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The Stumpgrinder and His Friends August 3, 2010

Posted by bobv451 in death, hobby.

Only there weren’t any friends. Just the stumpgrinder. In April I had the carpenter guy out to look at the gate he had built a few years ago since said gate scraped along when it tried to open (it got so bad the FedEx guy would just throw things over the top–I didn’t even have to nail the gate shut to keep out Jehovah’s Witnesses and their Watchtowers, either). Not his gate, he said. The sidewalk was rising up.

Come now, concrete rising? He rehung the gate with an inch of clearance. Last week the gate refused to open. Again.

Harken back 30 years to when I still tortured trees (bonsai). I had tried to get a mountain mahogany to grow. It died in its pot but another teeny little volunteer shoot came up. A Chinese elm. When I moved 7 years later, I took a fair sized sapling with me. Three years after that I moved into the current house and put the elm in a now huge pot just inside the gate. Years pass, it grows slowly. Then about 8 years ago it goes berserk, breaks the pot and takes off on its own. I figure, let it.

It *really* began growing three years ago. No idea why but the last annular rings were an inch apart–each. I had the tree trimmed last year but it obviously needed some more severe pruning since the stucco was cracking on the wall and I had worries of the root stuffing itself under the foundation.

Severe pruning = removal. The stumpgrinder came out today with his chain saw. He was supposed to have friends but they never showed up. He began chainsawing away at the tree bit by bit. Then he finally got down to the base. He brought in the most humongous machine I’ve seen this side of a backhoe. The 50,000 hp engine kicked on with a roar and burned wood smell permeated the air as it chewed its way down into the stump, going lower, possibly knocking the stalactites off the roof in Pellucidar. Then he put in root killer, covered up the scene of the crime and left after 4 hours of work. The gate still doesn’t open, the cracks in the wall and stucco remain but…the tree is gone. Along with its 30 ft height, alas, goes morning shade for my office, which is already fiercely hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter (it’s above the garage) Tomorrow will give me some idea what I have to deal with since it’s supposed to nudge up to 90 again.

Pictures show the towering before and vacant after. Goodbye volunteer elm tree that outlasted all but one of my bonsai (the ming aralia done in literati form still flourishes). You were a companion for half my life.



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