Monday, July 11, 2011

Remodeling the Woodpecker's Tree

In February of this year, I blogged about the acorn woodpeckers that inhabit an oak tree above the house. Unfortunately, the tree has more dead limbs than healthy ones, and we were worried that the next big winter storm would bring the tree down on the house. Accordingly, DH hired the Bunyan Brothers (no kidding!) to trim the tree back to the healthy bits.

The trucks and crane arrived this morning about 7:30AM, and got right to work. The woodpeckers, of course, vacated the premises immediately. This is what the tree looked like when the workmen started:

Gradually, dead limbs came down. The aerial guy is quite an acrobat! You can just see his hat and shirt halfway up the tree, suspended by cables from the crane, chainsaw in hand.

This is a better view of the aerial guy at work:

When the cutting was all done, the aerial guy and the last limb were lowered to the ground.

Amazingly, nothing growing under the tree was trampled during this whole process. Plus, they did a remarkable job of cleaning up after themselves. The bigger pieces stayed in a pile; DH will gradually reduce them to firewood sizes and find neighbors with Santa Maria-style barbeques (they use lots of oak to build a good, slow fire) who need wood. The way it works is, he who supplies the firewood gets invited to the bbq...

And now we're left with a mostly healthy tree.

As soon as the trucks and crane drove away, two things happened. The cats came out from under the bed, and the woodpeckers returned to inspect the damage. The birds are still uncharacteristically quiet, as they hop around what remains of the tree, trying to figure out where the summer's stash of acorns went. The communal nest probably was hauled away with the dead limbs, too, but by now the season's chicks have fledged so they were unharmed. It'll be a big job to build a new nest next spring, but I doubt that the woodpeckers think that far ahead.

1 comment:

Benita said...

The finished tree looks like something out of Dr. Suess! I love it!!!