???????????????????????????????It is both a blessing and a curse to have a garden with very large trees. The pines (mostly Pinus radiata), native rimu trees (Dacrydium cupressinum) and Australian eucalypts all date back to 1870 to early 1880s when Mark’s great grandfather planted them. The rimus are rock solid with a life expectancy of many hundreds of years but from time to time we lose a pine or gum.

014 (2)While we can manage most of our tree work ourselves, this one posed a major problem. It broke about 6 metres up where Mark’s grandfather had topped the row in the early 1900s, creating a weak point. But it didn’t break cleanly and the top formed a major swinger. We did the initial cleanup but dealing to the body of the tree required specialist attention.

002 (2)Enter the arborist crew this morning.

003 (2)There was a lot of consultation for this was a tricky operation.

009 (2)And a lot of supervision.

004 (2)Cuts were made but things did not quite go to plan.

005 (2)Soon, more equipment was needed. Do not laugh at our baby tractor. It is enormously useful, though not quite equal to this task.

023 (2)Both ends of the tree were cut through but it remained determinedly in position, defying all attempts to unbalance it.

022 (2)There was much manly consultation.

025 (2)And even more consultation. Lots of consultation. A winch was needed, they decided. The crew departed for more gear.

???????????????????????????????In the end, the crew returned with us not even noticing and both Mark and I missed the final rites when the tree was winched down. We were a little disappointed. It all seemed a bit of an anticlimax but is at least a major problem solved. It is remarkable how a tree some 40 metres high can eventually come down with minimal damage.