Posted April 20, 2021
Last September 2020, having just completed our garage remodel, we embarked upon our next big project: landscaping our yard. The first thing we needed to do was remove some trees. We worked with a certified arborist to determine the health of all our trees and decided to remove two very large Deodar Cedar trees from the front yard. Their Latin name is Cedrus deodara. The name Deodar derives from Sanskrit and translates as “timber of the gods.” The tree is native to the Himalayas, where it can grow as tall as 250 feet.
The medicinal properties of the tree are rather amazing. At the University of Redlands website (here) I found the following description:
“The wood, resin and bark have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. Heartwood has diaphoretic and diuretic properties. Wood has also been used to treat fever, hemorrhoids, pulmonary and urinary disorders, insomnia, rheumatism, and diabetes. Tree bark is used to treat fevers, diarrhea and dysentery. Needles can treat tuberculosis. Resins can be used to treat joint pains, skin conditions and bruises, while oils distilled from wood chips are used as antiseptic to remedy bronchitis, acne, tuberculosis, catarrh arthritis and as a diuretic. The oils also help to soothe coughs, fight viruses, promote restful sleep, open sinuses and alleviate ear congestion. These oils have also been used as an insecticide, herbicide, molluscicide, antifungal, and to scent soaps”.
After consulting with our arborist, we still decided to remove the tress since they were not in healthy shape.
As you can see, the main tree trunk branched off in many different directions. This compromised the health and stability of the large upper branches. We were advised to remove the trees before any more heavy branches fell.
For safety, many of the limbs had to be lowered by rope. This was complicated and difficult work. Here they are attaching a pully to the trunk of the tree to aid in lowering the heavy branches to the ground.
The chain saw operator was the worker who had to climb up into the tree. He used ropes to climb up and down and to lower branches. He definately had to know all his Boy Scout knots.
The saddle where the main trunk branched off was the weakest area of the tree. It was not stable or healthy in that section. Branches and limbs grew in every direction. He had to decide which ones should be cut and lowered first.
Here the team is lowering a small branch. Even the smaller branches are very heavy.
The chain saw operator frequently checked his ropes and knots. Some ropes kept him safely up in the tree while other ropes were attached to limbs that were lowered to the ground one at a time as he cut them.
Some pieces of the tree were very heavy and had to be lowered carefully. No one was hurt during the removal of these two trees. As parts of the tree came down they were fed into a huge chipper.
The size of the branches and trunk that the chipper would accept was amazing. Sometimes it took 3 strong workers to lift a section of the trunk and put it in the chipper. Once the piece of tree was properly placed the chipper would just pull it in and grind it up into mulch. It was a loud, noisy, and exhausting process.
The top of one of the trees comes down. Look out below!
Above, the chain saw operator is cutting through a section of the trunk. These sections were big and very heavy. Wood chips and sawdust flew everywhere as the chain saw cut through the main trunk.
These chaps really worked hard!
No branches left on this tree. Only the main trunk remained.
Counting the rings on the stump revealed that the trees were about 63 years old. Now the stumps had to be removed. Digging them out was not an option. Luckily, there was a machine that could help with this work.
This stump grinder chews up, grinds, and removes the stump and all the larger roots. Even the stump becomes wood chips and mulch.
The picture above shows what the chipper did to the trees and branches. This pile was from two truckloads of chips. Since there was no more room on our driveway, a third truckload of chipper material was hauled off to another location. We saved this huge pile to spread around our yard and garden. The pile was about 5 tons worth of chips and mulch. It smelled wonderful, but I certainly had my work cut out for me. This pile was spread throughout the garden one shovel full at a time with the aid of a wheelbarrow.
The pile went from a mountain to a molehill over the course of a couple of weeks. As the pile got smaller, so did my waist line! Finally, all the cedar chips were spread over our entire property. It smelled wonderful. It made me happy to think that the trees that we had enjoyed for 3 decades were still on our property, only in a different form.
We removed two large cedar trees and four small redwoods. That part of the project took two days. However, there was more work to come.