When we first moved in, 20 years ago, we had lots of trees right up close to the house and not much yard. A few years later we had the yard re-graded so there’d be room for the girls to play and room for me to grow a garden. After the grading work was completed, we thought our problem with trees was over.
I’ve always loved the stand of white pines above our house. When it snows, its like having your own live Christmas card right outside the window. But man can white pines grow in the span of 20 years!
I first noticed the size of the trees as the shade began to reach farther and farther into my garden beds each summer. The Deer Hunter noticed them as he looked at their proximity to the house every time a bad storm was forecasted.
Several years ago he said he was tired of worrying about the girls sleeping in their bedroom whenever the wind blew and he cut two of the worst offenders. The girls were at school and I don’t care to tell you I went inside and covered my ears when he cut both of those trees.
We were so relieved at having the worst two gone, that we let the others slip to the back of our mind and those sneaky trees seemed to grow twice as fast once we forgot about them.
A few weeks ago, we had to get a tree at Miss Cindy’s new place taken down, there was no waiting on that one. It’s large limbs reached in all directions over the house, the garage, the studio, and the shed. The grand old tree had been dying for several years and those massive reaching limbs were all dead. Last winter I worried about one of them crashing down on Miss Cindy while she slept.
While The Deer Hunter’s friend, Scott, helped him tackle the one at Miss Cindy’s, we decided the time had come to get rid of our white pine worries for good. Scott works for the NC Forest Service and cutting difficult trees is his specialty. It’s a good thing it is, because some of ours turned out to be worse than difficult.
Most of the tree cutting took place while I was still at work. The Deer Hunter gets off much earlier than I do…of course he goes to work much earlier too. Good thing these two jaybirds were there to fetch and run when the tree cutters needed something. They also did a pretty good job of documenting the whole affair for their Momma.
A few things to notice as you look at the photos below-anytime you spot a bit of reddish brown color through the trees that’s the roof of our house; when you see a bit of white that’s the greenhouse; and when you notice a smooth area of green you can tell it’s the yard. Seeing those items peek through the woods offers a sense of how close the trees were to the house. The spots are hard to see-they probably jump out at me because I know where to look. A few of the photos show the steep grade the wood cutters were dealing with.
With the trees being so close to the house, there were a few that Scott didn’t feel comfortable cutting without first winching them to another tree farther up the ridge. They were able to use The Deer Hunter’s truck as a pulling point for the tree nearest the kitchen.
If it doesn’t matter where the tree falls, then cutting a tree is an easy job for an experienced wood cutter. If it does matter where it falls, then it takes some time and effort to study out the best way to cut the tree.
Scott climbed several of the trees to find the right winching point as an added precaution to ensure the tree fell where he wanted it too.
The safety of ourselves and our home is what pushed us to cut the trees. The very week before we started, a tree fell on my friend’s mother’s house. No one was hurt thank goodness-but the house was badly damaged and unfortunately the lady isn’t sure how or if she’ll be able to repair it.
As you can see from the photo we live in a wilderness (yay me!). The trees will be missed by our eyes that are used to seeing them but if you drove up to our house today the only way you’d know there’d been any tree cutting going on is from the mess it leaves behind.
I’m excited to see what the extra sunshine does for my garden next summer and I’m anxious to see what wildflowers spring up in those exposed places next spring. Sometimes when the earth or the woods are disturbed plants that have laid dormant for years come to life.
Like much of western North Carolina and beyond, the area surrounding our house has been logged at least 2 times if not more. And by logged I mean they cut most all of the trees instead of a selective few. Pap can remember the logging and fascinating to me, he can remember what grew back after each logging session. Our white pines haven’t been here all that long. Maybe I can get Pap to tell you about it himself in a day or so.
Pap’s already been cautioning the girls about keeping their eyes on the smaller trees growing around the house. He said “Next time it’ll be you having them cut instead of your Daddy. Don’t let them get ahead of you like him and Tipper did.”