Eight O’Clock this morning I’m awakened by a phone call. (I had gone to bed a little after five). We were expecting a crew to show up about nine to remove the old asbestos ductwork from the attic. Dad was up, and in the kitchen, where the noisy part of the doorbell lives. He didn’t hear it. Hence, the phone call that awakened me. “Would you please answer the door? Our guys are outside,” queries the caller. “Okay,” says me. I get up, let the guys in, get dressed, pour a cup of coffee, take the dog with me out back, and start hearing a chainsaw. It’s nearby. I wonder, how nearby? I walk out the gate and start looking around. I see a guy, over the roofs across the street, in a man bucket, just around the corner. Ding ding. (That’s Pavlov’s bell. I’m Pavlov’s dog.) I and my gloves and my chainsaw get in my buggy and go around the corner.
They’re cutting down an entire tree. Not just trimming it. All the way to the ground, they’re going. I drive through the barricades (yeah, I do that), and park at a respectful distance. The crew chief walks towards me and engages. This is a county crew. They aren’t like the private crews who usually walk up and say, “Can I help you load some of this?” “We’re the cutting crew. The clean up guys will be here today or tomorrow.” “What is it you’re cutting down? It looks like a Sycamore.? “No,” says the chief, “it’s a silver Maple” At this point I think my evil twin uttered a naughty word under my breath. “I didn’t know we had Maples around here. I’ve always taken all those Maple-like trees as Sycamores.” “Family resemblance, I guess,” says the chief. “I want as much of that as I can get,” says I. “Come back after we leave, and take as much as you want.” “Okay, I will.”
Well sir, they left some really hefty logs. Some too big for my chainsaw. Most, too big for me to handle. I’m over there a hour or so later, getting what I can, without the use of my saw (it wouldn’t start), when the clean-up crew arrives. Now, I got some help.
Some kind of disease had rotted out much of the heartwood. But, not all of it. Even the rotted logs have plenty of sapwood. Did I mention that there were two trees? One was really big. Thirty, thirty-five feet. There were a couple of six to eight-foot pieces of the trunk that had about a three-foot diameter. Oh, the lust in my heart. The clean-up crew, naturally, had a skip loader. And he was helpful, to a point. But, those trunk logs must weigh at least a ton apiece. There’s simply no place for me to put them. My buggy’s suspension, it was a-creaking. I had to unload that stuff into my driveway. Alone.
And now, the photos.
I’m told that there are several trees in the area that are slated for removal in the near future, due to the same disease. There is, for instance, a smallish Eucalyptus across the street from where this Maple once stood. I gotta find some better way to handle these situations. Not to mention, some better way to store the timber I bag. I’m gonna have dreams about those big logs I couldn’t bring home. I know where they are. There in a County yard now. And, they’re off-limits.