Tuesday: (03/13) We used the alarm clock, a rare use for us since retirement. We headed to San Jose to watch the removal of the cedar tree in front of Dawn’s house. We had requested the city to remove it. We stopped on the way at La Victoria Taqueria in downtown San Jose for breakfast. We both had the chorizo breakfast burritos with their great orange sauce. Lou shared hers with Dawn.

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We made it to the house just on time. The tree crew was there waiting for 8am when they could start making noise. Lou and Dawn got ready to watch. It really didn’t take long (by 10am) for them to have the tree stripped of most of it’s limbs and ready to bring down the rest.

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All the lower branches were brought down either thrown by hand to the street or lowered with a rope to the street.

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It was a very tall cedar tree, much higher than their aerial truck can reach so it made it more interesting to watch how they removed the top without causing damage to the picket fence in front of the house. The aerial lift truck only got the man up so far so the top 30 feet came down in one piece and broke in to 3 foot pieces when it hit the roadway.

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Chipping the pieces of the top of the tree. Those chipped limbs filled the truck so one of the men took the load to the dump while the other two men removed the rest of the tree. They brought down the main trunk of the tree in about 3′ chunks each with a rope attached. They successfully removed the tree and caused no damage to the picket fence below.

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Ready to fell the main trunk. By noon the rest of the tree was on the ground. Lou headed on home but I remained to watch. While they took lunch, I returned to the La Victoria for a milanesa torta (breaded steak sandwich).

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In the afternoon they chipped up the rest of the tree, all of it. Rather a waste of good cedar. It would have made for an awful lot of good fire wood or lumber but I certainly couldn’t make good use of it. Too bad that they couldn’t use it. The main trunk of the tree was cut into pieces small enough to pass into the chipper (less than 18″ in height)

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Go head, count the rings. I counted the rings on the tree and it’s between 90-100 rings, a very old tree, probably older than the house, which was built in 1917. It’s amazing how large of pieces they feed in to the chipper. They ended up filling their truck with cedar tree trunk chips but still had more unchipped and not enough time to do it so they loaded the chunks of wood onto their other trucks and swept the rest into piles left in front of the house.

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The tree’s all gone, only sawdust and a stump left as the trucks drive off. They’ll pick those piles up tomorrow. In a few days, after the utility companies can locate their lines, they will grind out the stump. Since we wont get notified of when they will be back we’ll probably miss it.  I caught the bus home as it started to rain. Lucky crew. Lou made some Chinese noodles with vegetables ,bacon and nuts for dinner.

Some videos of the tree removal below:

  • Video: Felling the top of the tree, most of it above the highest reach of the aerial truck.
  • Video: Preparing to fell lower portion of the tree.
  • Video: Felling the lower portion of the tree.
  • Photos: Movie of the photos taken during the tree removal
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