Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tree Felling

We have a lot of very tall fir trees in the Valley.  Being at so high an elevation most of them are immune to the dreaded beetles that pervade other areas.  I was told by local botanists that at this elevation in order to survive, they have to be a lot hardier.  However they do from time to time contract this pest and have to be felled.  Watching the men do this is fascinating.

Firstly, they chop off all the side branches.  This is done by a man wearing grabbers on his legs and feet, and using a harness that goes around the trunk.  He has to shin his way up removing the side branches, usually from the bottom, allowing each limb to be lowered on a rope to his colleagues beneath.  They then feed these branches into a wood chipper.  For the main trunk the same system is used.  Using a chain saw, he starts cutting off lengths from the top, about ten feet at a time, lowering the pieces carefully downwards.  These men are working in the street opposite and they let the big chunks fall straight down.  It shook the ground considerably.  These large chunks are then carted of in trucks.  Costs for such an operation of 100-foot tall trees like these are at least $1000.

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