1 Climbing and working in trees is a dangerous occupation and it demands specialized equipment and skills.
2 When removing trees, climbers wear very serious-looking boot spurs, armed with sharp spikes that penetrate the tree bark and stick into the wood beneath, which is why spurs are never worn when pruning trees.
3 A climber's harness is equipped with assorted carabiners and D-ring attachment points.
4 Because so many trees were being removed, a tree crane was brought in to facilitate the process. Stabilizing extensions help to keep the crane grounded.
5 The crane was operated by Mike, who has been trained specifically for this job. A crane is not a simple tool that anyone can use. A proper understanding of weight loads, balance, hooking, and signals is required to operate a crane without harming someone.
6 To prevent a serious mishap, such as the crane tipping over, this on-board computer provides critical information to the operator - weight of the load, boom angle and length, and rated capacity.
7 Rather than ascending up the trunk of the tree, which takes great effort, the crane is lifting the climber, Elio, into position.
8 While still hanging from the crane, the climber used his chain saw, which tethers to his belt, to remove tree limbs.
9 The branch segments fell to the ground. A climbing team consists of at least one other ground person who is also a climber who can take over if fatigue sets in. This team had three other climbers on the ground, including Nick, the foreman.
10 After removing the branches, the climber attached himself to the tree trunk using a three-point system. He had a life line wrapped around another tree, his climbing harness around the tree he was on, and his feet firmly spiked into the wood.
11 This photo shows where the climber set a choker, attached to the crane, on the top part of the tree before he was lowered into position.
12 The sawing begins. In addition to the normal risks of injury from a chainsaw, a climber has the risk of severing his climbing lines.
13 This skilled work is performed with the smallest possible saw that can get the job done efficiently.
14 The top section was released.
15 It was grabbed by the crane.
16 And carefully lowered to the ground, where the ground crew moved it aside. These log segments average 1,800 pounds.
17 Meanwhile - more aerial acrobatics!
18 Tying off the choker again
19 Descended and sawing again
20 Another segment released
21 Another choke
22 Another cut
23 This was the final segment taken from this tree.
24 The top of the trunk was evened off.
25 And removed
26 On to the next damaged pine
27 Large branches were fed into the wood chipper.
28 Their fluffy ends were set aside. The pine boughs will be laid atop the perennial beds as a form of winter mulch, which helps to control frost heave.
29 All of these log segments will be taken to the ever growing stack of logs near the compost area. Dominick can saw them into nice pine boards with his saw mill.
30 What remains of the magnificent pines looks like a Stonehenge sculpture. It's rather odd-looking now, but come spring, the climbing hydrangea will turn green and it will look like columns of green.
31 The crew then performed a similar task in the shade garden where two spruce trees snapped in the hurricane. You may recall my blog about the spruce falling on the Tenant House roof http://goo.gl/t1tBf
32 This tree was sawed right down to the ground.
33 The stump will be ground another time.
34 Great job, guys! Nick, Mike, Rubin, Jesus, and Elio
35 My farm crew moved all of those logs using chains and the Hi-Lo.
36 They were lifted one by one.
37 They were set down in the dump truck.
38 The logs were added to Dominick's already enormous pile next to his sawmill.