Thursday, November 7, 2019

The End of the Elm Tree

Today Ron decided it was time to cut down the old elm tree that died earlier this year from Dutch Elm Disease.

The tree was over 100 years old when we purchased the property in 1978.

It continued to flourish and provide a look out post for the male North American Kestrel while his mate first nested under the eaves and then once we closed the hole, in the hawk box on the side of the house.

During the winter a wide variety of birds would pause in its branches to rest between trips to the feeders or be there in the morning waiting for me to fill the feeders.

Last year, in the early summer I was saddened to see the leaves on the western side of the tree wither and drop to the ground and it continued until by the fall the branches were completely bare.

In the spring only a few of the branches on the east side of the tree had leaves and by the summer they too, had withered and fallen to the ground leaving nothing but bare branches.

He first mowed the hay in the area where he was going to drop the tree to make it easier to cut the wood and load it onto the trailer.

Then he started by making the beginning cuts to the tree so it would fall where he wanted it to land.

It took some time to do as elm is a hardwood and this tree had a fairly wide base.

At this point I went down into the front field to take photographs of the elm as it would fall to the ground.

It didn't take very long for the once majestic tree to make its downward descent to the ground.

Now it was time to start the labour intensive work of cutting the branches into manageable lengths and loading them onto the trailer to be unloaded and then stacked along the fence line behind the barn to age for next year's firewood.

This will be our project for the rest of the day and probably continue until the end of the weekend.

But by that point we should also have the trunk cut up into manageable chunks and stacked to be split next year when it has dried.

My job while he is working on the larger pieces will be to clear the area of all the smaller branches and bundle them together for kindling.

One thing I do know is that I am going to miss seeing the elm tree each time I look out the living room window.