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Friday, August 14, 2015

Tree Removal, Day 3 (Part 2)

Well, OK, time to wrap this up. I'm ready to start posting about other projects...

A 2nd crew came out for the final part.  They had a different tree trunk "grabber".  The previous day's grabber had hydraulic problems.  So did the new one.  Apparently, from what I overheard, the hydraulic lines can fall loose and then get cut if the crew isn't careful.  I have some square foot spots with hydraulic fluid on my lawn which can't be good for the grass.  I will have to replace some soil...

They finally had to use a small fork lift attachment (which must have used a different set of hyrdaulic lines) to move the last sections tree trunk away.  It worked well enough.
BTW, see the shadow in the lower right above?  That's my deck, with me resting my camera on the deck rail for stability, and me wearing my straw hat.  Cool!

With the last pieces of tree trunk removed, the crew brought the stump-grinder into play.  It a 2' diameter circular saw but with teeth like a small T Rex.  The operator hanles 3 joy-sticks like some super arcade-game-player.  He stands behind a shield, and wears super goggles for protection. 
I found that hilarious.  He wears the goggles because he can't see through the viewing screen in the protection door.  He can't see through the viewing screen because all the flying wood chips abrade new ones in just a few days of use.  Doesn't seem like a really well-designed product to me...

Anyway, the grinder blade is moved back and forth, up and down, forward and back (three directions, so 3 joysticks) and can take off about 1/2" of wood at a time.  So 10" of remaining tree trunk and going 6" below ground level took a while.  2 hours or so, actually.  It finally looked like this...
Well, they did remove the other tree pieces, but I can't find the good picture of the "after" right now.

The grinder guy wasn't thrilled to have to go below ground level on the stump (all that extra work), but I had made sure that was part of the quote, so I insisted.  Getting the stump below ground level hastens rotting and prevents the roots from sending up endless shoots.

They insisted that they had to spread the wood chippings out as company practice, so I didn't argue.  I'll take care of that later. 

All the gardening experts say that raw wood chips are NOT good for spreading around plants and shrubs.  First, the decomposing wood uses up all the nitrogen in the soil.  Second, it attracts slugs and snails that will eat your plants.  Third, "artillery mushrooms" love to grow in it and they spread their spores by exploding (hence the name "artillery") and the stuff leaves bright sticky pink material up to 4' away.  Not a problem where my chips are, but I've seen pictures of the stuff staining cars and house siding.

They did a great cleanup job!  They not only raked the entire worksite of all leaves and sticks, they got up on the roof and blew all the debris off there.  Then they even swept the gutter screens clean!  Finally they blew the sawdust and debris off the deck. 

Even with the delays from the equipment hydraulic lines on 2 pieces of equipment, they did an outstanding job.  I'll forgive the small puddles of hydraulic fluid leakage on the lawn as collateral damage and repair that myself.  The compacted soul from the equipment running all over it needs repair anyway.  I'll dig up the oily spots and trash it, then work the entire area over with my roto-tiller.

And I have an excavation crew coming in next week.  Maybe they will do that for me as part of the project.  I mean, they are digging up soil and disposing of a lot of it (a ridge of weeds, clay and gravel) anyway, and then bringing in 2 truckloads of topsoil to raise the sunken front lawn, so a bucketloader could dig up the "soiled soil" and replace it with a little of the new topsoil.

We'll see.  They are coming out here next week (day unknown).  Their work is tricky to schedule as sometimes other jobs go fast or slow, and I get only a days notice of when they will arrive. 

More about THAT next time!

1 comment:

Megan said...

That sure was a large tree. And doesn't a great clean up job at the end make you feel like you're in good hands and dealing with good people? Love it.

Sydney, Australia