Some four years ago, preparatory to harvesting, I used an ax to girdle these trunks. There were two trunks but three stems, as the larger one on the left divided some seven feet off the ground.img_1549This year the trees were perfect: dead and dried out but still without rot. The first stem made me nervous. I had to reach way overhead and stand almost on tip toes with my feet on and icy and steep bank. Pretty bad idea while using a chainsaw. Because of the awkward position I completed a very substandard notch job. The back cut should have been higher. Also both cuts were diagonal to the trunk. Had it been worse I would have lined the tree, but I went with what I had. img_1551The first stem fell a bit weird, but was still manageable. Then came limbing and bucking. The orange thing on the left is the tiny looking saw. It’s a Jonsered, Cadillac of chainsaws, and I never regret it’s initial price tag. I’ve felled trees close to a yard across at the base with it and cut many, many cords. Jonsered is made by the same company that makes Husqvarna but the Jonsered has more bells and whistles.img_1556At some point the saw became louder and I thought I’d blown the muffler but it turned out that, after hundreds of hours of use, its retaining screws had come loose. img_1563I was lucky to find the missing screw in the grass!img_1564To split this lesser stem I switched from 6 lbs. to 8 lbs. mauls depending on need.img_1566The second stem of the first trunk was safer to fell but it was taller and its trajectory a bit more iffy. So I lined it to the truck.img_1570As always, knots likely to tighten, like this double square, were tied around easily dislodged pieces of wood.img_1569The wedge and back cut were performed with the tree under tension. Here grape vines gave an added benefit of reducing shock on the line while applying consant “soft” tension. Just below where the line attaches to the tree you can see from where I cut the first stem.img_1571Once the cuts had been made, I pulled the tree over. It was the bigger of the two stems. In this photo you can see why I had to reach so high to cut the first stem. You can also see how much thicker the main trunk was.img_1584Mak was keeping warm in the house lying by the stove. I visited him as I brought in two large loads of wood. Because I can’t trust Rollo in the house without me, he stayed in the truck and kept an eye on daddy. I took him out periodically for a pee and smellabout. Here he shows concern over movement by the neighbors. You can also see the double security chains I keep him on while outside with me.img_1589It was a productive and very enjoyable afternoon. Working with wood is one of the only home chores I actually like despite that it’s very hard on the body. By evening, the stove and candles were lit, and the dogs and I were listening to Doo Wop, one of my favorite genres of music… which resulted in last night’s romantic post. 🙂

I plan to wait to cut the second trunk. Today’s task is to finish limbing and bucking the second stem.

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