The tree – next phase in action

On the day after the limb fell, crews turned up with the wood-chipper and a cherry picker, to ‘take the weight off’. They proceeded to trim one side of the tree – drastically. We lugged in the logs, to dry for next winter, only leaving a couple of huge ones. Mr R’s puny chainsaw couldn’t cope with them. We got a small saw earlier in the year, just for cleaning up the yard, having no intentions of gathering our own wood in the forest ever again. Getting too old for that!


Our town is surrounded by forests, with a section or two designated for wood collection each year One pays a fee per metre of wood, and can only collect wood already felled by the forestry blokes during thinning. These days, even collecting fallen timber from roadsides incurs a fee – and they wonder why bushfires are more dangerous now!

The laws have changed, too, you can now only collect green wood, you have to store and dry it yourself and must collect your whole supply over a small timeframe. We started buying our wood when Rob’s eye started playing up. Not safe using a chainsaw if you are in pain and cannot see properly, so I played up my back pain a bit to talk him into paying for lovely split wood deliveries!

WP_20141003_003Ahh, I’ve digressed. This morning everyone is back and the bright orange witches hats are out, chainsaw buzzing, and thumps as the logs hit the ground.  I hope they don’t drop anything on the house! It’s marvellous, the size of the wood they can feed into those chippers.


11 thoughts on “The tree – next phase in action

    • I doubt if they could justify stopping us completely as I’m sure bushfires put more carbon in the air than all the wood fires in Australia. We might have to install some type of device in the flue though – I think they do in parts of America – to minimize pollution. It will be too expensive, eventually.


  1. Sue says:

    Wow that was fast. Mum had to wait about 3 months to a a horrible bottle brush chopped out of the nature strip, branches were falling and a couple looked dead, we tried to help it along but they are very resilient. After chasing council up several times and finally getting onto the guy in charge, it was removed. Rotten right through the centre, its a wonder it just didn’t crack open. Have you checked to make sure there are no live animals in the wood that you are bringing in. Isn’t it ridiculous, you think the rural councils would be encouraging people to collect the wood. Do you remember years ago when they used to drove cattle and sheep along the verges, with portable barriers to stop them escaping onto the road. Oh yes, how many times we had to stop to let the sheep cross the road, stupid animals, you just had to breath heavy and they would panic. And Sherbrooke forest in Victoria used to have local sheep penned in heavy growth areas. Did the job, kept the vegetation down. Sorry I’m so long winded. Glad your tree problem is fixed

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    • They spent about six hours on it today, Sue, a bit over two hours on Tuesday, and they still haven’t finished! It is a bloody big tree. A lot of the limbs up top were solid, but you could see the splits in the centre of main trunks as they swung the logs into the truck. We’ve got another big collection of wood again for ourselves. They will, no doubt, be back on Monday to finish. They have left the side that overhangs in to our fence line. It will be tricky for them. They have to chain each piece before they cut it, then swing the cut bit away.

      They got on to it so quick because of the rot. There is still one huge rotted piece (where branches have ripped out decades ago) untouched. The weight is off a bit so it should be right until next week. They timmed some dead wood out of our Manna Gum too.

      Live animals? seen one huge spider, that’s all. No squashed birds or smashed eggs either.


      • Sue says:

        That’s lucky, don’t like to see the birdies without homes. That was good that they trimmed your gum for you. Must have been huge tree to produce so much logs, good that the neighbours are able to whip out and do a collection as well, I’m sure firewood is getting pretty dear now. Mum reckons the unemployed (on the dole) should have to work for it like they did in her dad’s time. The men would meet at a set point and would be picked up by trucks and taken out to the countryside, they helped clear scrub and build roads and build fences, I don’t know if they are still there but going out to Epping and those areas the stone fences were all built that way. The men usually got 2 or 3 days work, which helped them support their families. Wouldn’t be allowed these days, “can’t force them to work”, “too dangerous, could get run over by cars, bitten by a snake”, etc. Isn’t it better than having them fight bushfires, (hit by falling branches, burnt, smoke inhalation),

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    • A lot of it is dead, so we can burn it as needed. But the rest will have to be stored up the back yard until it dries. A bloke with a trailer turned up as soon as the crew left, so he has it filled to the brim. And now the bloke down the road is there, too, cutting up the great big logs and filling up his ute. I think we must have carried five ute loads into our yard by now!


  2. Damned dangerous work M-R. You see them dicussing each bit before they tackle it. Left the hardest to last. Well, they can’t park on our house side so they have to cut the way clear to get the cherry picker and the crane in place. Brutal, all right.


  3. A very interesting look into the culture and realities of your part of the world, Christine. Specific times — and fees — to gather firewood?

    I agree with your first commenter — it would have been so easy for them to cut and split the wood for you, but I guess that’s my personal connection to you vs. “what if everyone wanted that service?”

    When I was a child in the US back in the 1960’s, Dutch Elm disease took out all the trees in our area north of Chicago, Illinois. The vague memories of one summer have the soundtrack of the sounds of chain saws and thumping limbs as they fell … and the visuals of empty suburban streets of bright streets, sidewalks, grass, and houses with no comforting shade trees. I remember crying, as those suburban streets where the playground and domain of my friends and me.

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    • I felt close to tears myself, as the last part of the trunk fell today. Our tree, being just outside the town limits, has escaped the regular lopping works that other elms have endured. It was huge, the largest in town by far. Unfortunately, when branches fell in the past, the wounds had never been treated, letting in water which lead to all the rot and entry to termites – though I don’t think the latter caused much trouble to it. Rot seems the culprit. We have Dutch Elm here too, and our elms are sprayed each year. I’ve some healthy specimens self seeded in our yard. Thanks for sharing your story, Cindi.


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