My friend Sean who did the plastering when we renovated the living room, didn't want payment when he did the work for me, instead he wanted to have some favours in the bank for work he wanted done at his place. I almost prefer this trading of skills rather than handing over money - the trouble is I assumed he'd want my carpentry skills!
Sunday morning I went to his to begin to pay him back. In the recent storms he had a plum tree half blown over and caught up in a pine tree next to it. This is in his little 1 acre orchard that's not had any work done to the trees in a long while.
The tree, although not massive, was in a quite a dangerous place as the weight of them was being supported by a few branches of this other tree. It had to come down with my help or fall down sometime soon.
Although I have a chainsaw I'm no expert, unlike my tree surgeon brother, but luckily I've worked with him enough to know what to do and how to approach the job. I must say that since buying our smallholding my skills with a chainsaw have increased dramatically!
I slowly worked on the tree making sure I tidied up as I went along, to reduce the number of hazards I was working around, and this way I was just left with the branches that were hung up in the other tree with nothing else obstructing them.
Then it was a simple matter of a few well placed cuts and letting it fall to the ground. I was quite pleased with myself that it went so well!
I then logged it up for Sean and left him with a big pile of brash to clean up!
Before I went we set our "tree karma" straight and planted three trees that I had brought with me to replace the one that was cut down. We planted a cherry, pear and apple, the apple. Sean's son Oliver helped, he seemed to really enjoy digging the holes and getting the trees in - I wonder if he wants to help me plant a couple of hundred willow cuttings?