by Dave SullivanCleaning up trees
Periodically, the trees in the lot South of Sullishak have fallen on the cabin and into our neighbor's property. When the cabin was first constructed this lot was cleared. In order to reduce further damage this lot was again cleared.
In this September 2008 photo, you can barely see Criag Martell on the top of his roof. Our trees have crashed into his cabin. We needed to work carefully to avoid causing further damage to his cabin.
Here we see Craig climbing down the ladder after cutting off a branch. Note how the ladder is bent. It turns out aluminum ladders aren't sturdy enough to drop trees on them if you want the ladders to remain straight.
The vacant lot had become an overgrown jungle that was quite difficult to walk through.
I began by cutting down trees that were easiest to reach and were not likely to cause damage when they fell. Then I tackled the task of cleaning up branches and cutting up the trunks.
This clean-up operation would have been all but impossible without mechanical help -- the stumps were massive and well rooted.
Chris Reiter got lots of practice using his Bobcat to dig around the sides of the stumps, bust off roots, and eventually pop them out.
One of the largest trees was leaning over the log cabin, and it was the hardest to cut safely. Chris and I chained it to the Bobcat, and I made an undercut. Then I signaled Chris to begin pulling. Four inches of the hinge were still uncut when I heard a VERY loud crack ... it was easily as loud as a shotgun blast. Rather than slowly falling, the tree simply popped off the stump and began to crash down. With Chris pulling as hard as he could, the tree just barely cleared the corner of the log cabin.
We've cleaned up the area and are getting ready to tie onto the tree.
This shows where the tree fell -- just missing the log cabin.
Building and maintaining the fire was a critical clean-up activity.
Since the lot was covered with green vegetation and wet wood, it wasn't easy to build a hot, smokeless fire.
Early on the first day, a neighbor called the fire department, and we spent an hour talking with them about the need to keep the smoke down.
So for the next few days, we worked hard to keep the fire as hot as possible while keeping it at a manageable size.
Barb surveys the changes from the cabin's deck.
Chris used the Bobcat to remove the salal and bushes behind the cabin.
We finally got all the sticks and brambles removed from the front of the vacant lot.
The back of the vacant lot ended up storing some used telephone poles (to go in the remodeling effort), some firewood, and a small fire.
The view between Sullishak and the log cabin is uninterrupted.