So lately my mom has been going totally bonkers about getting the garage clean and now that has spread to the rest of the property, namely the trees. She's been moving stuff in the house so much for the sake of moving it that neither I nor her can find anything. My dad just about gave up on trying to get her to stop, lucky me since I actually work in the shop.
ANYWAY, she wants to micro manage the yard and yeah some of our trees are pretty lousy looking and tag the cars when it rains but that is only a few branches. First is a triple trunk oak tree in the front island of our "h" shape driveway, real POS tree. Luckily I could get in the thing with a ladder except I had to get ON the branch I was cutting and climb out and cut the heavy leaf ends off, prolly today I get to trim it at the trunk.
After the first trimming job I looked into simple rigging and harnesses as a refresher. Whatcha know the second tree I had to take limbs off required going up a ladder, climbing the tree a little and hanging from a rope in a swiss-seat harness and some prussik knots. Such a feat will teach any guy to respect his "heirlooms" when he's done. So far most work is being done around 20-25 feet off the ground. Whatcha know yet ANOTHER tree (3 now) needs to be limbed.
The tree is about 100 feet tall, tall enough that you can't totally gauge its height. Yes it leans towards the house, yes we just had a tree land on the house, BUT its a big old oak and not a bad tree. The branches were too tall for the ladder to get close. AWESOME, 20 foot ladder doesn't even get me started. Enter, a wet rag, potato gun (air cannon), and fishing line. Shoot the rag over a pretty high point, big branch and above anything I'll be cutting. Well more on that rigging later. After getting the rag stuck in another tree behind the oak (note to self 30 PSI better than 60PSI) I got my main line tied to the fishing line and towed it over. 2 hours after I started getting my gear together and I can finally start ascending the rope. On with the harness, knots, carabiners, and up I go looking like an inchworm on a rope. Say 12 minutes later and much branch dodging and I'm 50 feet up in the tree secured to a branch and standing on another.
So I call my mom over and ask which ones she wants gone again. "The one just behind you" "Over my head?" yeah I was gonna have to move my main rope I had just untangled and resecured. Here's the picture, I'm standing on a branch, theres one at chest level and then there is one 3 feet above me. This means I have to climb up one branch, and throw my rappel rope over a branch that is 12 feet from where I'm standing. I have to then go up the rope so all cut branches are below me. SWEET. 50 feet turns into 60 feet.
Again I re-rig EVERYTHING I have backups for backups and I go slow for safety, aka 15 minutes to rig. now I start cutting with a razor sharp pruning saw. I start 4 feet out, drop the heavy part of the branch, then trim back to the trunk, easily 16 branches later and a couple hours in a tied on harness and I'm done. The biggest branches were maybe 4 inch diameter, and 20 foot long? Super heavy regardless. Fun at first, definitely a learning experience, but really annoying. Oh and 30 feet feels about the same as 60 feet, looks the same and would do the same thing to me if something bad happened.
Now I said the oak leaned towards the house which means I had to swing around, catch something (cut tree nubs) and get closer to what I was cutting, not twist or swing. That was mainly for the bottom branches and by this point all the branches above me were gone to allow my rope to move freely.
Anyway I'm down, the tree looks well... naked. I'm sore at the hip bones and I'm prolly gonna get some better equipment if this keeps happening. However, to me it doesn't seem scarey, 60 feet is just as comfy as 0 feet, and a pro would have charged out the nose. And we're broke without being broke kinda thing, stupid recession.