If a Tree Falls in a Forest

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
I don’t know, but if one falls in your yard in the desert, it does not really matter whether you hear it or not, you see it.

I live in Southern Arizona and at this time of year we get summer rainstorms, locally referred to as monsoons. During this period the prevailing winds shift from westerly to southeasterly, bringing more moisture in from the Gulf of California and Gulf of Mexico. The days often begin clear and very warm, but as the heat of the day builds, huge clouds build, cooling the temperatures and increasing relative humidity, then dump huge quantities of rain in a very short time. During one of these storms the temperature can drop from over 100 degrees to 60 degrees F. in a matter of minutes. This is the time of wind and dust, flash floods and lightening, and the smell of rain in the desert.

In the first 2 weeks of September we got 5.57″ of rain. All that rain sinking into our spongy earth added with a serious windstorm was too much for my tree to handle… the tree is leaning quite severely. Most of its roots are still underground, but the ground is a bit lifted up and extremely soft.

So what do you do with a tree like this? I called several tree services to see if anyone could save the tree or if it needed to be cut down. I planted this mesquite tree from a seed and watched it grow over the years, I am a bit attached to it. After having several companies come out to survey the situation, I found a company with an arborist. An arborist, or (less commonly) arboriculturist, is a professional in the practice of arboriculture, which is the cultivation, management, and study of individual trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. The company’s name is Arapahoe Tree Surgeons, http://www.arapahoetreeservice.com/ and I highly recommend them.

The people at Arapahoe Tree Surgeons were wonderful. They took the time to explain the entire process and let me hang out and document them resetting my tree. It is a fascinating process and pretty evolved, not to mention time consuming. I was a bit late getting to the site so the very first steps are missing. No worries, there are plenty of steps to this process.

Above is the tree set up with cables to wench it back to its original position. They started with two wenches on this side of the tree to upright it. It is a slow process, they can only wench the tree up a little at a time and let it adjust to its new position.

Under the ground anchoring the cables are these Duck Bill Anchors. they rotate into a perpendicular “anchor lock” after installed.

As you can see above the tree is nearly upright. This is a slow process, as to not break the roots.

Here the arborist is softening the ground with a little more water.

They end up adding a wench line to the tree for the final lift.

The wench is attached to the back of the truck and the rope is pulled in very slowly, with periodic rests to allow the tree roots to settle.

Above is the last whole being drilled for the duck anchor to be installed in. The tree will end up with three cables and a floating-eye network to provide additional support & restraint during elevated wind stress.

They use this hammer drill to push the duck anchor deep into the ground.

The photo above shows the arborist carefully burying the roots of the tree.

Now that the tree is upright and in its original position, it is time for a little trimming. But now comes the hard part… the floating-eye network scaffold.

To install the scaffold, first a hole is drilled in the branch at just the correct position.

Cable is run through the hole, this will be done to several branches and then attached to the duck anchors. Because the cables are not rigid, the tree’s growth structure is not dependent on the cable for strength.

This loop will connect to a cable that is attached to the duck anchor.

Once all the branches are cabled they are attached to this floating eye. This system move freely or floats, while it defends against limb break-out.

“Ta da” only four hours later and lots of work and my tree is back up and gorgeous! What wonderful shade it will continue to provide that large window in the kitchen. Not to mention great homes for wildlife, oh, and the little dove’s nest didn’t even fall out.

Having the tree reset to its original position, staked, bridged & cabled was far less expensive than having it removed and replaced. And I get to keep my lovely tree, besides, I know this tree isn’t going anywhere but up.

Link to Arapahoe Tree Surgeons, http://www.arapahoetreeservice.com/ I highly recommend them!

~ by Meg on September 24, 2011.

5 Responses to “If a Tree Falls in a Forest”

  1. I enjoyed the quote “If a tree falls…” and how you bridged that to your subject. Also, it was neat to see the progression of the projects through the pictures. I was impressed with your blog, and I look forward to following it.

    Thanks again,

    • Thank you so much Tobin, what a wonderful complement. I so glad you enjoyed the post. I found the entire process of resetting the tree just amazing.

  2. thanks, ill check back soon, have bookmarked you for now.

  3. It is a lovely tree!

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