With the roof of our solar shed nearly complete, it's very easy to see which trees are going to block sunlight for the solar panels we want to install on it. Unfortunately, the biggest offenders are right next to our wellhead and camper, two things I would really prefer not to crush. I've done all of the tree work on our land thus far, but for this job, it it's time to call in some professionals.
This summer, while we were pouring foundations and retaining walls, we met a really nice guy by the name of Chris—he was apprenticing with a local mason who we'd hired. Though he was new to the trade (our cottage slab was his first foundation), we learned that he had been running chainsaws since he was ten years old. His family has been in the tree business for generations, so it seemed natural to call him first.
Chris was excited to hear from us—as it turns out, work is pretty slow in the wintertime. Not two hours after talking, he arrived on our land with his step-dad, Bob, to survey the project. In a matter of minutes they'd decided which trees would be trouble, and which would be easy. Their expert eyes spotted all sorts of things we hadn't. For example, a crack in one of the trees that ran the whole length of the trunk.
At the end of the evaluation, we settled on a price, and set a flexible date for the job—whenever it wouldn't interfere with Chris' masonry work. His next available day turned out to be today. This afternoon, Chris, Bob, and Chris' wife, Casey rolled up our driveway and got to work sharpening chains and setting up a block and tackle system so they could rig up the trees to fall where they wanted them.
Then, Bob donned his climbing gear and clawed his way to the top of the first tree.
It was awesome.
Thus began a two-hour tree-felling marathon, followed by another hour of brush clean-up. We now have seven huge trees to split for firewood (or possibly take to the local sawyer to be cut into boards). This weekend, Chris and Bob are coming to do one more: a huge multi-trunked mess of a tree that has seen better days. I'll take more pictures of our newly opened clearing and post them soon!