Two weeks ago on a mildly breezy day the whole top of the middle tree snapped out. Miraculously, it didn't hit the power line or the house. More terrifying though was the fact that it fell right in the path to the barn which Andy had just walked up literally two minutes prior. Yeah, a shaky 'oh my gawd' type of moment. Not just luck - clearly a warning.
Saturday they arrived bright and early and as we walked around them again to formulate a game plan we modified the task - we would only take off the tops of the two trees closest to the house and leave the understory branches that couldn't hurt anything if they broke off. (Sorry about the following pictures - apparently I had a smudge of lanolin on the phone lens - how could that happen?)
It was actually very interesting to watch and the man was very nice and didn't think I was silly to want to save some of the tree if possible. Apparently lots of people are attached to their yard trees, even having him leave bare trunks standing so that looking out the windows one feels like the tree is still there. (I don't think I'd go that far if I couldn't have greenery but I was going to have him cut high enough that the trunks would still function as clothesline poles!) He maneuvered the bucket carefully to nip off branches in a certain order until the tree was down to the size we wanted.
Andy can cut down the stubby trunk the rest of the way now that it can't hit anything no matter which way it falls. The upper two trees still have enough branches to give shade to the picnic tables and give the winter birds somewhere to hang out on their way to and from the bird feeders. Plus we can still hear the wind rustle the leaves out our bedroom window which is nice. I must admit that I'll be happy if the trimmed trees are less attractive to the stupid birds that make me rewash the laundry! Grr.
Turns out we were very sensible to have them taken down. This is one of the big "healthy" sections of trunk. The light color wood was live but the darker center area was spongy and not doing much of anything to provide strength or stability. Yikes!
So now the house and inhabitants are safe. Better to have a colossal mess to clean up than a colossal reconstruction job!