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Friday, August 14, 2015

Tree Removal, Day 3

By the end of yesterday, they had the oak tree completely cut down.  As I guessed, at some point they would simply cut off the trunk at the bottom and let it fall over.  It's sure easier to hold those big chain saws and cut down rather than sideways.
The rope at the top is so the guys can pull the trunk over away from the fence and deck.
And down it comes!
They went right at the trunk to cut it into manageable sections.
And there it is in pieces.  
Looks like one of those 6' party subs cut into individual parts...
The view is sure different!  There was sunlight on the ground where there hasn't been for at least a century.  
But it got a bit humorous after that.  The boss came by and told them to cut the stump lower because it would take too long to grind it all down.  Then he told me a stump grinder crew would by here "tomorrow" (today, now) for the grinding and final cleanup.  Then he left.

It wasn't the best decision he ever made.  They cut off 1' of the stump easily enough.
But the next foot drove them crazy.  And their problem baffled me too.  First, one guy cut all around the trunk as he had in the upper foot section.  But it just wouldn't come loose.  Well, his circle around the trunk was more of an upward spiral.   It was like 2 teams tunneling through a mountain and missing the meeting point by a few dozen yards.  So he went back at it.  And missed again...

This went on for 30 minutes.  I watched from the safety of the deck.  Far be it for me to tell them how to do their jobs.  Though I did wonder a bit watching one guy who didn't quite seem to know how to use the grabber point under the chain saw to lever it for best cutting and I saw another guy trying to give him advice.  I couldn't understand what they were saying (the crew is hispanic - more on that below).

Their problem baffled me at first.  I could see that the 3' chain saw blade could easily reach to the middle, and they had a couple wedges in place to keep the weight of the cut portions of the trunk from pinching the blade.

They finally tried wedging the uncut portion loose.  But they only had 2 wedges and that wasn't working.  So I went and offerred them my 5' iron breaker bar which they accepted gratefully.  Even that wasn't enough.

I could see from the deck that the cut section would rock east/west and north/south and I went down and showed them where the uncut part had to be.  Well, you don't have to be a tree removal expert to understand basic mechanics...  But I wasn't able to communicate that well enough with hand gestures.  So I tried another series of gestures suggesting they cut the top piece like a tic-tac-toe board so they could find the uncut part.  Now luck with that either...

Here's the part about my spanish-speaking ability.  I took Spanish in High School.  I could speak the written words well enough, and with a passable accent.  But that was 50 years ago, was mostly written, and I barely passed the class then.   So my ability to speak to the crew was limited.  I remember some phrases.  The most useful one for me is "Yo hablo muy muy poco Espanol" ("I speak very very little Spanish").  One guy asked "Como Esta?" (How are you"?) in the morning and it was an hour before I remembered the correct reply ("Estamos bien, gracias" - "I am well, thank you").   I used that to him later and got a smile and a thumbs up.  Well, at least he didn't laugh.  And when one of them waved at me and asked "agua?, I brought out a pitcher of cold water. 

So I watched them struggle with it for another 45 minutes.  I wish I had thought to bring out my laptop and use "google translate" to get some simple phrases that would have helped, but that only occurred to me after they left.

But they did finally manage to break the uncut part loose.  Do I need to say that the uncut part was exactly where I pointed to earlier? 
The 2nd half of Day 3 tomorrow...

1 comment:

Megan said...

Ha! Sometimes it's easier to help other people with their problems that address them yourself. LOL

Sydney, Australia