Mom Came for Visit

At the very end of October, right before Sandy hit, my mom came for a visit. We used the time to get a ton of yard work done. Slow-going yard work, since she has been dealing with back issues and my tailbone still hurt quite a bit!

My uncle wanted to see some photos of our yard to see how large it is. These were taken after most of the yard work was done, right before Sandy hit. (We did secure/remove all those loose planters and the like.)

Picnic Table View

Fireplace View

We did some fun stuff, like spruce up the front steps with some mums. But most of the time was spent doing Sandy-prep. We cleaned the gutters, took down widow makers that the neighbors were ignoring, limbed up and took down trees.

This Tool Was a Massive Fail

Mom Couldn’t Get it to Work Either
Mom Uses the Pole Trimmer to Scoot Siding into Place

A Limbed Up Tulip Poplar

This Tree is Holding Up the Fence

Widow Maker No More

The battle with the English Ivy continues. I’ve removed 385 gallons and made a dent on, oh, maybe 10% of the yard. Good Man had fun smooshing the ivy down for me.

Sure, I Can Step On This…

And Then Walk Away…

Because I Am…

Good Man

The most exciting work was taking down a bunch of trees. We whacked down a whole bunch of weed trees along the south fence, and then we looked at this Dr Seuss tree on the north side.

Pretty Leaves

Weird Tree

The tree had very few leaves on it on our side and was struggling for light. We asked the neighbors if they would care if we took it down since most of it was over their yard. They were delighted at the idea, and told us not to worry about the fence.

Where Should the Brick-Rope Go?

We had taken down a bunch of trees and large branches with the rope, so Good Man knew what to do.

Hold the Rope

And Pull

Unfortunately, the tree decided it was not going to obey, bound the chainsaw up, and went over the fence.


It wasn’t a big deal, though. Mom and Good Man went over to the neighbors’ side of the fence, chopped the large stuff up and dragged it to the street. The smaller stuff got thrown on our side of the fence.

Even with that tree going wonky, the backyard looked like a tree graveyard.

Tree Graveyard

Truth be told, the backyard is still a bit of a mess. We spent several weekend chopping up trees and branches, leaving an eight by four by three foot pile of brush for the crane truck each week. And gallons of ivy. And piles of leaves for the vacuum.

I finally gave up and dragged the remaining stuff to one side of the yard to rot. It’ll be good for the soil. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

The End

2 thoughts on “Mom Came for Visit

  1. Okay… It’s good that you roped up that tree, but I think where you may have erred was 1) judging where the weight of the tree wanted to fall, 2) removing some of that weight so Good Man had a chance of pulling it to where you intended it to fall, and 3) first cutting a wedge out of the trunk on the side you wanted to tree to fall and then cutting from the opposite side of the trunk. That third point may have not been possible because of the fence in the way. When you cut out the wedge, make a horizontal cut 1/3 of the way through the trunk, and then a diagonal 45 degree-ish cut down into the first cut. I would’ve also forwent the chainsaw and just used a pruning saw or bow saw (for that particular cut at least, if you had lots of limbs to prune or cut up, then a chainsaw makes it easier, but also noisier and smellier). After wedging out the trunk, you probably could’ve just pulled the thing down into your yard and then actually complete the severance.

    Is that a Fiskar’s pole pruner? I never liked that particular brand of tools. And telescoping pole pruners always seemed heavier and too flexible.

    haha sorry for the unasked for critique of your hard work! I guess a landscaper in a classroom is still a landscaper at heart, just less calloused and a bit cleaner haha.

    • Hey Jonathan,

      We actually did cut the smile into the tree. My grandfather was a lumberjack, way back when, so he taught my mom how to take down a tree. Where we messed up was misjudging how much weight it had on the neighbors’ side. We actually discussed trimming on that side, first, but decided not to, since they didn’t care if it went over their side.

      We have a Fiskar’s pole trimmer and like it–once we were able to tighten some part so it actually locks. It’s OK. And I realized that photo was miscaptioned. I was using a water-based gutter cleaner and it didn’t work (that’s the photo of me). Good Man ended up cleaning out the gutters by hand and when he was up on the ladder, it ended up knocking some siding out of place. Mom used the pole trimmer to fix the siding. Ha ha ha.

      Since we were taking out a whole bunch of trees and needed to chop them up for the crane truck, we went with the chainsaw. :)

      I want to get this boring part of yard work over so I can get to the gardening part!!

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