Goodbye, ancient one

28 10 2022

We’ve had an old peppermint tree (Agonis flexuosa) growing on our property, likely for many generations. But it’s had, and has caused, some problems—the most recent was a tree limb snapping off without warning and landing on the driveway, and previous to that, termites, and branches overhanging the house. We’ve had the overhanging branches lopped several times and had treated the termites. This is the only tree close to our house and it’s many tens of thousands of dollars cheaper to lop a few limbs every few years than to replace an entire smashed corner of a double-brick house!

But with the latest unexpected branch drop, we realised it was time for the tree to go. Who knows what would happen in a big storm with gale-force winds coming from the north-west as they do? Or in a bushfire (the oil in the leaves is highly volatile)?

I contacted the people who’d previously done our lopping, but 2 months after accepting their quote, they still couldn’t give me a date when they’d come. I found another company and the owner came out the next day, gave me a quote on the spot ($400 cheaper than the first quote) and told me it would likely be done within 3-4 weeks. Two weeks later I get a text to see if 7:15am in a couple of days time was OK—sure was!

They turned up at 7am with ALL the regalia—about 4 trucks, a big cherry-picker crane, the wood chipper, a small piece of equipment that could pick up big logs and put them into the back of a truck, etc. By 7:15 they were into it, and within 2 hours they were all done, had cleaned up the site, and taken all bits of the tree away. They also poisoned the stump to hopefully prevent new shoots from forming. They couldn’t grind the stump because of its location on a narrow retaining wall at least a metre off the ground, and they couldn’t cut it down too close to the ground as the base of it was way too big for their various size chainsaws.

I was particularly impressed with their professionalism—using a cherry-picker crane to get to the high branches instead of shimmying up the tree with ropes and leaving chainsaws hanging in the air, using chains and a small loader thing to lift the large trunk piece, and cleaning up. The boss was also training a younger chap, and he spent time showing the young bloke the right way to do things. And they all wore the appropriate safety gear.

From beginning to end…