I decided to spend another day this week getting more experience with the tree surgery to help decide if it is really something I could do on a more permanent basis in the future.
Yesterday I again set off in the truck with Clare and Louise. The journey proved interesting as it is surprising how many funny looks we got from passing men – somehow some of them obviously couldn’t quite get their heads round seeing three women sat in a row on a huge pick up towing a humungus chipper with Landcare Services Tree Surgery on the side, they just had to do a double take.
Today we were going to a client’s house who had two large silver birches in the garden. One was to be felled, as there was not really enough room for the two, and the other was just to be reduced. It was a two day job and today’s task was the felling.
Mat joined us on sight again as it was his job to do all the climbing and cutting. This tree was to be less straight forward than the walnut because it was over a shed and very close to some overhead electricity pylons. There were also various garden plants and pots etc. therefore meaning branches could not just be flung down as they were cut but instead had to be tied and lowered on ropes in a controlled manner so as not to cause any damage to the property.
Clare’s main job was to to be the person holding the ropes on the ground controlling the lowering of the branches with the help of Louise when required. Louise then cut the branches up into more manageable pieces for me to feed to the chipper.
I seem to be a lucky charm so far as both times I have been out the weather has been great. Today was especially hot, what with wearing heavy steel toe capped boots and a hard hat with ear defenders plus jeans and a Tshirt (glad I didn’t wear a vest otherwise I would have fried) it was pretty sweaty work. To give an idea, I drank over a litre of water and two mugs of tea throughout the day and only went to the toilet once. Although I don’t think that sounds healthy it is pretty handy as there are often no toilets available so one needs to make use of surrounding bushes most of the time, which are sometimes disturbingly scarce.
Again, it was amazing to watch Mat at work. There is definitely much skill to the job and he makes it look so easy. When a tree has no branches for one’s feet you need to use strap on spikes which allow you to find purchase on the trunk. This is how Mat is managing to squirrel up and down the trunk so easily and look so at home with no branches for support. His nickname is ‘Mat the Cat’ and now I know why.
Once the tree was branchless it was a case of chopping pieces off it bit by bit until it was reduced to a stump. Then John came along with the crane truck to make a very hard job of moving extremely heavy chunks of trunk into a far quicker and easier one.
Then all was left was to sweep up and put things back how we found them.
All in all I had another very satisfying day which has left me even more determined to start taking action towards a career change into this line of work.