July 14, 2013


Note: This is a post that has been sitting in my draft folder since spring, waiting until I uploaded photos, which didn't happen until today.

There was a small logging camp set up at the Enos Kellogg Homestead this week, as we finally bit the bullet and had a bunch of trees on the property taken down. 
Cedar tree being prepared for removal
About a dozen guys swept through our yard, dropping six trees and doing significant clean-up work on another four or five.

Ready to drop the top on the cedar
Some of the tree work was attributable to Super Storm Sandy, which, in addition to smashing our barn, snapped a huge Hemlock (who knew - I always thought that it was a pine) at the back of the property and left an enormous Larch tree ominously tilted towards the old stone carriage house across the street.  Sandy also broke off limbs on a few big Maples on the property, and made me reevaluate the two big Cedar trees that hung over our kitchen (and swayed violently during the storm).
While we were addressing the storm-related tree damage, we also decided to remove two sizable Norway Maples on the property, one of which was crowding out a smaller but much nicer Sugar Maple adjacent to our barn, and the second of which was just plain ugly, in addition to blocking the sunlight from our side yard.  As another "might as well" decision, I had them remove the many dead limbs from another Hemlock in the back yard, and grind up the remaining huge chunks of poison ivy-covered logs that represented the final vestiges of storm damage from three years ago.
Hemlock fall, go boom.

Particularly given my distaste for heights, it was amazing to witness the tree crew scamper up each tree (with chainsaws dangling behind them), denude the tree in about 5 minutes, and then topple 6-10 foot lengths of trunk one after another until the remaining trunk was small enough (20-30 feet) to drop safely into the yard.
Limbing up a Norway Maple

The cleanup was equally impressive, with the branches and non-fireplace-friendly wood all rapidly fed into a chipper, and the  maple cut into suitable lengths for me to split later. 
While I hate spending money on things like tree removal, and am sad to see some of the beautiful old specimens disappear, I will sleep a lot better during storms knowing that our trees are not likely to go crashing into our house or our neighbor's stone building.  The yard also looks sunnier and more open (and closer to what it was like in the 18th and 19th centuries).  I'm sure I'll appreciate the sun when I'm out in the yard with a splitter and a stump grinder in the spring. 

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