Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Tribute to Mike's Tree

This tree has been our scenic view, from our backyard, for over 27 years.
Our neighbor Mike, lives just on the other side of the hedge and
the old tree sits on his property.
 Today, this is our view.
Gone is the old Cottonwood tree, with all the Ivy hanging from it's branches.
Plus all the animals that once called it home.
Our backyard is quiet.

On Dec. 29, 2010, the Arborist showed up along with
a huge CRANE and a crew of eight!

Mike's cottonwood tree was massive, was old, was decaying,
and grew in a very awkward place. A crane was the only way to take it down.
It had to be set up in another neighbor's yard.

People came from everywhere to watch and say good-by.
I wasn't the only one taking pictures that day.
Of course, it snowed the first day.

Here is a close up of the crane.
This is as close as I wanted to get.
 The crane was used to hoist the tree trimmer up and over the house,
 over the backyard and then into Mike's yard.
 The tree was so sick, that it wasn't safe for anyone to climb it.
During storms, branches landed everywhere.
Damage was done to several properties.
The reason it had to come down.

Mike's tree was well known around the neighborhood.
We all knew of the damage it could cause. We also knew of the generations of
different animal families that called the tree their home.
It could be seen for several blocks.

 This is the trimmer being hoisted up 150 feet,
 to the top of the tree.
 His chainsaw dangling from his tool belt.
Doesn't it look like he is waiting to get a ride from the airplane?

I had a front row seat from my backyard.
 I'd step outside every once in awhile, to check on
the agonizing progress of taking down the tree, and to snap more pictures.
I wanted to document saying goodbye to this tree.

It's a slow struggle for both the tree trimmer and the tree.

You have to look very carefully to see the tree trimmer.
He's right there in the middle of the picture.
He removed the small branches first then began on the bigger limbs.

I could hardly recognize the old tree after the first day.

The second day started out with beautiful clear blue skies.

Here the trimmer is attaching a rope to a limb.
Next, he would hook it to the crane. 
Once detached, the crane would swing the limb over the house (a scary moment)
and onto the driveway.
 The ground crew then took over. 

Here the old Cottonwood stands, naked but sturdy,
taking it's punishment. Only a few more hours.

Sad moment.
The tree trimmer has conquered.

This is the Cottonwood's lower trunk.
I'm standing with the Crane Operator, Bill.
I'm smiling through my tears.
Third and final day.

 This is the guy that was swinging up in the tree.
I just call him Tarzan!

 That old tree filled three truck loads of chips.





Tom and I would often sit on the back patio and watch all the
raccoons, birds, and possums play in the
branches of Mike's old tree.
 I will miss it's shade, on those really hot summer days!
I will miss watching the mother raccoon, scolding her young ones.
I will miss watching all the different birds landing on the branches.
Good memories!


  1. That was a HUGE tree. Just curious-what'd that cost? I love big trees and always lament the loss of one in this neighborhood. Big trees used to form a shady canope across these old streets here, but age, rot and the power company have sure cured that. We have one of the last big hackberries in the neighborhood and keep a pretty good eye on it. I know if we stay here long we'll probably see it come down. Hopefully not on our house! Sorry about your lost tree.

  2. WOW, that is just amazing. The view looks so different now. Good job documenting it!

  3. That was a huge tree! My grandmother had one just like it in her yard and I can remember when they had to cut it down...sad day. Great pictures. Sorry that that beautiful tree had to come down.

  4. What a delightful tribute, though sad, too. Maybe Mike will plant another one and you can document it's growth.

  5. Christine, I can so relate. Trees are special. I don't hug them, but I do love them. When we lost our beloved maple a few years ago, I wrote a whole essay about it. Maybe I'll dig it out and post it one of these days. It was a winter morning I'll never forget.

  6. It really was a beautiful tree. I know that you will miss the view of it's beauty, shade and animal life. You never know... maybe there will be something else to see that you would have not seen when the tree was there.
    Happy New Year to you also! :)

  7. The base of the tree tells all! It was huge!!! Nothing like something we take for granted - that has to go. I posted something similiar about my neighbor's tree a few months back. They have not taken it completely down, but with time it is inevitable. You did a great job documenting the process. :)
    Have a great 2011.

  8. That was a most fitting tribute to a grand old tree. It always makes me sad when they have to come down, but sometimes it has to be done. =(

  9. I didn't realize how massive it really was until the picture of you and the crane operator standing next to the trunk!!
    It must have been so awful to have to watch it get taken apart piece by piece. Almost like watching your childhood home get demolished.
    It's cool that you got to kind of be a part of the whole process as the photographer. Cool blog..though I am sad the tree had to go. :(
    Hope you are having a happy New Year so far!! :) :) :)

  10. Christine,
    That great old tree was almost as wide as you are tall... incredible! As I was reading your post this morning, I called Dad over to see some of you photos. We were both amazed that it took 3 days and crane to bring it down. Thanks for sharing this neat event with us!
    Dee Dee

  11. The view without that old tree is pretty sad. :( But I guess it would be sadder if it fell on Mike's house! YIKES!
    Happy New Year, Christine!
    And many

  12. I understand the "sigh." I groan whenever a tree come down, but I am NOT a tree-hugger by any means! Ha! Great account of the tree felling and so good to meet you! A blessed New Year to you!

  13. Wow. That was a huge tree..the trunk is massive!

    We lost our only two huge trees over the last couple of years. One blew over with hurricane Ike and the other we had removed when it became diseased. It's always so sad!

  14. I would have been right beside you with my camera, too!! Glad you documented it.


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