So…A Tree Falls in the Woods…

A Bit of Work

My friend Mike (who’s also my stepdad) and my Mom have 60-some acres near Rusk, Texas…that’s about 35-odd miles south of Tyler, Texas and over 130 miles from my place. Despite being a hundred-fifty miles from the coast, that area took some significant winds from Hurricane Rita.

A massive oak tree couldn’t take it and fell on the mobile home that’s on the property. Fortunately nobody was living there, it’s only used for shelter when working the property.

Yesterday, me and my friend James headed down to help Mike get the tree off the house.

Now, “massive” and “oak” mean HEAVY. The “branch” that fell on the house is over 3 feet in diameter. There were many “smaller” branches we cut off the roof that were over a foot in diameter. I would guess the section of the tree that fell on the house to weigh in at well over 25 tons. Even after clearing the branches off the main part, my 9000 pound truck, in 4-wheel low, could not budge it.

The other part of the tree, the part that didn’t fall on the house, is even bigger.

There was massive damage to the roof, and one wall suffered more damage as we got the biggest part (15 tons or so) of tree trunk off the house, but frankly I can’t imagine why the tree just didn’t smash right through the house, cutting it completely in two. This is a BIG tree!

So, 3 guys, 2 chainsaws, all day, and we might have cut up 20% of this tree. We DID get it off and out of the house.

Some pictures…although I’m disappointed in that they just do not capture the scale of this tree.

Massive Oak down on the house.

Massive Oak down on the house.

To give you some idea of the true size involved here, it is more than 45 feet from the tree stump to the mobile home. The branch-trunk laying on the house is well over 3 feet in diamter.

To give you some idea of the true size involved here, it is more than 45 feet from the tree stump to the mobile home. The branch-trunk laying on the house is well over 3 feet in diamter.

James on the roof, (the other side of the house) after several hours of cutting. The three of us took shifts on the roof and it still took nearly 5 hours to clear.

James on the roof, (the other side of the house) after several hours of cutting. The three of us took shifts on the roof and it still took nearly 5 hours to clear.

Mike, posed on the other part of this tree, just to give some perspective as to the size. When we cut the trunk, I'll count the rings and let you know, but we're guessing the tree is a couple hundred years old.

Mike, posed on the other part of this tree, just to give some perspective as to the size. When we cut the trunk, I'll count the rings and let you know, but we're guessing the tree is a couple hundred years old.

Once the branches (which spread the load) were removed, the weight of the trunk crushed the wall.

Once the branches (which spread the load) were removed, the weight of the trunk crushed the wall.

Once the branches (which spread the load) were removed, the weight of the trunk crushed the wall.

Once the branches (which spread the load) were removed, the weight of the trunk crushed the wall.

The damage in the interior.

The damage in the interior.

Your's truely (right) and Mike (left) still chainsawing after a LONG day. See the piles of wood and logs around the house? They go ALL the way around the house.

Your's truely (right) and Mike (left) still chainsawing after a LONG day. See the piles of wood and logs around the house? They go ALL the way around the house.

We tarped it to keep the worst of the weather out until Mike and Mom determine what to do with the structure.

We tarped it to keep the worst of the weather out until Mike and Mom determine what to do with the structure.

I’m sore today…but some excercise is always a good thing, and I got to take some aggression out on stuff with a chainsaw. We’ll continue to hack this thing apart at our leisure, and stack it out of the way some where to season. Sometime next fall I imagine we’ll rent a splitter and then we’ll all have more firewood than we’ll use in a decade.

Basically, it was a GREAT day (nobody died).

Soooo…now I’ve got THIS song stuck in my head (the Monty Python “Lumberjack” song).

Y’all (technical term) be safe!

CUAgain,
Daniel Meyer

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