Friday, July 28, 2006


The Bradford pear gets fixed...

On Monday after the Bradford pear fell, I called several tree companies to get quotes on cleaning up the mess. I selected vendors with arborists on staff to get the quotes. Two replied promptly and the third called in too late after I gave the work to one of the others. I selected Arbor Care of East Tennessee in Lenoir City, near where I live. Their bid included removing the fallen limbs, adding cables to the tree to support the main remaining limbs, removing all the internal small stuff like suckers to open the interiors to let the wind through. Here are the pictures of the work in progress.

The two large branches of the Bradford pear lying on the ground. This is what I saw when I looked from the back porch after the tree fell. The tree just whisked the end of the house. Some of the leaves were caught by the end of the gutter and there is a little damage to that end of the gutter, but not much. We will see if and when it rains. My son and his wife were sleeping in that room when ith tree snapped about 11 PM. It scared the hell out of them.

The workers began cutting the tree about 8 AM on Thursday. The workers were here bright and early on Thursday morning. They began cutting before the foreman rang the doorbell. By the time I got the camera to take a picture the big limbs were cut and they were dragging away the pieces to go into the shredder. No, he is not sawing up the chair. We placed chairs and tables in a group and normally sit there in the evening at sunset and enjoy the garden and maybe a glass of wine. One chair was crushed. The other stuff was OK.

The wound in the tree will be very weak.
The wound in the tree looks like this now. The arborist pointed out that this was a very weak system now and needed to be reinforced to withstand normal winds. "It may still break," he said, "but with the cableing, it won't fall like the other did. It will just hang down."

The branches were fed to the chipper that quickly reduced the pile to chips in the truck.All the branches and most of the stumps were ground up and blown into the truck. This chipping machine is a monster. It has steel "grabbers" that bite into the material and drag it into the maw of the chipper, then take anothere bite. Inside a hammer mill chops everything into 1/2 inch chips. It is fast, too. The pile was gone in just a few minutes. I was amazed at how fast it worked.

The workers climbed into the trees and cut away all the little stuff using sharp saws.The next work was to trim the small stuff out of the insides of the three Bradford pear trees in the yard. The workers climbed up into the tree and with a hand saw, rapidly took out all the little stuff. They also took out crossing branches and suckers. And, at my suggestion, they took out many of the branches coming from the bottom of the parent branch. These men carry a holster for the saws and I noticed that they have learned to respect the sharp points. They are quick, but careful and take care of their tools.

Eyebolts were used to cable three of the main branches together to make the tree stronger.When they were done, the shape of the tree was unchanged (except for the big break) but the interior was empty of all the little stuff and very open. This allows the wind to blow through the tree and reduces the stresses on the lower branches.
Finally, they attached eye bolts to three of the main branches in the damaged tree and wired them together. They used galvanized cable which should last as long as this short-lived tree will last.

What now? Since the tree will maybe last for another 5 years or so, I will plant a longer lived tree between it and the house to grow into that space. I have some maple trees that would be ideal. So, that is the plan. I will plant one of the maples in front of the pear. The other will shade the bedroom in the afternoon. In addition, I think I will plant several dogwoods in front of the maple tree as well. These grow fast and are also short lived. When the Bradford pear finally goes these trees will be will on their way and can fill in quickly. So, thats the plan.

More later. Stay tuned.

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