This 50' split oak was about 2 feet from the fence, 20-30 feet from the above ground pool, and basically dead. Tonight, it looks more like this:
And all that happened with $10 worth of 2x4s, a hand saw (pretty awesome saw, this one - highly recommended!), $10 worth of 100' nylon braided rope, and risk loving teenage boys. We built a ladder onto the tree, then cut it down in pieces, with rope attached to the pieces we were cutting in order to guide the pieces down without hitting anything.
Guess what? We did it! Without breaking anything (or anyone) in the process. (OK, I did break a hammer attempting to remove one of the two-by-four steps - well, the nail from one of those, and there was a slight gouge on the fence post in that picture, but you can't really see it.) You can see the whole "tree saga" in photos here, but as a summary, here's a few from the album:
Cool, huh? But I'm worn out. Thanks to Justin, Ronnie, and Alex for the help taking down the tree (and splitting the resulting logs), and to Lydia and Ninfa for their assistance during and after the process (cleaning up the debris, for instance). And to God for making sure we didn't break anything or anyone in the process of saving a few bucks by not calling a tree service. Tomorrow (maybe) I'll write about the absolute silliness of our income taxes, but for now, this will have to do. Took a tree down in less than a week, from "just a tree" to a stack of firewood (too bad I don't have a wood-burning fireplace!).
OK, night, all!