Thursday, December 20, 2012

Coming down

I am having a tree taken down at the cabin today. It’s a very large tulip poplar tree that grows on a steep bank just above my cabin. From my front porch, the tree looks fine and healthy, though poplar is a softer tree that always bears keeping an eye on. However, earlier this week I had occasion to be walking above this tree, and I saw the back of it.

The back is damaged and perhaps rotted, certainly diseased. If this 75 ft tree fell, it could easily crush my cabin, with me and everything I own in it. The tree is not on my property, so I’ve spent the early part of this week locating the property owner, who turned out to be a Maryland resident. Last night I located his contact information and called him to ask his permission to take the tree down, which he gave. Sometime today the crew from Ski Roundtop is going to take the tree down for me, if they can, or at least top it, if they can’t. Topping the tree would reduce the weight on it and then if it does fall during the high winds predicted for this weekend, it probably won’t hit the cabin and certainly won’t weigh nearly as much or strike it with full force if it does.

This is only the second tree I’ve willingly taken down since I’ve lived in the cabin. Several trees have fallen on their own and then were cut up. I have two other trees I’m keeping my eyes on, though none of those are particularly large and don’t appear to be in danger of directly hitting the cabin. Certainly they would block my driveway and disrupt my internet service if they fall before I can get them taken down, but I feel I can deal with that. They are on my list for removal after Christmas, anyway.

When you live in the forest here in the east, as I do, wind is what has the likeliest potential to cause extreme damage to the cabin. Other dangers are always possible—a lightning strike, perhaps a severe forest fire—but wind is the danger most likely to occur.

This weekend promises to bring a lot of wind, near Hurricane Sandy-strength wind, and with such a forecast I was simply not comfortable with the idea of being in the cabin with that tree on the hill above me. I will still be uncomfortable as long as the wind roars through the forest, but that’s a level of uncomfortable I can live with.

Thank you, Ski Roundtop!


Pablo said...

I've taken down a few smaller trees around my cabin, but the bigger ones are Blackjack Oaks, and nothing brings those beasts down.

Scott said...

Carolyn: I hope the Ski Roundtop guys got there on Thursday as you anticipated because, if your winds were anything like what we experienced Thursday night-Friday morning, the tree certainly could have been a problem. I think we got more rain in a shorter period of time during this storm than in any storm this year. We need the precipitation, but I wish it had been spread out a bit more.

Carolyn H said...

Pablo: no blackjack oaks around here, but I do have red oak and white oak. the only time I saw anything bring those bad boys down was an EF1 tornado.

Carolyn H said...

Scott: I had a lot of rain last night, but Lancaster County to the east of me had it even worse, so I'm not surprised to hear you had more rain than I.

Here, the winds are still rising and will peak sometime tomorrow. i'll feel a lot better once they die down.