Friday, April 25, 2008

Concerning Safe Arboricide

A concerned reader writes:

Hey Paul,

While I appreciate (and really do admire) your planning in the downing of the trees, and the subsequent positive outcome, I think you were crazy (ok....and brave too) to take down those trees yourself. It reminds me of a close friend of ours... [who] decided he could prune his own trees. He is a local ER physician, quite agile and had all the proper equipment, except a safety harness. Yup you guessed it.....he fell 50 feet and shattered his he[e]ls, ankles and a couple of much needed fingers and a wrist. He also took out a window in his pool cabana along with a skylight. Then he was out of work for 6 months healing. He is lucky to be alive! [We]... were planning to use his equipment to take down one of our nearly dead, and destroying the foundation trees when he was done. I called the "tree men" was done, ground out and hauled away in one morning. [My husband] suffered no loss of work and is still alive today as a result.

Please be careful......Finn needs you in one piece!

Rightly said, and so noted. I am not 19 anymore, except in mind. In my defense, the scale of the pictures is deceptive, and at no time was I more than 10' in the air. Whenever a large limb was to drop I made damn sure no one was with in 50' of the tree. But a 10' fall can be just as bad as a 50' fall in some cases. While not a surgeon, being laid up or disabled for any amount of time can be ruinous in many ways.

Hell, I've gone my whole life without hearing half of what people say and you see where that got me.

For what it's worth, I have dropped much larger trees in the past when I had the proper equipment - 75' eastern white pines, and 50' Asian Mulberries, none of which were in convenient places. When it came to the ones between mine and a neighbor's house, though, I called the pros. He trashed my neighbor's hemlock hedge, and he had to pay for it - not me.

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