Yard War III

Yard War III

The standard

Normally I set aside Sunday afternoons for a ride through the countryside, but last week I’d managed to squeeze in a ride on Saturday. Besides, it was raining into the early hours of the morning, and the weather reports threatened more rain (because - you know - we haven’t had enough of that lately) by noon or so. So it seemed reasonable to default to some yard work until the rain started to fall.

Behind our shed we have a volunteer maple tree for which a portion gave up the ghost and fell over late last fall. At the time it was unfortunate, but did not require any immediate attention. As spring has come, however, that departed tree now stands (or rather, lays) in the path of the lawnmower. It has been time to deal with it for a while, and today provided a good opportunity, given the circumstances.

LB has been engaged in ongoing work on the yard this summer, but this was a multiple person job. So we gathered up our weaponry and struck out.

One might look at the prospect of cutting up a tree and think first and foremost of a chainsaw. And understandably so - I know it’s something that I think of every time I take on a project like this.

But I don’t own a chainsaw.

Perhaps I should, and it occurs to me at least once a year or so. But the need is an intermittent one, and typically by the end of the project the felt need has faded. Besides, swinging an axe and running a hand saw provide a workout that a power tool doesn’t offer. So each year I end the season without having purchased a chainsaw, and the following season the cycle begins anew.

And now it was time for LB to learn their way around the handle of an axe.

Axe pose

The primary goal was to remove the downed portion of the tree. It was a good 10-15 foot of maple, which meant that it had to come out in portions.

Chopping away

Rosie offered to help, but her lack of thumbs presented a particular impediment to actual assistance...

Rosie watching, thumb-limited

There was a secondary objective of clearing away lower branches so that mowing could be cut closer to the trees going forward. Progress through all of this took a fair chunk of the afternoon, and ended up with a fair amount of debris.


Once everything was cut away it was a matter of hauling it off to the ever-present burn pile. Some pieces were small and manageable, while others were slightly larger...

Hauling trunk

Some four hours later, give or take, this particular project was done, both objectives achieved. There’s still more to be done, of course. There is always more to be done. But we were finished for this day.