Thursday, 26 April 2012

Monday 12th December 11

Up bright and fairly early... as was due to be at David's house in Tang Hall for 10.30, with chainsaw, rope and other tools and equipment. When I'd visited David to see his dead Eucalyptus tree, he'd said he'd got a step ladder, but I don't think it was very big, so I decided to take the bottom two sections of my huge ladder.  I got it balanced on my bike, with one rung on my saddle and another on the handlebars.  This meant I had to walk my bike round... but it only took 10 minutes so I think I was more or less on time.

I removed the small top twigs first, and then fixed a rope to the branch and got David and his friend to pull it towards the grassy area beyond the end of their garden.  I bowsawed it off at about 2.5 metres from the ground, and it went exactly as planned.  The tree had 3 main branches, each of which were pulled successfully to the grassy space, and the two chaps then used my loppers to dismantle the branches into twigs (for their brazier) and sticks and branches for my stove.  Finally, I took the trunk down with the chainsaw, and this time Angela, David's wife, pulled it into the garden, with the aim of avoiding a raised bed.  This took just over an hour.  Then I cut up the trunk into 4 pieces, and put the saw over the fence so I could despatch the branches which had been pruned down, and walked round to do that.  David took his van round and loaded up the chunks onto the roof... he had a net to contain them, and was happy to drive them round to our house.

I then had a coffee break and then installed the compost bin I'd got for them. Angela cut back a privet and a holly, I cleared a space on the ground and did my usual trick of cutting a bit of a trench and covering it with chicken wire before putting the compost bin back, and weighing the base down with some of the soil I removed.

Finally I put some spent chicken bedding in the base of the compost bin, and explained about the optimum conditions to rot it down.

I walked home with the ladders and chainsaw and a few of the sticks which hadn't ended up on the roof of the motor vehicle.  David said he'd be round at 2pm, so I walked quickly home and had 10 minutes to make a sandwich and eat, before David arrived and I helped him and his friend unload.  He gave me some eggs and a tin of chocolates as a thank you... as well as a good load of fuel!

I thin got busy cutting the branches down to usable lengths and attempting to split the big trunk-chunks.  I could only split them once I'd put a chainsaw cut along the side of the log.  Dead Eucalyptus is tough!

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