Mind Of A Tree Worker

Imagine for a moment that you are at the top of a 50ft Oak Tree. You can see all the rooftops in the surrounding area. In the distance you can see where the sky meets the earth. The light glows crystal blue off the sky while thin clouds drift slowly in the wind. The air is crisp, cool, and fresh. A deep breath in feels like you are breathing the freshest air that hasn’t been polluted or ever been infused with any smoke or exhaust fumes. It’s like air before the invention of cars. 

The tree you have just climbed is a sturdy giant. Holding you with no issues like a fly on the back of a hippopotamus. It is the first site that you visit today. With the size of this tree it will be that last. You know that this old tree must come down. It is the end of its life. It is likely 50 to 100 years in age but it is now growing in an area where a new school is being built. 

The tree has seen many things cross its path. All the way back to the baby boomers. An era of hard workers, and no cell phones to look at. The simpler times to the fast moving technology driven world that is today. Today the tree has to come down. A chainsaw must cut it up in sections. Spitting the wood pieces all over the ground. 

The tree worker has a job to do. People must be able to build the school so the children can learn. He keeps his equipment cleaned and ready for action. It is his job to be able to take this old tree down so that that school can be built and his family has a paycheck. 

Not so long after the first branch is cut the chipper comes on. The smaller limbs come off one by one. The crew on the ground grab and drag the limbs to the loud chipper. Grinding and gnawing at each limb that gets shoved in the front. It gets spit out into a bigger truck like a rain of wood chips. As the workers drag limb by limb to the chipper the tree becomes smaller and more bare.

As the last small limb comes off of the big oak now only the large branches remain. They need cut in chunks. They are heavier and will cause damage if they fall on someone. So they come off the tree in measured pieces. Big enough just to fall safely. Now the fork  lift or bobcat comes out. These branches are too heavy for the men to pick up. They go into the front loader and get taken to the flatbed truck. A log at a time the chunks come off landing with little sound on the soft lawn with not so much as a thud. Then, the last branch is removed. 

The only thing that is left of this tree that just hours earlier consumed the view is the trunk. The trunk is a massive core that is left of a tree. It is the middle, the base, the foundation of that age old tree. The crane comes out. It ropes to the top of the trunk. A worker quickly scrambles to the top with a chainsaw to start the process of cutting through the core in a measured piece. With the crane the core can be left in a bigger length. The length of the truck bed. These can be turned into lumber. As they take each section out it doesn’t take long until this massive tree is now a big stump and sawdust filling the area from where the saws shredded the wood. 

The stump grinding gets saved for another day. This is the last of the tree and soon it will be gone completely. 50-100 years gone within a few hours. Life goes on and the school is built. 

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