November 2, 2012
Removing a Tree From the Roof of a House
On yesterday's blog, I showed you many scenes of destruction at my farm, caused by Hurricane Sandy. I also mentioned an 85-year-old spruce tree toppled and fell onto the Tenant House roof. Removing trees from buildings is tricky business, as you can often cause more damage to the structure. You need an experienced arborist for such jobs and I immediately called Ralph Robbins, my friend at SavATree. His crew did an amazing job. By the way, many of you have inquired about my farm animals and I can report that they are all safe.
1 Sandy left a mess on the property in Bedford. Most serious was an 85-year-old spruce, which decided to gently crash, uprooted, onto the roof of the Tenant House. Removal was extremely complicated.
2 The top of the tree snapped off and fell over the roof ridge onto the front portico.
3 All the branches were cut off the top part of the tree prior to it being lifted by ropes and pulleys off the roof and the gutter.
4 A large bucket lift was brought by Ralph Robbins and his SavATree crew to facilitate the removal.
5 The tree was almost 100-feet high and the roots, although shallow, were very wide. The disruption was very deleterious to the garden.
6 The tree fell onto the northeast side of the roof.
7 The ridge and the shingles were smashed by the impact. We do not know if the ridge cracked.
8 The crew used ropes and tools similar to a mountaineer - carabiners, pulleys, etc. They were quite artful and serious about the job, whose goal was to remove without further damage.
9 The lift was a godsend! Maneuvered by the occupant, it was very accurate and very agile.
10 The carabiner rope went over the ridge to another gadget which ratcheted the log.
11 The bucket allowed the operator to get very close to the work.
12 It was important to cut off the branch nubbins in case the log fell back onto the roof.
13 Lifting each cut portion was a careful and slow job.
14 I worried about putting pressure on the chimney. I was very paranoid about the process!
15 The lift truck had to be driven on metal plates right into the shade garden. I wonder which plants will not survive.
16 The sawdust covered the roof from all the power sawing that occurred.
17 As large sections were removed from the trunk, it tried to stand back up.
18 Five men performed the task calmly and efficiently.
19 Another piece was sawed off.
20 Despite the laxness of the ropes, the tree started to stand on its own as it was lightened of some of its weight.
21 Some tools of the trade
22 A well-used chain saw
23 The branches were fed into a wood chipper.
24 The crew
25 Inside the house, a look at the cracked plaster.
26 Another look
27 This is what it looked like outside my property along Maple Avenue.
28 Roads were blocked throughout the entire area by large downed trees.
29 The trees tore down the overhead wires, even breaking utility poles - a very dangerous environment.