A couple of days ago, Country Arborists cleaned up the debris left behind in our back yard from the derecho that smacked Iowa in August 2020. They are wild, flying tree warriors. That was a scary storm and if the straight-line winds had blown in a slightly different direction, our house would have been all but demolished.
Like a lot of other people in the state, we’ve been clearing tree limbs. But the massive oak was beyond any tool we owned.
The view from our window was a constant reminder of the derecho. The fallen oak was broken but not separated high up and we had to leave that kind of work for the professionals. Many of the tree removal pros have been extremely busy. Some are scheduling out to a couple of years from now. Country Arborists are just as busy, but made time for us anyway.
We had no idea what was involved in tree removal jobs of this magnitude. When they arrived last Friday, one of the first things they noticed about our back-yard trees was one which they identified as possibly a Native American Trail Marker Tree. This summer, Sena noticed this odd, old tree which was bent at right angles.
Anyway, I filmed the work they did, which was spectacular. They rigged a rope system which allowed one of them to cut the trees at the top, above the difficult terrain. He was like a trapeze artist, swinging from the branches. He carried all the tools he needed on his belt, leg holster, and harness as he flipped his little chain saw (which didn’t look big enough to cut the biggest tree but did) behind his back from hand to hand as needed to get the best angle of attack.
It was cold outside and I had trouble keeping the video camera still because I was shivering. I missed the shots of the biggest trees as they were in the act of falling because of that and a flashing red light on the viewfinder, which I was afraid was signaling either low battery or nearly full memory card. This is something Sena will be reminding me of for years to come.
I will never forget my dismay at missing the moment when the airborne arborist finished off the huge broken oak by kicking it, sending it to the ground with a biblical crash. I had to contain my urge to shout, “Hey, can we get another take on that?”
The big job is done—sort of. A wooded lot is a mixed blessing. Parts of the back yard are almost mesmerizing when the foliage is thick and the birds are flying all over the place. The forest is alive, but it doesn’t live forever. We have to learn how to live together somehow.