Tree Removal - Update

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Tree Removal - Update

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Sojourn With Luz Leigh

Tree Removal - Update

Written by Luz Leigh - September 2007

As promised in an earlier story, here is an update of the saga of the tree removal. I made the call to the man that had been referred to me as being an honest businessman who was good at his profession. After explaining what I needed, Luke Petty agreed to meet with me the next day. At the appointed time, Mr. Petty arrived at my home.

Somehow when I first caught sight of the little, aging, bearded man, I began to have some nagging doubts. "Could this really be the man who came so highly recommended?" But, because I trusted the friend who had recommended Mr. Petty, I showed him around the property, pointing out not only the very ugly tallow tree at the end of my driveway, but another much taller one behind my house. Actually, there was no need to point out the one at the driveway ... it was obvious to any who drove down our street that this was indeed the most pitiful specimen called a tree.

After looking at the tall tallow in the back yard and observing the low hanging limbs on the pecan tree, Mr. Petty stood quietly, looking first one direction and then the other. I was beginning to think the old man was trying to come up with the words to tell me he had no desire to tackle my project. You see, the tree in front of the house was not tall enough for him to be concerned about the electrical power lines overhead, but there were cable television and telephone wires still running through the remaining limbs. And then the tallow tree in the back yard was within about ten feet from the electrical line that brought power to my house.

But, as it turned out, he was not thinking of getting out of the job ... he was just mentally adding up the cost. He explained that because of the environmental laws now in force, the remains of the trees could no longer be hauled to a place in the country and burned as had been done in the past. Now he must pay to dispose of the waste at an approved landfill, thus adding to the cost of his work.

I will admit I was silently praying, "Lord, please don't let the price be more than the amount I have set aside for the job." After what seemed like an eternity, Mr. Petty turned to me and quoted me a price. Oh, how my heart leapt with joy. It was $150 less than I had set in my mind as the total I would pay. We agreed on the price and he left, assuring me he would return with his helpers the next day.

The next day Mr. Petty and his helper, Ed Carter, arrived to begin the work of removing the unsightly tallow tree. They made quick work of it and moved to the back yard to attack the pecan tree. Those limbs came down with what seemed to be such little effort. After loading the debris on his trailer, Mr. Petty and Ed left for the day.

When I walked out my door early the next morning to take my usual walk, there was Mr. Petty, Ed and the other helper Johnny Carter. After my walk was completed, I got a glass of iced tea, my cell phone, cordless house phone and my camera. I sat in the yard swing which is located well out of the area where the men are working. I had taken photos the day before when the work was about to begin and as the morning progressed I took more pictures.

Mr. Petty is an amazing man. Although he will soon celebrate his seventy-fifth birthday, he still uses the hooks on his boots to climb trees, shinnying up the tree trunk like a much younger man. As I watched him, I could tell by the way he handled his heavy ropes and chainsaw that he was no stranger to this work. His helpers on the ground knew just what to do, how far to move back for the work area and when to move in to begin the removal of the fallen limbs.

After he had been in the air for about an hour, cutting limbs off, then bit by bit, removing the trunk from which he had sawed the branches, Mr. Petty called out, "Water." Johnny hurried to the truck and fetched a 20-ounce plastic bottle filled with water from the water can that was attached to the work truck. Johnny wrapped the rope around the bottle and Mr. Petty pulled it up. He quickly released the rope from around the bottle, uncapped it and took a slow drink. Then I watched as he removed the baseball-type cap from his head, poured a few ounces of water in it and slapped it back on his head. Next Mr. Petty poured a little of the water onto each arm, took his baseball cap off and repeated the water to the head process. He then turned the bottle up and drank the few remaining ounces of water, tossed the bottle to the ground and returned to the job at hand.

It was amazing to watch as he observed the ground below, called out to his helpers which way to pull the rope that he had tied onto the tree trunk, and decided exactly where he wanted to "fell" the trunk. He would cut a V-notch on the side of the tree, this being the direction he wanted the trunk to fall; with his trusty chainsaw he would proceed to cut the trunk in what seemed like less than a minute. The trunk would land exactly where he planned.

When there was only about twelve feet of the trunk standing, he climbed down and worked from ground level to finish his part of the job. Now Ed and Johnny would complete the task of clearing the yard by carrying the larger limbs to the nearby trailer and, using a yard rake, would remove even the twigs.

The total hours for both days was less than six. I was pleased with the work and gladly wrote the check to pay for the same. Mr. Petty, Ed and Johnny climbed into the truck, with Johnny calling out for me to be sure and say hello to my family members for him.

I feel good about the tree removal and have no regrets. It was good to watch a craftsman at work and see his helpers as they did what so many people seem to be allergic to these days ... manual labor. Now I am thinking about ... My children just unplugged my computer ... they want to hear of no more projects for a while.

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