I had hoped to write this post last week when this whole adventure began, but then, as home-related projects do, it started to drag on.
We've had this enormous hickory tree in the back of our back yard since we moved in. (Obviously the tree itself has been there much longer seeing as how it was 100 feet tall and huge.) The tree always leaned somewhat ominously towards our house, but I wasn't that worried about it since it had been here for a long time. But since we've lost several other trees in our yard (including two hickories) and our neighbor just lost a similar hickory less than 50 feet away, we decided we wanted it taken down prophylactically as we were convinced that had it fallen it would have smashed our roof.
After getting a couple of estimates, we found a guy who normally climbs up into the tree and cuts it down in pieces (we'll call this plan A) and hired him. He came out last week, shimmied way up high and started cutting down some of the branches. That is when the problems started. Most of the branches at the top were 70% hollow and rotten. It got to the point that he didn't feel comfortable trying to cut down the branches while staying in the tree, so he decided that we needed to rent a huge 80-ft boom truck to help get down the branches. (Plan B)
A few days later, the boom truck arrives and they again start cutting down branches. Then the boom truck quits working and the guys actually have to rappel out of the bucket to the ground to get down. So then we had to come up with Plan C. What I like to call the caveman approach. (If a caveman had a bulldozer.) Instead of trying to bring it down in pieces, they decided just to cut the thing down at the base and push it so it would fall away from the house. Which they did. To Judah's great delight.
After it fell, we got a good look at it, and the thing was actually partially hollow all the way down, and only about 20 or 30% of it was actually good wood that was keeping it off our house. Scary. So now our back yard it a little brighter and I have one less thing to worry about.