Photo Essay: Just Cut It
Taking down a 110-year-old oak tree in Braintree, Mass.
|When the tree began dropping large limbs on calm, sunny days, the property owner ordered an inspection that revealed its main load-bearing sections were rotted on the inside. Saving it was not an option, especially when its enormous mass posed a threat to human life during a storm. But how do professionals go about cutting down such a massive tree in a populated area? Don't do this work on your own; those pictured are part of a professional tree-maintenance and cutting service.|
|The climber dons boot spikes and a harness as his work day begins.||From his "throne," the crane operator coordinates the operation.||The crane hoists the climber toward the tree.|
|After securing each limb to the crane, he cuts it away.||The chipper operator "catches" the limbs from the crane.||He saws the limbs into sections the chipper can manage.|
|With a push of the button the tree limbs become mulch.||The chipper can handle tree limbs several inches in diameter.||The climber cautiously crawls out toward the power lines.|
|He cuts carefully knowing that live wires are nearby.||The tree's hollow load-bearing section falls away.||The combination of a windy day and the tree's rotted trunk creates a shower of sawdust.|
|The cuts divide the main trunk into 10-foot sections.||The final cut: the last section of the main trunk at ground level||The massive trunk is hoisted over the wires and shakes the street when set down.|
All images are copyright © 2005 by Mike Colclough, all rights reserved.