Boy, I’ll tell you it feels good to be back in a tree. I haven’t climbed this high in about twenty three years. That’s a long time in tree years. Today, it felt like the good ol’ days.
I had no plans to do anything like this so early this spring. A few weeks back, I bought a whole bunch of new climbing gear in anticipation of removing two large trees on the property. The first one, I swear, is around eighty feet tall. That’s the white pine in the pictures below. The other one is a sugar maple that’s near the stream. That one is only about forty feet tall. Either way, I had planned on waiting for all the snow to melt before I did anything. As you’ll see, there’s still a bit of snow around these here parts.
Well, I guess I got a bit excited when I tried my new climbing saddle on today to see how it felt. And then, after I wrapped my new lanyard around the base of the tree to see if it was long enough, I became overwhelmed. The only thing that would bring me back down to earth was if I strapped on my spikes, hooked up my rope and pruning saw and started climbing. Just what I needed.
Now, that’s one tall tree. Just look at it compared to the regular trees next to it. And to think, taking all of the branches off of this tree (so far) only tool about two hours. I did it with a hand saw. Not a chainsaw – a hand saw. I bought a sweet Silky Sugoi 360 arborist hand saw, which sort of looks like the blade of a pole saw, with my gear order. All I intended to do was to test it out on a few of the small lower branches. Oh well. I’ll admit, it was tiring.
I was pretty beat up when I got to the top of the tree. I was out there by myself and my rope got stuck underneath a branch that fell on top of it down at the base of the tree. It was an ordeal coming down, but I did it. I’m always roped in from two points, so it’s all good. I will tell you though, I started feeling a breeze when I got to the top of the tree and when you’re that high up, all it takes is a gentle breeze to make you think twice about what in the heck you’re doing. Since my rope was stuck and since my hands had sap all over them and were nicked and cut up, I thought I’d call it a day.
My goal is to now wait for the snow to melt. Once that happens and after my hands heal, I’ll drag all the fallen branches to the back of the property. I’ve got a brush pile back there. Also, I need to grab a new and larger chainsaw to deal with this and the other tree. Finally, I need to pick up a split tail for my climbing rope and a carabiner, among a few other things, for the next time I go up. When the conditions are right and when there’s no wind, I’ll finish the job. I’ll cut the top branches off and then on my way down, I’ll cut the tree into firewood sized pieces. Then, I’ll stack them, wait until they’re ready and split them up for use in our fire pit.
Or, I can just leave things like this and be one of the only people in Maine to have a tree that looks like a lollipop. Laura would be the other person.