He's a Lumberjack and He's OK...

This tree-feller sits nonchalantly in the tree while he hacks off the branches around him. 
Once that branch has gone he will have little to hold on to!

Next to Jane and Sean's house was a huge camphor tree that was causing problems. One end of the house was always in shadow, because of the overhanging branches. This caused serious damp problems as the walls never dried out. So, they asked the complex manager if it could be moved. Fortunately, camphor trees are non-native trees to South Africa, and not only could, but should be removed.

The South African government has a programme in place to remove all non-native trees.The camphor tree was imported into South Africa as a shade tree or wind-break, as well as for its medicinal oils. Unfortunately, it uses a vastly disproportionate amount of water when compared to indigenous plants. It is estimated that alien plants in South Africa use in excess of 3.3 billion cubic metres of water per year, equivalent to that flowing through 26 of the largest dams in the country. So, in the interests of natural biodiversity, ecology and Jane's sanity, the tree had to go.

Now, I have never seen a tree removed before, but I cannot but think that the famous British 'elf and safety would not have approved of the South African way. It was efficient, but very scary! Without any harnesses or safety nets, two men climbed up into the tree and began sawing bits off - sometimes with a bow-saw, and sometimes with a power saw. They had ropes, but the ropes were attached to the cut branches so they could let them down to the ground. The men had to cling onto the tree as best they could, using a spare arm or their legs.Here are the photos I took. The question is, would you do this?

As you can see, the ladder isn't quite long enough, so the guy had to shin up the tree.

It's a miracle that the guy on the top didn't send the huge branch he was cutting 
on top of his mate below!

Perched precariously on a sawn-off branch, the tree-feller saws through a huge part of the trunk.

The next day, they came back to remove a branch from another tree that was dangling dangerously over Jane's garden. Here, the man sawed off bits of the branch as he wriggled backwards - not for the faint-hearted I think! (Also note the absence of any protective gear!!)

Elizabeth Coughlan

1 comment:

  1. Amazing! Must have been fascinating (but scary!) to watch! Some great pictures!


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