Paul Bunyon

My neighbor George has been on an extended camping/vacation trip since mid April. He probably won’t be back until mid July. Turns out, his absence has been a good thing for me. I rely on George for lots of things because of his general purpose knowledge of how to do things and the fact that he has collected tools to do most of it. That complements me well since there is quite a bit I don’t know how to do and have very few tools. Since he’s been gone and I undertook the shed projects and the hurricane prep project, I’ve done things that I never would have undertaken myself and along the way bought tools that made many of the tasks simpler if not achievable at all.

A good example is that I determined that I needed a couple of dead trees that were in proximity to the sheds cut down. When the new shed was positioned I noticed that three oaks were dead, dead, dead and would crash into at least one of the sheds if we ever got into a serious wind situation. I figured my main tree man, George, would be back before the hurricane season got real. At the same time I got to thinking that having a chain saw was not a bad idea since it’s not impossible that we would have to cut ourselves out of the driveway at some time or another. So I bought a chain saw, a 16” Remington electric saw that was on sale at Lowes. I hate gas saws and since I now have a generator and only plan to use it in an emergency………….Still, I had no real intention of using it unless a real emergency arose.

Alberto was a bit of a breeze, nothing serious, but it brought down a few old, dead branches. The trees threatening the shed didn’t topple but I think maybe we were lucky with that. I studied the trees and figured it was possible to drop them without hitting the sheds; possible but not necessarily guaranteed. In fact one was pretty tricky with a big lean and hangover in the direction of a shed window. These were 20-30′ oaks with maybe 6-8” diameters. Not major trees but not saplings either. Without a doubt, if George were here he’d be the one cutting them down. I read the book carefully a couple of times; specifically the section tellling you how to make a tree fall where you want. I started with the easiest of the three and it dropped exactly where I wanted. I felt pretty lucky about that and decided to press on to the next one. A bit trickier but not the scary one yet. Same result – dropped exactly where I planned. The last one was scary. It seemed to me that the physics of the fall almost assured it would topple towards the shed but so far the placement of the notch method had not failed me. I needed it to fall between two other trees so that the one right next to the shed would act as a bumper. In other words a precision drop. I attacked it just like I knew what i was doing and, oila! it fell right on the mark – richocheted off the tree I had designated for that purpose and dropped a foot from the shed. Yes. Paul Bunyon could not have done a better job. Eat your heart out George.

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