If a Tree Falls at Night . . .

By: Julie Day

Fallen tree

Last week, I was walking around my back yard and remarked, “I wonder if the grass would grow better if we thinned out these trees a little?” It was an innocent enough remark, but one that apparently rang true with powers greater than myself, because the very next morning I awoke to find quite a surprise in my back yard!

Now, I’m sure you’re all wondering the same thing I did: If a tree falls in the night, and you’re not awake to hear it, do you still have to clean it up? The answer is yes, or at least it is in my yard!

The next evening we headed out with our trusty chainsaw, a lightweight but serviceable little electric 2.5 HP Remington. If you live in town or have a small yard, a little chainsaw like this is likely all you’ll ever need. It made short work of the limbs and branches, and (with a little patience) even made its way through the larger trunks.

Within an hour or so, we had a nice little pile of firewood on the rack and a mountain of brush to be hauled away. The only sign of the event remaining was the huge wound high up in the tree.

Cutting limb with chainsaw

Unfortunately, with trees it’s all too easy to ignore them until given a good reason to pay attention. This huge falling limb forced me to face the facts: half of my tree is dead, and if the first half goes, the second half is leaning too precariously to support itself. In short, the whole tree probably needs to come down. The limb that fell was healthy, lush, and large enough to conceal the dead trunks above it – I was in blissful ignorance until it came crashing down.

Broken tree branch

With winter arriving soon, I encourage you to take a look at the trees in your yard and take steps to remove any dead or diseased branches. Snow and ice can cause major tree damage, and your trees will heal much better if you remove problem branches with a proper cut rather than waiting for them to split off in winter weather. This splitting limb made an irreparable wound in the tree that’s only going to hasten its decline.

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