Mountain Living – Removing a Tree

There are some really tall trees at the edge of the meadow in front of our mountain home, and the tallest has been struck by lightening three times. At least that many that I am reasonably sure of, maybe more. The last time it really did more damage than ever, streaking the trunk with scorching marks. It is very tall, over 100 feet, and it was looking more dead than ever. Most of the green has gone from the remaining pine needles. From time to time, there is just no choice but to cut a tree down, before it falls down. In the forest around us, we leave these alone and let them fall as they may, providing hiding places for wildlife and abundant bugs for the birds to eat. But this one had the potential of causing damage to our retaining wall or our neighbor’s workshop or home, so it just was time to take it down.

Pine Tree Removal Before ~ From My Carolina Home

We’ve only had to take out one other tree like this in the back that was threatening to fall on the house, and that was some years ago. In that way we have been lucky, this doesn’t happen often. So when it does, it is interesting to watch. The company brought in a little backhoe and a lot of guys to help. They began with making cuts around the base, stabilizing the tree with the backhoe so it would fall the direction they wanted, and not on the neighbors little red workshop.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home


Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

There was a touch of sadness as it hit the ground, but really, this is better. It wasn’t going to recover, and every bit of it will be recycled. I don’t know why it is so fascinating to watch equipment work. But it is! They gathered up the branches in bundles as the workers cut them off the main trunk with chainsaws.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Then stuffed them into the chipper, a bundle at a time.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

The huge trunk was cut into 15 foot long pieces.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

While the backhoe worked on more branches.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Then the top of the tree was guided to the chipper.  This section was at least 25 feet, maybe 30.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

I was amazed that it went through in less than a minute, going from a dead section into recycled mulch.  On the edge of the photo on the right, you can see the redbud is waking up.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

The large trunk sections were loaded into a truck, destined for a lumber mill to turn them into usable lumber.

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

Removing the Pine Tree at From My Carolina Home

After the workers cleaned up everything, the meadow is quiet again. The next morning, mist had formed from the thunderstorm overnight.  There is a gaping hole here, to my eyes, where that taller pine once stood.  But I’ll get used to the lower tree height pretty quickly, and it is nice not to see the brown pine needles on that dead tree.

Meadow at From My Carolina Home

Once everything greens up, it won’t be obvious at all, and the neighbors workshop will be obscured once again.  It is lovely getting a bit warmer, but our last frost date is still almost two weeks away.  No planting yet, but a bit of clean-up was in order over the weekend.  Elsewhere in the garden, a few azaleas are coming out.

Early Azaleas at From My Carolina Home

They are just getting started, the pink and white still have a lot of buds.

Early Azaleas at From My Carolina Home

I love the white ones the most. There’s just something about white flowers.

Early Azaleas at From My Carolina Home

I have ordered my torenias for this year to pick up on the 17th, so more about the garden later.  And I’ll get back to quilting soon too.

What’s going on outside at your place?



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22 thoughts on “Mountain Living – Removing a Tree

  1. kathyinozarks

    that was fascinating about the chipper-didn’t realize the could fit such huge pieces in there did you get to keep the mulch? we cut our own trees down when we need to-but wow that looked so much easier lol with hubs age he won’t be doing that anymore.
    I love azaleas when I lived in the nic in the 70s I was amazed at their beauity as I had never seen them before. Loved he photos.
    have an awesome Monday
    Hugs Kathy

  2. Lee

    We lost a tree recently, too, but gained a gnome family! My better half made them a home out of the stump! Our azaleas are almost finished blooming. Yesterday I woke up to 58 degrees, and this morning it was 70! By the way, I’m in central Florida. Enjoy your posts.

  3. Susan

    Looks so pretty to see flowers! We are still looking at dirty snow😩 We have learned not to plant until almost June. 30 years ago, I planted around Mothers Day. Funny how things change….Enjoy that sun and pretty buds.

  4. Phyllis Smith

    Good morning Carole,

    Yes it is so sad to have to cut a tree down. Yours was so close to the little red workshop so you made the right choice. I had to cut two of the trees down in my front yard cause they caught some kind of a disease and the limbs started dying so I told my son to get them out before the disease spread to my other shade trees, they shaded my front porch in the morning so I hated to part with them but didn’t want them to fall on the house during a storm and cause a lot of damage. May azaleas have bloomed and are just about gone and my daffodils have come up but not bloomed yet, keep watching for them. Love the Spring time and the beautiful flowers. Loved your Easter table scene and all your bunny pieces, I have a lot of Jim Shore baskets with eggs and bunnies I set out in different rooms to enjoy, his carvings are so elaborate with the quilting designs, I have a lot of his Angels and special ones that depict things I have participated in like the one with the hand bells and the one sewing on a quilt. Have quite a few of the four seasons sets I leave out just about all year. Have one for the kitchen on top of the fridge, just all over the house. Found some candle holders I can put the candles from Yankee candle co. in and it melts the wax and makes the house smell so good.
    Need to go to the bank , pay a bill, and get some flea and tick medicine for my cat so best get started. Have a terrific day.

