there was great excitement on our street last week: on wed a powerful wind storm rampaged thru Westchester – and in our village on our street, two houses over, a huge 100+ year old magnolia tree was felled.
by a miracle it fell in the ONLY open space in the backyard of my new next door neighbor, mr. b, a great guy and recent owner who is renovating this house himself. he is JUST finishing a total gut and rebuild of the rotten addition to the back of the house (for the bathrooms)and his guardian angels were most certainly watching over the house that day.
the tree was very tall and very old and had been dead/dying for quite a few years. when i first moved here five years ago, for the first few springs there were magnolias and leaves – not in abundance but enough to cover the tree – however in the last two years there has been a steady decline and this past spring there were no leaves on any of the branches – just a few sprouts right near the fork in the trunk of the two large branches. whether and how to take it down had been of concern – here in the village proper, the lots are small and there is practically no access to back yards. it would have been a very expensive procedure.
the owners, mrs l and mr a, good friends of mine, are so lucky that it fell were it did – not on either their house or their garage (with the convertible in it) nor on mr. b’s almost completed renovation (seen in the photo on the right) nor on the tin shed (seen on the right side of the photo above) with all of his construction supplies, wood, and tools.
on the recommendation of my sister, my friends hired her gardeners and they came on Friday afternoon. as it happened my nephews (W almost 6 and L almost 3) were visiting while my sister ran errands and at the PLEADING of the eldest we watched the gardeners work. unfortunately i was holding the youngest and the eldest was holding onto me (as exciting as chain saws and cutting trees is, chain saws are LOUD and hanging on to the adult near by is reassuring) so no photos of the actual tree removal.
there were a gang of five workmen – a foreman and his helpers. at one point one of the braver workmen climbed up on the branch that was resting along the fence. this was after all of the branches in front of the fence were removed. W’s eyes were so wide at the sight of the worker walking along the top of the branch – “that is so scary” he whispered and we talked about how dangerous it was to do that – L chiming in “dangerous, dangerous”.
it was surprising that NONE of the workers handling the chain saw wore safety glasses nor ear muffs. (things discussed with the boys as well).
when my sister came, this space was all cleared up and the workers were moving to the backyard were the tree stood. W was so excited and insisted on staying with me longer so we moved over to watch the removal of the remaining branch and the tree trunk.
once again, the same brave worker went into action – up the trunk he climbed and out on the remaining branch cutting off as much as he could reach. at one point the chain saw stopped working and the foreman had to fix it – which he did about three feet from W – who gave me a running commentary of what the “workman” was doing to the chain saw.
amazingly, it took only about two hours for them to clear the tree from both back yards and sweep and stack all the cut lumber.
and then i took a very tired and very excited boy home to his dinner. secretly i was glad W wanted to watch because i did too, but when you are not almost six it’s harder to justify hanging around watching men cut down a tree. thank goodness for nephews!