Dec 10, 2012

Single-Handedly Felling an Oak Tree

As much as I hated it, I watched a 20 foot oak tree in my yard be cut down today.  This is the second time the unfortunate tree has been mutilated, but it probably won't bounce back again.   Six years ago we cut the trunk and removed all the branches, but it sprouted new ones and just kept heading toward the sky.    It's a problem because the tree is growing only about four feet from my neighbor's house, and she's afraid it will topple over onto her roof.  Every January,  Boquete gets fierce winds.  It's not uncommon for trees to be uprooted and tossed about.   In fact, when I bought the house in 2006,  I had to hire someone to remove a huge, horizontal eucalyptus that had suffered this fate.
It's not easy getting a tree cut down in Boquete.  It requires a permit from the municipality.  The permit took 8 weeks to obtain.  In 2006, I didn't know a permit was required, and just paid someone  $ 20 to do the work.   Three men came out and handled it.  (The tree grew back, but that was fine with me.)  This time, I went the official route.   It took a total of 3 months to accomplish and cost $ 125.    One man came out to do the task, and he brought his teenage son and a friend to pick up the leaves and branches.    I admit I was swimming in doubts, but the photos below show how he did it.
I gave the wood to my neighbor, who is having it made into a rocking chair.  She has a new granddaughter she wants to be able to rock to sleep at night.


For me, it was fascinating to watch the process, from start to finish.  And seeing the tree trunk turn into 4 x 4's was more than I expected.    Seemed to be pretty nice wood, when it was all said and done.   A far cry from my Home Depot lumber shopping days.