Saturday, October 23, 2010
Josh and I bought our house 4 years ago. There is a pine tree in the backyard right outside our bedroom window. For the last 4 years we have talked about cutting that tree down. Every wind storm we lay awake listening to it moving in the wind and worrying about it falling on our house. Well, earlier this week Josh decided it was getting done this weekend. So Thursday I called to reserve a chain saw that could handle the job. After helping with the ward clean up Josh got the chain saw and we got busy. We had an idea of what we were going to do, then the ladder we have was much shorter compared to the tree then we remembered. While Josh was cutting off the branches as high as he could I called my Dad (The real live Bob the Builder) to ask for a taller ladder. He let me know they are all at the house he's working on, but maybe he could bring one home tonight after work. So Josh came in the house to look up techniques for cutting down a tree. While I'm clearing out tree branches my Mom calls. I tell her Josh has found on line how to do it without a bigger ladder and that we are going to chop it down now. Within a few minutes Dad is calling me (pretty sure Mom called him :) ) He asks if Josh is really going to do it, I say yes, Dad says he's on his way. Love my Dad. So while waiting for Dad, Josh heads over to the apple tree I don't like and starts to practice cutting a wedge out on the side you want the tree to fall, then cutting it straight across behind the wedge. Both times the large branches of the apple tree went right where Josh wanted them too. So we're cleaning up that mess when Dad arrived. We discuss the plan, then Josh goes up the ladder with a rope. He tied it above where he would be making his cut. When it was secured Dad took the other end of the rope to help guide the tree down towards another tree, and not into the power lines, cable line, fence, or house. Then Josh went back up the ladder and began to make his cuts. He cut the wedge out, and cleaned it out a little with the hatchet. At this point even though I was confident it would work I was also getting a little nervous. Sage was outside with me, but Skyler was inside watching a movie. I went in and told him I needed him outside just in case. I had both boys standing next to our shed and where I hoped would be the last direction the tree would fall, or an easy place for me to grab them and run somewhere safe. Josh started to cut the back towards the wedge. Dad began pulling on the rope to make sure the tree came the right way. Josh had to stop a few times to check how close he was getting. He asked Dad if the tree would move because he couldn't see much that was holding it on. Dad pulled but the tree didn't move. So Josh finished cutting. The tree began to move. At this point I forget a little if Josh was still up the ladder or not. All I know is Josh asked if the tree was moving, I said yes. But the problem was it was moving towards the house. Dad began to pull on the rope harder and Josh ran over to help. I made sure the boys were safe and ran over to help. Now before the cutting began I had a silent prayer in my heart that all would go well. At this point I'm praying we can get this down with no one getting hurt and the tree not crushing my house. We start trying to think of what to do. But there are three of us putting all our weight on this rope and the tree is not moving at all. This was bad, yet very good. At least we had stopped it from keeping it's momentum heading the wrong way. Josh let go of the rope and is trying to think of how we can fix this. I suggest to Dad we use the tree next to us as leverage with the rope to pull the tree, but that wasn't going to work. That's when Dad had his awesome idea. He asked if I could get the jeep in the yard. I said yes and he handed me his keys to get a chain out of his truck. I told the boys to stay where they were and I ran for the chain and Jeep and drove around to the backyard. Josh hooked the chain to the Jeep and Dad tied the rope to the other end of the chain. I ran over to the boys to keep them safe and watch the tree. Dad came to stand by me and Josh started to give the Jeep a little gas. We could hear cracking. Josh was looking out the Jeep window and we're watching by the shed. Neither of them were sure if the tree was moving or not. But I had definitely seen movement in the right direction. I ran to tell Josh so he gave the Jeep a little more gas. After just a little more cracking and hard work from the huge Jeep and the tree came down right where where we had wanted it all along!!! The only damage was a snapped cable line. But since we don't have cable we don't care one bit. It's just one less wire going through our backyard. We were all so relieved it worked. We stood around looking at the tree now laying in my backyard and were amazed at how much bigger it looked now then it had standing. We got guessing how tall it was, so Dad got a tape measure and measured it. It was over 30 feet. And we still have 12 feet of trunk left in the ground. All I can say is logic tells me my Dad (even though he is a strong man) could not have stopped 30+ feet of heavy pine from falling on my house. Maybe there is a scientific equation that could explain it. But I know we were blessed that the tree did not fall on our house and that my Dad was able to stop it from going towards my house-because it was actually heading that way-and that my Dad had a good chain and a good plan that helped us save my house from that tree. I'm so grateful he came to help us. I think about if it had been me holding the rope if things might have ended differently. But they didn't. We are blessed. And happy to have the tree down. And I will have to remind myself of that when it takes us a week t0 clean up this mess!