Into Every Life A Little Tree Must Fall…

by Brad Isaac on July 19, 2007

Check this out…

Lightning hit a big Bradford Pear tree in my front yard Tuesday night. One of the three main branches was cut at the base. It looked like a tree the size of a house had fallen in my front yard. (I would have taken pictures but my camera is in Ohio right now…long story..)

Anyway, I thought about calling a service. But that just didn’t sound fun. The lightning storm had taken out many trees in the neighborhood and I’ve heard chainsaws rumbling ever since. Getting an appointment would be a hassle.

In the back of my mind I faced an uncomfortable truth – I had a chainsaw out in the garage! If I wanted to get out of schedule juggling, I’d have to cut this monstrosity myself. The job looked insurmountable at first.

To my credit, in the past, I’ve hired tree services to thin out tall wily pines that threatened our house with destruction. I always enjoyed watching them as they worked and I believe I learned a thing or two. So I took on the project myself.

Here are some guidelines that woodcutters use to wrangle large trees – they could be metaphors for achievement too…

Start with the top and work downward – I had always pictured guys coming by and cutting a tree down from the base. But I was surprised to learn that tree service pros climb up a tree and cut it down from the top downward. This eliminates the worry of a big oak tree hitting a house, car or killing somebody.

Break the tree into small manageable parts – While a cutter is the top of the tree, he cuts the branches into small manageable parts. Large limbs are cut into as many pieces as necessary to make carrying them at the bottom easier. This also prevents potential injury to the other workers below. No sense in dropping a 900lb log on someone’s head. If you do you’ll be the one having to carrying it away later. Joking!

Keep the saw in front – The saw is the all important tool when it comes to woodcutting. If it gets behind you, you are in trouble. Strange things can happen while cutting large masses of wood. The saw needs to be out front or one of the limbs you cut could be your own.

Let the tool do it’s job – While observing the head woodcutter one day I saw how effortless he made his job seem. In fact, it was pretty effortless because he let the weight of the saw put pressure on the cut. He didn’t press it down, or fight it. He just stood there, giving the chainsaw gas. As it buzzed along, the weight of the saw was enough to do an efficient cut through the wood.

One attempt usually isn’t enough – Another tip from the pros is they very seldom try to hack their way through a branch in one try. They will usually make 2-5 cuts before they are ready to cut to the other side. This one tip is worth the whole price of admission. I learned the hard way why the pros cut a V or a series of V notches into a log. As it turns out, it can be unpredictable which direction a limb will fall. I was making one cut yesterday when the limb began to give. The crease I was cutting collapsed – which trapped the chainsaw in what I’d guess was half a ton. It took me 30 minutes to hand saw the chainsaw out from the trap.

It has taken me two afternoons, but using the strategies above, this tree is now sitting out comfortably at the curb waiting for pick up.

Set powerful goals online with our new online goal management tool

{ 1 comment }

July 19, 2007 at 9:53 pm

Wonderful analogy. Well done!

Previous post:

Next post: