Following my blog named “One of Those Days” that I recently wrote which can be read here, regarding the state of my yard after my attempts at cutting down the brush, I finally decided to bite the bullet and call in the contractor who had done work for me before. The contractor, whose name is Derrick, showed up and we haggled on a price and eventually came up with a deal to suit both of us. Having used Derrick before, I knew that the scope of the work would change as would the eventual end price as he found more and more trees needing his attention.
A couple of days later, he showed up with a two man crew and they immediately set to work. The two men had assigned duties, sort of, as obviously they jumped in as required but basically, one of them did most of the cutting, trimming and shaping while the other started by loading the huge pile that I had accumulated onto their large trailer. I watched the process and the loader also used a chain saw as he cut the branches down to smaller pieces to increase the amount that they could put on the trailer. I did not believe that they could get the entire pile plus the additional created by the guy using the saw to trim and shape but several hours later, they had done just that. The trailer, which had 6 feet high sides, was full to overflowing and they had the bulk of it loaded. I should add, that they worked well into the evening with the final clean up. I turned on all of the outside lights plus was out there with my large flashlight and the guys even used the lights from their cell phones to help finish the work.
I mentioned earlier that I knew that Derrick would find ways to increase the work and consequently the cost of the project and sure enough, he pointed out several trees that overhang the roof that needed trimming. He mentioned that a couple of the trees that were growing over the roof should have the limbs trimmed to counterbalance the way the tree was shaping. It never occurred to me that by relieving the weight on the leaning side, it would help the tree maintain its leaning growth and help to stop it from eventually falling and crashing onto the house.
Of course, none of this extra work was free and we haggled again on the additional cost. This time, Derrick took a different approach and we began bartering over a couple of items that I owned and no longer use, namely my table saw which was a gift from my third wife given to me probably more than 30 years ago. Obviously, it has no sentimental value. Apart from starting it up occasionally, it hasn’t been used in 15 years and I still have a Mitre saw for any of that sort of work that I might do in the future.
The other item was my beloved trailer which has sat in my garage unused for at least these past couple of years. The trailer got most of its use before I bought a truck and I am no longer in need of it. I have no plans for future pond or yard construction except for closing down the small pond for which I will need a few yards of dirt which I can carry on the truck putting it to its more natural use. As Derrick pointed out, it will give me more room in my garage to store extra and additional junk.
One of the trees that they did take down was a Hackberry that had managed to self plant and for one reason or another, I had allowed to grow. This one was probably 40 feet tall and comprised of 3 vertical trunks, one of which I had cut down myself as it was only about 3 inches in diameter. The other two trunks were easily 6-8 inches thick, much more than I could handle. The tree was located between two of the ponds adding to the difficulty of dropping it. The men used their ladder to climb up to cut off the top of the tree before eventually bring it down just where they wanted it to fall. They did this with both trunks. Pretty skilled stuff. Another pretty amazing thing is that they cut it up into 4 feet lengths and carried the pieces out to the trailer as they did will all of the tree debris and I bet that some of those pieces had to weigh close to 80 pounds. After having just completed similar work with the much smaller trees I had cut and cleared, I really could appreciate just how strong these men are. Mine probably weighed in at 25 pounds.
I was left with the final clean up of course as they did not rake up leaves and small twigs left over from their work. I completed this yesterday and the only thing remaining is to dispose of this on my garbage pile where it can rot down to make mulch. Oh yes, Derrick has to come back to pick up the saw and the trailer and needs to paint the saw cuts in the Oak Trees to prevent Oak Wilt. Another job well done and hopefully good for another couple of years. By then, I will probably be too old to care…