10:14 a.m. on April 13, 2006

We live just outside of Seattle in what I guess can be called the suburbs. We are smack in between 2 freeways, but it is easy to pretend the traffic noise is just the sound of a mighty river rushing through the woods. As a natural sound wall, hundreds of tall pine and cedar trees surround the neighborhood. This adds certain loveliness to the area as well as some excitement when the wind comes through. Sasha loves the trees, but having grown up in tornado country and already having one tree fall on the house has instilled a certain paranoia in him, so he decided to have his friend come out and trim the branches and get rid of the dead bits. I would prefer using the money somewhere else, like toward a tropical vacation, but $75 a tree seemed reasonable.

Sasha’s friend works in the arboretum, so is used to scaling tall trees, but I was sure he was going to have a branch crack underneath him and fall to certain peril. Don’t get me wrong, I am not afraid of heights, in fact, I love heights, but it is a dangerous profession, nonetheless.

It was fun watching him strap himself into a harness and hoist himself up into sky. He broke off dead branches on his way up and once he got to the top of the 85 foot high tree (he measured it with his rope), he worked his way down while sawing off necessary branches. I think this made the trees happy, like getting a much needed haircut.

When he was done with all 4 trees that needed a shave, the entire yard was buried chest-high with tree parts. Sasha rented a wood chipper and spent 12 hours over 2 days turning the tree remains into a hundred pounds of mulch.

Here are some photos of the process. I circled the trimmer in the very top of the tree.

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