This is the grapple digger on it's transporter, in our loading area. It is the crucial machine along with Chainsaw Pete to safely fell our 4 large gum trees. These men have worked here before but never in such an inaccessible part of the property.
Here is the before skyline looking out from the house.( early yesterday morning. )
I did much of the photography ( for safety reasons ) from across the gully through the shelter belt around the avocado block.
The house is up to the left in this shot.. 2 large logs are already lying on the ground.
The driver pulled his machine up from the bottom so not to destroy stuff up above.
He used his bucket to push the tree so it would fall the right way.
Then Pete chainsawed it down.
Leaving stumps like this.
The trunks were cut into logs that would fit onto a truck.
The grapple then carried them all along a track, around a corner and up the steep hill to where the truck could back down to.
This part happened early this morning. ( yes that's block 2 b kiwifruit in the background. Luckily he did not drop any logs when he needed to swing them out over the top of the vines. )
One load disappearing up the track. The drivers had to back down that track empty and you can't see where the track is below you so they did well. ( you can see we still have plenty of trees near the house - but none now that shade it too much.)
One load going past the house.
The trees had an average weight of 40 tonnes. 10 logs are millable That will help to offset the cost of having the job done.Those gums were planted in 1979.
On the plus side, lots more sun is now streaming into the garden and house. There is firewood aplenty for the next few years for us and others.
On the negative side this operation destroyed many smaller trees and plants that were nearby - but that destruction started when we had the landslide ( about 4 years ago ) down the creek gully that filled and destroyed our lovely lake. Long term over the next couple of years the area now cleared will be tidied firewood removed rubbish burned and the area grassed so it will be mowable on the ride on. It will also now be safe from falling gums limbs. At the moment there is a huge amount of cleaning up to do.
I just went away and found these old photo of the gums when the area around them was garden. BEFORE the landslide destroyed it all.
Makes me feel quite sick when I realise how much work we had put into making this garden.