70 Tree Removals

I’ve always thought doing tree removals was the worst part of the job. As an Arborist, I’d really only like to see trees removed when absolutely necessary. Recently, the company I work for was hired to remove seventy trees out of a clients two acre yard consisting mostly of pine trees.


The saddest part about removing pines is that they are super beneficial to the animals around the area. They provide homes for birds and, compared to other trees we could put in our yards, use significantly less water. Here in the Carson Valley its hot and dry in the summer, so it would make sense to use trees that wouldn’t require tons of water. Inversely, in the winter it gets super cold, but (aside from some freak winters) still stays relatively dry and this is where having pine trees can be an issue. They still require water during that time so when we have particularly dry winters the tress cannot absorb enough water to increase the cork cambium layer of cells in the bark. This means it’s open season for borer insects in the Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges. The western pine beetle is the usual suspect but we can get other things like Pitch Moths.

In the last decade, we’ve lost a lot of our natural forests because of droughts.

We also removed a few Cottonwood trees (Populus fremontii) from the property as well, another Nevada native tree. Cottonwoods are a little funny though, they grow incredibly  fast, and put on so much weight in so little time. The tree is Ripirean, meaning that it grows naturally along riverbanks in the wild, so when these water pigs show up in the yard they’ll steal water from anywhere they can when they are young, but as they get older its harder to quench their thirst. Unless you live on a riverbank drought is gonna cause problems here as well. Remember how I said they grow stupid fast? When they don’t get the water they need they are much more likely to suffer from breakage during wind storms, those are pretty often out here, and we are talking some heavy branches. Those can easily damage property or worse, injure somebody. After a large branch is broken like that it responds by growing many suckers out of the dormant wood in a process called epicormic growth, and in a cycle of failure, the process continues. The many twiggy growths at the end are loosely attached but grow vigorously, causing tremendous stress on the structural integrity of the wood in the form of weight, leading to more breakages, leading to more epicormic growth. Eventually the trees run out of vigor and fail completely. So as far as I’m concerned removing the Cottonwoods wasn’t as horrible as removing the Pines.

IMG_5350Here’s the Cottonwood all rigged up and ready to go.

IMG_5352This knots called a bowline on a bight. Once the face is cut into the tree the rope is given tension, then as the back cut is placed the tree will fall exactly where we want it to.

IMG_5354The tree is then bucked up into sizes that will fit into the chipper, the rest of the wood is bucked up into firewood sized pieces called “Rounds” and hauled off in a trailer to either be donated or trashed.


More pine removals, these were planted a little too close to the fence anyways, still sad to see them go though. This is a picture of our guy Evan cutting a face into the tree.


The last of the pine being chipped up and broadcasted onto the property for mulch. Mulch increases the diversity of microbes in the soil, helps retain moisture, and because its pine mulch, increase acidity.


Finally a picture of me in my personal protective equipment (PPE) including; Saftey goggles, helmet, face shield, gator-neck, gloves, ear muffs and chainsaw chaps i remove before chipping!


Author: garesgarden

ISA Certified Arborist, Amateur Botanist, and future Agricultural Engineer.

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