A Man and His Saw

Back in the good old days we bought some breathing room behind our house. It was a 100' by 300' parcel to give us a 300' by 300' lot. The seller had already sold the timber rights to the lumber people so we watched as they cut down everything standing before we could take title to the land.

After we got the lot we spent all fall pulling limbs to burn piles and cleaning up the mess.

backyard about 1982_01 backyard about 1982_02

Time passed and all those little sticks that I left standing grew into good sized sweet gum trees. Each year the gum balls rained down and my temper rose. Finally I couldn't stand it any more. I decided to cut them all down and open up the yard so the grass could grow better. But mostly I was tired of the gum balls.

limbing the tree

Limbing up the tree to reduce the devastation when it falls.


Ready to cut.

felling the tree

Down it comes.

tree # 2

Now for the next tree. This isn't so bad when I can fell the tree and not worry about where it falls.

tree #2



Limbing the tree. Notice all the gum balls on the ground? Well, you won't next year.


Cut little saw.


Now for a tree that I have to keep out of the power lines. I watched the guy we hired last year to cut a tree that was beyond my capabilities and he used one of these. It solves all the problems of where the tree will fall.


I can almost pull the tree down with this.

tree #3

Now for the cleanup.


Wishing you were here to help.


Even the photographer helped.

Then there was the failure

Confident of my abilities, I tackle an oak tree in the front yard. oak tree01

Oh crap! It spun on the stump and fell on the house. By the time Wisteena got there with the camera I had cut enough limbs so that it rolled off the roof.

oak tree02

The extent of the roof damage. Since we were going to have the roof reshingled (we do that every 18 or 19 years) I wasn't too concerned.

oak tree03

Taking a break after the tongue lashing for hitting the house. After I cleaned up this tree the boss retired me from tree cutting for the year.

2012 - The Gum Ball War continues

Now the gum balls cover the driveway all winter from a huge tree beside the drive. It's time to get out my WesSpur Tree Equipment catalog and buy the tree climbing equipment I need to accomplish the job. Well!?!! They don't even make a climbing belt big enough to fit me! Hmmm..... Maybe they're telling me something.

Well, I finally bought the right equipment for the job. I found a crew of hardworking young men to get the job done.

cutting down the gumball tree

Here is the top half of the first sweet gum to hit the ground. See all the gum balls that were still in the tree waiting to fall on the driveway? And this is February. Victory will be mine!

The rest of the gumball tree

The rest of the tree, waiting to come down.

Limbing the front oak trees

While the crew did some additional felling and limbing, Wisteena said, "why don't we get them to cut down that tulip poplar in the back yard?" That sounded like a good idea to me, so with a new contract signed, they are scheduled in bright and early the next day at 1 PM. Contrary to roofers who arrive at daybreak, these guys arrived punctually at 1 PM each day.

I heard the saws start up and by the time I had camera in hand they had limbed the tree part way up. The rest of the photos show why I was never meant to climb trees.

Topping the tulip poplar tree topping the tulp poplar topping the tulip poplar

They are raking fools! They raked under the tree before they started cutting and someone would rake after each limb was dropped.

sectioning the tree The final cut

The final cut. If you look closely, you can see that the tree is falling under the power lines. It's seldom I feel like we got our money's worth for a job. These guys were worth every cent we paid.