Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A tale of trees

That tortuous Silver Birch tree that was behind my existing deck, and in the way of my larger new one, is now finally gone... for good. Or is it??

At time of purchase in 2011, the building inspection found some issues with the deck.

We always do a home inspection when buying / selling houses, well worth the price IF you get a reputable one.  Knowing that this deck is nearing its useful life, we decided that we would simply address the issues to extend its life a few years, while we attend to other renovations inside.
And that tree behind the deck came in handy to fix the deck
It was one of the first thing we did, to make it secure, in time for our first party at the home :-)

The tree behind it made it great to pull back the deck from the house.
Notice the two stumps, that trio was cut earlier by previous owner

In order to replace the rotten ledger board against the house, which was also only spiked with rusty nails, as was the norm back when this deck was built, 70s.

Temporary braces on, deck was pulled back just enough to be able to detached it from house and replaced with a proper PT piece lagged bolted to house framing and flashed with drip edge, as per today's code. We proceed in two sections for ease of work.

Having rescued the deck for a few years, we could then proceed with our renovations inside and have the deck handled our friends safely :-)

My friend Ray, we served in the RCAF together

That tree was useful, as a bird feeder, and it did provided some shade on the deck.
Heather wanted to keep this tree, incorporated it in the new deck she said.
We could never agreed on that, so it went on for a while...

In the winter she made me cleared a path to go feed the bird feeder

It did made a good platform for bird photography.
Set my camera WIFI on, controlled from my iPad on the couch with Rudy on my lap,
 I could view and snap pics 

How such pics were possible

But still the debate about this tree went on for a few years. After she passed I was torn about cutting down "Her" tree.

The new deck will extend past the tree

A good friend of Heather and I, David Morris, suggested that I transplant a part of it before cutting it down, this way it will live on.
I mulled that for a while and thought he was right, dilemma solved. Thanks David
A year ago, we did just that, transplanted a sapling from it, and made sure that it was well established before cutting down the tree behind the deck.

That sapling with a little statuette.
Heather's angel holding Rudy

This year, we cut down about 11 trees of various types and sizes around my lot in order to put a fence in to let Rudy be free ranging in the yard. The street in front of my house is a rural secondary highway, HWY 201, I am worry about Rudy running across it chasing squirrels. We get a fair share of traffic on it, it goes to the local shopping mall and the Wing. Not to mention High speed Rice Rockets (Japanese high performance bikes) zooming by in the summer months. Speed limit is 80 KPH but, you would never know at time... 

So, then the tree came down

But like others around my yard which were cut about two month's ago, some are showing signs of life again, they just wont die...

That small oak tree in the middle was cut
Now you see it

Now you don't...

2 months later...

We then made a small controlled fire on top of it to dry up the stump and kill life on it

Later that nite. 
Have not seen any signs of life around it since. About 3 weeks ago

Similarly, that tree behind the deck just keep sprouting new shoots, as fast as I cut them.

We then gave him a similar treatment, except that I first started to dug around it to expose the roots in prevision for pulling it out shortly with the help of a friend.
Overkill? Perhaps, but its in the way of digging post holes and I don't want it to keep growing under my new deck.

Started to dug around and exposed the root ball. 
No wonder there was quite a hill there...

Later on Jean did another controlled fire on top of it

Then started to follow the roots to get them out

My friend Doug, shows up and cut most of the roots away. 
The plan was to cut all the exposed roots using a combination
 of a chain saw and a recip saw, then pull it out using his truck

Digging under, we can start to wooble it

Finally, flipped over by us, no truck pulling was required

The under side of the root ball, most of the solid growth was side ways, not downward.

We rolled it up his truck using a ladder

The final mess Im left with :-)

Took the rest of the day off yesterday, I'm still aching, but relieved it went easier than I thought, just like Doug said :-)

So there you have it, why my blog has been quiet for awhile, I'm a tad busy in the yard still.
The plan is to get ready for next year with our deck plans.

Bob, who keep forgetting I am not 20 anymore, I feel a tad sore everywhere, but real men (read stubborn old goats) keep on trucking. One down, and more to go...


  1. He He Brian, yah, that's woodworking alright.
    And like any trees of significance I cut, IÉ kept some parts of it for a future project.