typically, it had to happen. i managed to fell 60-70 trees in a confined space, minimizing collateral damage, almost to nil, using guy lines and a winch to keep trees i wanted to fell from falling in the wrong place. then came today, day 11, and all that hard work seemed to come undone, well for a moment anyway.,
i’d felled a couple of trees by the tarmaced roadside, being as careful as i could, to avoid the overhead phone line.
a friend showed up, who works for the town council. today he was on bin duty, and he stopped to tell me i was doing it all wrong. then proceeded to show me how it was supposed to be done. apparently he’d spent most of his life felling. i gave him the saw, and asked him to show me how he was going to remove the worst placed tree, without fouling it on the phone line. 2 minutes later he’d dropped the tree, ripped the phone line out, and bowled over the telegraph pole. later i laughed about this. however at the time i was incredulous.
i realised shortly there after i could turn around that situation, and get out the other trees that were also by the roadside, and at risk of fouling the line at some other time. so they came out aswell, including one dead pine the other side of the road, which was never going to be easy to get out without hitting the line.
it was funny, he was so insistent it would only go the way he wanted. he admitted after that you can’t ever know which way they will ultimately go until they are going. you can’t see what’s going on inside the tree, how its internal structure can cause it to go sometimes in the opposite direction to the one you set up. if anyone tells you otherwise they’re kidding themselves.
up high on the mountainside some of those trees were like long bows, their growth pattern having sometimes massive disparity.
where all the tension was stacked, as they had grown very tightly on the south face of the tree and much further apart where they faced north. so even when they leant considerably into the mountainside, the moment you cut them they began pulling away, and did everything they could to go down the mountain, opposite to how they were being cut. this made for some very entertaining moments, with one tree actually falling 180 degrees to where i was trying to place it. fortunately for me it didn’t do any damage.
today was almost a replay of that, a couple of times. and then during the limbing of the standing deadwood, which i dropped, pivoted over the road, the moment i cut it in two it bounced back at me knocking me over, fortunately i managed to keep the saw, which was still running, out of my way.
that was the last tree to come out today, and maybe the last for the job. a day cutting in the rain, soaked but happy to be alive.