|My house on left, neighbor on right, trees so big we can't fit it into 1 camera shot!|
This was a very mature tree that was at least the size of four single-story ranch-style houses stacked on each other with a spread of the same diameter of those very homes. This Mediterranean Region native, is a giant to say the least and each of it's limbs is pushing 16" in diameter as they sprawled out over this nearby resident's home, garage, electrical and other utility lines as well as over our shared perimeter wall and my home.
As I cooled off from the day and decided to get into the refrigerator to grab some food, I could hear the faint grinding and whaling coming from the work next door. As I indulged in the much needed sustenance I had on my plate, we heard a loud crash and shattering glass come from just a few feet away.
I rushed outside to see what had happened and found a man 20 feet up in the tree looking bewildered as he gazed down to see the damage that the freshly cut limb had done to his customer's garage window. I noticed a long, orange extension cord hang down and took a closer look at the man to see that he had been using a small 12'' electric saw to cut through this massive limb. In utter dismay his mate below was scrambling to pull the 200+ lb limb out from the damaged area. The man in the tree began to climb down his makeshift ladder of old 2x4's that had been nailed into the tree, which he used to ascend to the high up limb.
Laughing to myself about the amateur approach, I couldn't help but think that these guys were getting fired before they made any headway into taking down this majestic woody mammoth of a tree...
The following day I arrived home early in the afternoon, succeeding a long and laborious day, to hear the same sounds of a screeching electric motor and grinding of metal on wood. I looked into the colossal tree to find the same man striving to cut his way through another large limb. I couldn't help but smile for his tenacity to try and take down this monstrous piece of timber.
Again, I begin to consume a nutritional meal in the safety of my home. Once I finish and bring my plate to the kitchen, I hear a thundering smash and ran out the door to see what had happened. This limb had fallen end first, straight through the roof of the garage and was standing upright like a spear thrown from the sky.
|Branch to left of limb going through roof and other damage to trim of the home|
I broke out in laughter at first and then realized the pain my neighbor would feel when he saw the destruction inflicted on his newly remodeled structure. I remember thinking that these guys were in trouble and were definitely not going to be back.
|See hole in roof and broken window (to the left, kinda hidden behind tree stuff)|
This time I had just taken a few steps into my home when I heard another large thunderclap and noticed noise on my own roof. Now it was getting personal and I grabbed my camera so I could document the devastation that I would find.
I got out side and took a look at my roof to find the powerlines laying on top of my house. I stood on a pile of wood to see over the wall to get a look at what had happened. I found a limb laying on the ground, over the top of the hot electrical wires that were going to my new neighbor's house. The line was still in tact but it was laying on the ground under the sheer weight of this colossal limb that had fallen hard from a lack of proper roping and lowering that you would get from a professional tree company. The tension caused the lines to pull down and the slack made the wires over my house lay down, causing a situation where we could have had a serious fire, not to mention the risk of somebody being zapped with a huge amount of high voltage electricity.
Here is what that looks like:
If you look closely you will see the makeshift ladder on the trunk of the tree and below that you will see part of the electrical lines sticking out as it heads up to meet the electrical fixture of the home. On the right right side of the photo you can notice the other end of the line as it descends underneath this large limb. Also take a look at this small electric saw this guy is using, it has no housing and all of the moving parts are exposed. It's almost as if this man found the unit in the trash and hacked some parts together to get it working again. This is a serious sign of little to no experience in taking down a tree of any size, let alone a gargantuan pine such as this.
Needless to say, these 2 men where there the rest of the day doing what they could to cut the tree off of the line and then to do what they could to try to make repairs to the powersource that was damaged when the lines were pulled. The house was without power for almost a day and the total damages rose about $3000.
Moral of the story? Make sure the people you hire are trained professionals, with property damage liability insurance and that they have the proper tools to complete the job. I mean, did anyone really believe that this small electric saw would be able to cut through that 3' diameter tree trunk?