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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dead Tree Removal - Start Early

This top photo shows three dead trees cut down. The biggest tree almost fell on that little green tree but missed it by inches. It is never to early to start to bring down dead trees because they will will either blow over onto something I'd rather they not fall on or they will fall and hit someone or the telephone pedestal. All three were leaning directly at the telephone pedestal and I don't want that to happen. As soon as I started to cut them they tried to fall on the telephone pedestal and I had to push them the opposite direction. The one that nearly took out the small 4' tree that is the only green in the picture had a very rotten base and I was fortunate to get it to fall where it did. I think I could have pushed it over it over and I'm glad we still have our tiny little green tree.
Here is one still standing that is totally dead, it has been the dining table for woodpeckers as evidenced by the holes in the tree and it will be next. The others had already been worked over good by the woodpeckers.
With the wildfire up North of us it became apparent that we needed to cut some limbs higher on the live trees. Here is a nice mulch pile that will be done soon and the resulting mulch will be used on the wet soggy part of the driveway. Tomorrow is a 60% chance of snow so it may be a week or two before they will be dry enough to mulch.
And last but certainly not least is this pine that was only about 30' from the house. It got hit by lightning 5 years ago and had died except for a couple limbs. It used to stand straight but in the past 2-3 years it started to lean like it would fall on the fence or wood shed. Time for it to go too. We have been watching is slowly die for the past several years. Trouble with a leaner is you never know which wind storm will take it down and better for it to fall where you want it to fall than take a chance. I'd have to be repairing the wood shed or replacing the fence for the backyard. It was looking very much like it was ready to topple over and where it fell would depend on the direction of the wind. I watched it creak and sway a few days ago and knew it had to go right now.

It is also a very good idea to get the ones that are dead down now before the birds start to nest in them. Sometimes it is hard to see those nests in the tree and I don't want to damage a nest or nesting birds. Even though there is still a couple feet of snow on the ground it is better to deal with them now than run the risk of them blowing over or destroying a bird nest. Dead trees are a real hazard the longer you allow them to stand. Sometimes they look pretty normal but when you start to cut them you find they are rotten at the base like two of these were.


Brooklyn Tree Service said...

You've also got to watch out for issues with termites, and other forest critters that might try to nest within all of that decaying bark. An experienced tree service company can usually handle the issue and clean the whole area up..Sucks that mother nature can't clean up all that stuff by herself!

Bruce said...

Thanks for your professional comment. At this altitude we don't have much problem with termites but more with carpenter ants. We have cut into other dead trees which contained a nest of carpenter ants. Both insects are a major problem.
Appreciate your comment as many of our readers come from area's of the world where termites are a major problem. Clearly something to look out for.

Steve said...

Agreed, not much of a termite concern up here. I have seen a few small infestations on old dead wood, but nothing like back in New Orleans! I'll guess you use the wood as firewood, Bruce. In most of the country, people don't burn conifers, but there's not really much hardwood up here. Aspen, our most plentiful 'hardwood' isn't even as hot as pine or fir, and burns down faster. (That's a note for readers in other parts of the country). Creosote in the flue hasn't been a problem for us, since we use dead-standing, really dry wood... and we brush the chimney every year. So far, so good.

Bruce said...

You are spot on Steve. Our only hard wood on our lot is aspen and that is dead last on the hardwood list. Our chimney is around 24-25' and it is only at the top when we get creosote build up. Usually in the wind cap. I wouldn't say there aren't termites here but I have not noticed them. Mostly carpenter ants and powder post beetles. We use standing dead too and it burns good. Almost time to start the gather again.