A rather large tree limb broke a while ago and I’ve really been meaning to flush-cut the jagged stump it left behind. Purely aesthetic of course. It’s taken a while and by looking at the photos below, I think you’ll see why. The tree is huge and getting up there to make a cut would be a chore.
Back in my previous life, I was a tree climber. I worked for various tree companies and performed a variety of tasks. My favorite, by far, was pruning. It takes agility and skill and not everyone can do it. Back then, I thought that an eighteen year old tree climber was really something to talk about. I suppose I still think the same thing. It’s just that now I’m more than twice that age and, unfortunately, I’ve become somewhat “soft” mentally.
A few months ago, I gave it a shot. I knew I had to get my climbing rope up and over the lowest limb in order to pull the rope through for my climbing knots. Of course, I didn’t have a bucket truck available, so pulling myself up the tree would have to suffice. I have never used a bucket truck anyway, so I suppose that wouldn’t have been very helpful. The problem I encountered when I took a shot at this project back then was the weight of my rope. I didn’t have a proper throwball, so I was forced to actually attempt to throw my heavy climbing rope, which was coiled up in my hand, at least forty feet in the air. As you may well imagine, it didn’t happen. I used to have success with this trick, but not with anything over twenty feet.
A few days ago, I was standing in the front lawn looking at that ugly stump, way up there in the tree. I wondered if I would have to call a tree service to come over and make one cut for me. I felt defeated even thinking the thought. I wondered if there was a way.
A few minutes passed when I was struck with a wonderful idea. I had recently purchased some thin rock climbing rope that would be perfect when used as a home-made throwball rope. The only problem was that I didn’t have the “ball” part of the throw ball.
I walked into the garage and remembered that I had a few large sockets as part of my socket set. I opened the container and pulled out a rather heavy 1″ socket and decided that this would work perfectly for my throwball setup. It did and I was able to toss the socket through the crotch and pull my climbing rope through. You’ll see the result of my handiwork in the photos below.
I’ve got to tell you, I felt great after I slid down that tree and landed on the ground. You probably wouldn’t think it’s a big deal, but after taking very few risks all these years, climbing a tree and doing what I used to do made for a nice few hours of egotistical enthusiasm. You should have heard me say things like, “Hey, remember that time I climbed the tree in the front yard with my chainsaw?” It was bad. I don’t remember being that cocky when I was younger but that’s probably just due to my failing memory.