Three Eucalyptus out in Two Hours!

Today we did the job I mentioned looking at in a very exclusive golf course community here in Wickenburg. The job was simple – take out three medium-sized Eucalyptus trees, growing next to a house, inside a courtyard with a 24″ gate, with a nice flower garden underneath the first two. Yikes! Better get a crane… And we did!

We arrived on the job a little early to get set up. We found an exterminator there taking care of a bee swarm that was near the last of the three trees to come out. I was glad the homeowners found the bees and not us! Here he is in a bee suit spraying the swarm up under the eaves of the house:

Exterminator spraying the swarm!

Here is a picture of the yard showing two of the three trees we were to remove. The third tree is in the side yard and is concealed behind the trees in front.  The tallest tree on the right and the tree immediately to its left are the two we were to remove.

Our Beautiful Worksite!

We had the crane set up in the road because there was little room to work in the driveway. The driver determined that he could get both these trees from the road. With the distance and size of the pieces, he was able to get each tree with just one “pick”.  Here he is getting set up:

Smiley Crane ready to lift the first tree!

I was able to tie him in to two branches (rather than one for stability) from a ladder. Then I came down to make the cut. When the cut went through, the piece rotated to horizontal – which could have been trouble! But, the driver was able to reel in the cable and lift the piece as it rotated, so that nothing bad happened at all. It looked very controlled! Here is the piece coming down onto the road. We have grabbed branches and are trying to spin it so that most of it will be off the road. That is the whole tree! It was a little over 20″ diameter at the ground.

Look out below!

The second tree came out much like the first except that both branches that we were tied to broke off (eventually) due to rot from a topping job someone had done on the tree in years past. Fortunately everything turned out fine – the second branch broke just as the crane was setting the piece down in the road – AND, nobody was under it!

One of the reasons I haven’t posted anything for a few days is that I have been busy training a new worker. His name is Gareth Miller and here he is running the chipper:

Gareth running the chipper.

My friend and Minister, Brian Kropf, helped out on the job too. I’ve had him help on several of our crane jobs where saving a little time here and there can save big money! Here Brian is trying to get the shackle and friction saver installed on the load line of the crane in preparation to lift me into the last tree!

Brian installed the equipment necessary for lifting a climber into the tree.

The crane needed to reposition to access the last tree. It was too tall to set the slings from a ladder, so I got to go for a crane ride! It is a little nerve-wracking, but fun.

Up, Up, and Away!

I got into the tree and set both of the slings that you see dangling below me. Then I rappeled down the line to the ground and pulled my climbing line out of the rigging. You can see how the crane hook is completely unobstructed with a setup like this. It makes things easier in the tree!

After I was on the ground, Brian made the cut and we got the last tree out!

Another whole tree flies away!

With all the trees on the ground, the crane was free to leave. The customer wanted the firewood, so we had a lot of cutting and hauling, as well as brush to chip and much raking to do! The cleanup took longer than the cutting!

It would have been nice to use the lift to access these trees, but there was no room! If there had been more lift work to do, we could have used the crane to move the lift into the courtyard. That would have to be really exciting!

We have some fairly straightforward removals to do for the next few days. I still need to get some palm tree pictures and do a post on them and their trimming. Stay tuned…