  5. Rosemaryflower

    Neighbors are so nice to have, and we do not want to destroy their stuff.
    I bet this was expensive, but they did a very good job with clean up. We have woods across our street and our neighborhood does maintain them and the paths throughout our neighborhood. It is interesting to watch, but it is such a racket and goes on all day.
    Happy Monday

  6. we have several trees that we need to have done also interesting process. Our frost date is any time now and two days this week are to get down to 38-40 glad I didn’t put the tomatoes out still – they are in pots, not freezing but one can never tell when it starts to get in the 30s what it will do. we had a warm March and now a cool April

  7. We had an arborist here a few years ago, to fell trees for our firewood. He had one of those massive chippers, and the way it shredded up all the branches was amazing. Mulch galore!!! Yes, sad to see a tall tree down, but so much safer, and to know it lives on in timber, maybe some furniture, and garden mulch that is so valuable. You will sleep easy on a windy night now.

  8. We’ve been dealing with the emerald ash tree borer over the last couple years. It is amazing how fast a tall full grown tree will die and within a year become a menace because they are so brittle. Most of our treeline had to come down and more in our back yard (we have 2.6 acres). To top it off we had two major wind storms last spring. First the European cherry tree at the corner of our house came down and two days later the huge blue spruce out from that same corner came down. A huge branch on the tree behind our house broke off too. It’s very old and huge for an Aristocratic pear tree but it shades our house and all the bird feeders hang from it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it died off this year or next. So, it was a sad state of affairs. Provided a couple days of hard hard work for the tree men. Over 40 trees were taken down.
    We have a few more weeks before our frost date. Haven’t given much thought to planting yet except for milkweed seeds for the monarch butterflies. Guess I better get busy.

  9. With so many trees around you, hopefully, you’ll not miss that one. Here you are just beginning spring and in Houston many of the blooming things have already come and gone.

  10. We are close to having to do that with a few redwoods that are nearly dead after our drought. We are hoping to save them, but they are still struggling.

  11. catsandroses

    Glad the tree came down safely! We’ve had to take down numerous (over 100 feet tall) trees down on our property, and it is a fascinating but sad process to watch, but they were just too close to our house (and neighbor’s homes) for comfort (had one fir tree land on a brand new neighboring house several years ago, and that spooked us, for sure!). Just had six big leaf maples removed from our front yard a few weeks ago, and I sure won’t miss raking out front now. And I have two huge piles of mulch to spread around my garden and garden paths. Love your azalea blooms, so pretty. Our forsythia is in full bloom now and lots of spring flowers. Love this time of year!

  12. Hello Carole! It is fascinating to watch the process. I have watched the process quite a few times and it always draws in onlookers. You are so great at taking pictures! We are still experiencing a very cold spring and although the trees are starting to bud and some flowers are starting to bloom we had a light coating of frost this morning. Then shortly after I was up and enjoying my second cup of coffee, we had two Canadian Geese land on the roof and boy were they making a racket! Oh, I also want to inform you that my computer is not doing real well. It is being so slow and not even opening pages for up to 10 minutes and well no more details. So forgive me if I do not comment, I get really frustrated with it quickly.
    So you have a great day!

  13. lois92346

    Unfortunately, I lost three beautiful, mature purple leaf plum trees to disease (as did my neighbor). It was heartbreaking to part with them as they were the focal point of our landscaping and the birds loved them. Like you, I was AMAZED at how quickly they were cut down and fed into a chipper. It was a matter of minutes! I’m looking forward to your upcoming blogs about spring planting.

  14. Linda B

    Interesting that your azaleas are starting while red buds still blooming. Our redbuds still look pretty nice, and the dogwoods are just starting. Bluebells are nice where protected. First year our boxwoods got caught…a little bit of new growth got frozen a couple weeks ago. But no mosquitos! Yeah!

  15. Lesley Gilbert

    I enjoyed your story and reading about how you solved the problem. I was wondering if the charges for the job would be cheaper seeing as they took away some very big chunks of reusable timber? Your flowers are very colourful for the time of year, very pretty views from your porch.

  16. I stay inside when we have trees removed – too nerve racking. I do, however, love the huge pile of mulch that’s left behind. I don’t like having them cut down, but sometimes it’s necessary.

  17. dezertsuz

    Dogwood is up for its turn at blooming here. We’ve had some days near 80, and some down in the 50s, so spring is still on a roller coaster here.

  18. I enjoyed your photos of the tree removal. Our redbud trees should be visible from the house in a day or so. Yesterday we came back from driving from one end of Tennessee to the other EVERY interstate was lined with redbud trees. They were gorgeous.

  19. sharon schipper

    I miss the azaleas, we used to go to the Arboretum in DC and go through the 80 acres of rhodies and azaleas in April and May. We had a huge ponderosa pine in Oregon that we were told in 1990 was dying from beetles and should go. It was still there when I left in 2009. I obeyed my dad and put epsom salts around the water line every spring. He said if we’d seen it when they first invaded that copper salts were the thing to put on: makes the tree taste bad! well, it was getting some sparse, but I’m glad we didn’t have to pay to remove it, it was in a tricky spot! Some will remove trees to get the lumber or firewood, but around here you can count on 600 minimum to have one removed. I had a small aspen removed from our new house (they invade water lines, and babies come up from the roots. An aspen grove is like mangroves: all one tree! ) anyway, we want to put in a flowering cherry or some such in that place here, probably a dwarf. Our lilac thinks about blooming, but after a week of over 70 we got 6 inches of snow yesterday!

  20. Wow, that was one huge tree! I love the photos with the beautiful scenery in the background. I don’t think I would ever get tired of those views! Thanks for sharing again at the April Take Me Away Party! Always great to have you!

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