(I had a choice of topics this week. I could write about the tree removal here at the Compromise, or I could write about puppy mills. The latter sends me into such a rage and hatred of humanity that I elected to go with the former. I don’t know if this is wise or cowardly.)

I had a front row seat for some educational entertainment when the crew showed up to take down 6-7 (depending on how you count them) trees. They were all oaks in various death stages. All threatened structures.

There are many such trees here. Most can come down when they are ready; some already have. These we, or rather Mr. Nobody, are harvesting to burn this year in the new wood burning stove. There is a lot of deadwood lying around the woods, looking pretty seasoned already.

The trees that came down recently will be burned in the future, assuming there is one.

It’s painful to watch trees being cut down. I like trees. The deadest one was the red-bellied woodpeckers favorite. It’s the tree he was on when I first got a look at him, and he’d always let me know when he was around. Beautiful bird, and I hated to deprive him of his favorite tree.

The landscape has changed. It’s a bit unsettling.

The tree(s) in the orchard were the two trees from one trunk. Those were dropping acorns like crazy. Loads of acorns, making the absence of squirrels all the more a mystery.

Probably the additional sunlight will be good for the orchard. One fruit tree, identity unknown, was dead. All of the rest looked sickly to my untrained eye. The arborist identified apricots, the pear (only one with fruit on it), two peach trees, and two mysteries…..maybe plum cultivars. All of these were pruned and treated for boring insects. I have no faith that this treatment will work; I don’t think much can save the trees at this point, but I’m willing to be wrong.

The arborist and I disagree about climate change. He doesn’t “hold” with it, saying that climate has always changed. He is right, of course, and I told him that. But, I added, what is different about this age is the speed of change.

We agreed to disagree.

Relatively speaking, these were young trees. The arborist says borers and dehydration is what killed or is killing them. I think it’s pollution. But whatever the cause, the trees paid with their lives.

The crew the first day, a very cold one, was young and enthusiastic. The first oak wasn’t even topped, but felled all at once. The double tree, inside the orchard, took a lot more time. I learned later that the climber (the top dog amongst the crew) was younger, less experienced and thus slower than the climber of the following day.treecut

I watched the action from inside, mostly, and read body language, plus the occasional overhead conversation. None of the guys were wearing any hearing protection that I noticed and the volume was pretty high.

They wielded the chainsaws with glee the first day.

Day two was noticeably different. The climber of this day looked hung-over and weather beaten. The deference paid to him was palpable through the tempered glass. The crew was smaller and older and very focused. They had three oaks to remove, surrounded by the barn and fencing, plus the remaining cutting to be done from day one, and then, clean up.

One climbed, one spotted, one was cutting and piling. These trees were the deadest of all, Red’s favorite among them. They came down in pieces but very quickly.topping

The chainsaw seemed almost a part of the climber. He wore it on a belt and used it casually. I don’t mean to imply unsafely – it was an extension of him. I could see that he would slice deliberately this way or that, but he didn’t have to think about it; it was second nature.

The first day, the chainsaws were still fun toys and the trees were the means to use them.

The second day, the chainsaws were them and the trees were work to be done, dollars to be made, a business to conduct.

The trees have become logs.logs

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