Two more palms bite the dust!

Our job today was to remove two California Fan Palms (Washingtonia filifera). These were nice trees but they hadn’t been trimmed in years. The property owner didn’t like them and didn’t want to invest money in cleaning them up – so out they came!

We had issues with powerlines in the way and decided to remove them without a crane. That saves some money but means a lot more heavy work. The trunks on these trees weigh several tons each!

We started by taking a section of wood fence out for later equipment access. Then I went up in the lift and cut all the fronds off both trees. Talk about carrot-topping! I hoped nobody saw the trees with us there at this point!

Cutting off the fronds.

Next we needed to have our power company come out and drop the powerline (secondary) going into the house. They are just like a huge extension cord, but our guidelines require that we stay 10ft away from them!

APS Lineman disconnecting the power to the house so we can cut down the trunk.

We’re finally ready to proceed! We tied a rope to the top of each section and cut it through. Shannon pulled on the rope and a couple times I had to help him by going up and pushing on the top of the piece. Here are some shots that my son took of the pieces coming down!

Skins go flying off as the piece plunges to the ground!

This one probably weighs just under 1000lbs - they're full of water!

We finally got the trunks down under the level of the secondary and the power company came back to reconnect the house. We predicted a 2 hour power outage and that is just what it turned out to be!

Daniel and the big mess!

The bottom pieces of trunk which Daniel is on probably weigh a couple thousand pounds… we could barely push them over once I got them cut off at ground level. The trunks at that point are probably about 28″ diameter! We have a cart (pictured below) which is rated at 1500lbs but I don’t know anybody who could operate it with that much weight! Here is Shannon getting rid of the top piece of the palm:

Shannon with the top of the palm tree on our cart.

We scheduled a man with a tractor to load all the rest of the pieces into our trailer tomorrow. We will take them to the “Palm Carver”. He makes the tikis I mentioned in a previous post. He has just started wholesaling them and needs a lot more raw materials. We give him all our palm trunks, and he also gets some at a palm nursery in Phoenix. The ones from the nursery have the roots on the bottom of the trunk and he flips the pieces over and uses the roots as hair. These are some of his most popular pieces and are the ones I like best. Here is a picture of ours:

"Harry" ("Hairy"?)

You can see from this picture what a dense network or roots the palm trees have. None are very big, but there are a lot of them! No wonder palm trees are usually the last things standing when a hurricane goes through!

Tomorrow we will load out the trunk sections and start on a job where we need to remove a lot of small dead trees and re-top some Mulberries. There are also a couple palms to trim. We’ll have the lift and chipper there for a couple days…