they use, so they lay down some wood panels, ironically, to make a path from the truck to the backyard to, I’m guessing, protect the grass, and maybe so the equipment doesn’t get bogged down in the yard.

One of the crew literally climbs the tree with a chainsaw and the other end of a rope, ties off a limb, cuts the limb, and the ground crew uses the rope to direct the limb as it comes down. Then another crew member comes in with what looks like a skid loader to pick up the limbs to take them to the chipper truck on the street, or the trailer to haul away the bigger pieces.

This group of men and women that make up the crew are also quick – that large tree in the back yard came down in about 2 hours. As part of the crew finished the work in the back yard, another part of the crew began working on the much larger tree in the front yard.  Other crew members cleaned up the smaller limbs, raking and sweeping as they went. This is an efficient time management strategy.

This is the tree that made me cry to think about cutting it down. It’s a beautiful sugar maple, well established, that I have enjoyed for the 20+ years that I have lived in my house. You see, it has a split in the front of the trunk and another larger split in the back of the trunk. It was explained to me that a storm with high winds will bring it down on my house, and possibly my next-door neighbor’s house. As much as I love the tree, mine and others safety was the reason I made this heartbreaking decision.

This tree took a lot longer than the dead one in the backyard due to the sheer size of it. The crew member in the tree is highly skilled at making sure the cuts made in the limbs work in tandem with the crew member at the rope on the ground to detour them from falling on the house.

When most of the limbs were cut away from the trunk, a vertical cut was made in the trunk, and ropes were tied around the tallest point. Some old tires were placed in front of the tree to keep the massive trunk from causing a huge hole in the yard. Then they cut through the base of the trunk and the rope was tied to the skid loader to pull it down. The hardest parts were done, and my beautiful sugar maple no longer stood in my front yard.

All that was left was to grind out the stump and remove the remaining debris. They did such a great job!

The crew understood that I was not happy about having to cut it down, I appreciated their empathy. I requested they cut a slice about 3 inches thick in one of the thicker limbs and they were happy to do it, and actually cut a few more slices.  My plan is to make at least one small side table with the slices so I will have a piece of my beautiful sugar maple to keep forever.