Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Anacostia River view from the Japanese Woodland bench improved tremendously today

The tree contractors were on site today and the Asian Collections pulled the long straw. We've been waiting quite some time to have this "pole" (what's left of a tree when all the branches are removed) dropped. It was too rotten to climb and drop piece by piece, it distinctly leaned/loomed over a number of valuable plants. Wedges, ropes, complex notching, and careful cutting got it to a stage where it had to be pulled over I missed photographing it falling because they needed my strength (read weight) on the rope that provided both the final impetus for the fall and influenced the angle of that fall enough to save the Acer henryi on the slope below.

The elation that we felt on dropping the dead snag successfully didn't transfer to our next project: taking down a beautiful 3+ foot in diameter White Oak that suddenly died this summer. We only got about a third of the canopy down when the predicted snow began to fall and the tree crew was called in and reassigned to snow removal. They'll no doubt be back this winter to finish.

Except that it's cold, winter is a good time to do tree work on in gardens and on farms. My father was raised on a farm in upstate New York a mile or so east of Lake Ontario. When he told us stories of life on the farm he often talked about cutting firewood in the winter. They used a horsedrawn sled to move the cut logs from the woodlot to the woodshed. That was an exciting idea to me; here in the DC area we hardly ever have enough snow to support a sledload of firewood! I guess that "lake effect" snow was pretty dependable on the east side of Lake Ontario.

We did a good bit of tree work and cleanup last year and I expect we'll get around to some more of that this winter.

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