Remember that wind storm we got 4th of July weekend (I wrote about it here)? Well, those 70 mph winds didn't just bring down a branch or two...
...they also semi-broke a lot of branches that were just left dangling above our heads - ready to drop at any moment.
Given that we had almost no power and nothing better to do, we decided to take care of this wee problem ourselves by trimming the 2 trees that sit on the west side of our house (even though we found out later that the city of Kenosha would have come - eventually - and done it for free). And in addition to cutting down the broken branches, we had the opportunity to take out some other limbs that were in the way and have needed to be removed since we moved into the house. Score!
So, Joey went to Lowe's and picked up a $60 tree trimmer. It extends out pretty far, has a little, super sharp saw on it, and a little clipper for cutting off twigs. I was skeptical when I first saw it. Most of our branches (or the base of the branches where you have to cut) are super high up the tree trunk.
As it turns out, Joey reached all of about 1 whole branch while standing on the ground. Womp Womp. He definitely needed more height. So, at my suggestion, he got a ladder and leaned it against the tree (Warning: this may be a safety violation). Joey could then reach more branches while standing on the ladder.
Then we decided that all the way up in the tree was best (again, probably not the safest option). It worked well!
And the branches started coming down, down, down (I ducked as I took pictures).
It's amazing what a super sharp tiny little saw can do. I was impressed.
Here's a picture that shows a limb that was hanging way down into some electrical wires. It's a good picture to show how far away the base of the branch was from where Joey stood up in the tree. Nice extension, eh?
When the branches had been sawed off, they left a nice little circle mark, which will eventually blend in with tree. Where the branches were broken off by the storm, they left an ugly branch tip. So, Joey sawed most of those off too.
The branch in the next picture has been hanging too low for quite some time. Joey attempted to saw it off, but had trouble reaching the base of the branch. So, he thought hanging from the branch until it broke off was a good idea.
After a little swinging back and forth, the branch actually broke off the tree.
But it did leave an ugly little broken stub behind, which Joey was able to get into the tree and cut off. It looks better not to have that branch in the way anymore.
By the time we were done, the majority of the sagging limbs were gone, and the space above the sidewalk felt more open airy - like vaulting a ceiling.
The branches were then cleaned up and neatly stacked curbside. Houses up and down most of the blocks in our area had branches stacked along the curb. It took about 3 days after this episode for the city trucks to make their way down our street and shred our branches goodbye.
There are still a few limbs hanging so high up it's impossible to reach them. So, we'll probably have the city come out soon and take them down. The only other damage that couldn't be repaired was along the trunk of one of the trees. Quite a bit bark was stripped away. I hope this isn't permanent damage. Does bark grow back?
Tree trimming was a new and interesting experience for us. I'll let you know that I did take my turn trying to saw off limbs. But most of the time my hand just wasn't steady enough to balance the long trimmer and keep it in one place while sawing. So, that's why I became the designated photographer and branch-picker-upper. Gotta do what you can do!
So, tell me, have any of you tried your hand at tree trimming? Did you go about it the safe way? Or risk your life climbing in trees like a monkey? I'm curious.