Timber! How To Trim Your Own Trees

Evan got to play with the ultimate zombie weapon a chainsaw on a stick this weekend.

It. Was. Badass.

The excuse for playing with this new toy was a tree in our front yard that was all up in our house’s business. Check this out.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Having a tree touching your house is bad. Having a tree pretty much EATING your house is even worse (which is sorta what we had going on). When tree branches are resting on your roof, it allows moisture to collect there and blocks light and heat (so the moisture doesn’t evaporate) and that can cause mold and rot. Since we had to replace our entire roof when we first moved in, we did NOT want to have to put any more money into that thing (roof replacement = empty pockets).

We also had a couple other trees that were starting to tickle our roof line. This one by our garage:

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

And this one near the guest room by the side of the house:

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

It was hot as balls in Houston this weekend so Evan started out in normal Texas heat outdoor attire.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

But after those first two little trees were trimmed, he decided that a shirt and some sneakers might be a little more practical. And still super sexy. Especially the socks.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

He started slicing away at the big tree and we could not believe how many branches needed to be removed. It was wayyyyyy more than it looked like from the street.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

And some of the branches, like the cut one in the picture above, were pretty thick. If you’re going to tackle something like this, make sure you cut the branches at the correct angle so that they fall away from your chainsaw blade instead of on top of your chainsaw blade. Here’s what I mean:

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

So if the cut part of the branch will fall down, you want to cut from above so that as the branch starts to crack and fall the cut you’ve made opens up and you can keep going deeper with your chainsaw. In this scenario, if you cut from below and the branch is falling down, it will close the gap that you’re cutting and trap the chainsaw inside. Does that make sense?

And this doesn’t always mean cut from the top. There are some situations that you would cut from the bottom, like if the end of a branch you’re cutting is resting on the roof and the part that falls will be the part that you cut (as opposed to the end of the branch, which is supported by the roof) so the cut will open up as it’s falling if you cut from the bottom and close up as it’s falling if you cut from the top.

Basically, just look at the branch and see which way it’s going to start falling as the cut goes deeper, and make sure the cut widens as it falls instead of closing in on the blade.

Anyways, Evan sawed away and I was on branch duty, dragging them away to make room for more fallen branches. These branches were bigger than the trees in our backyard! The one in the picture below wasn’t even as big as they got.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Evan tackled the big kahuna. Look at that thing! The part where he cut was as big around as my leg!

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

While Evan drug out that giant branch, I hopped up in the earlier trees and cleared away branches that we had cut but hadn’t fallen (they were still kinda stuck up in there).

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Then Evan did some climbing of his own and used the leaf blower to blow away all the tree debris that was still on our roof.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Finally we got all the branches into a pile and marveled at our work. Because seriously, how did we end up with that much tree!?

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

By this point we were too exhausted to saw it into bundles and tie it up with twine so we just drug the pile to the backyard to await its fate.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

And now the view outside our bedroom window kinda looks like we are living in the treetops.

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

It was an hour and a half of hard work, but it was definitely worth it (and it was kinda fun!). We saved ourselves $100-$150 bucks by doing it ourselves, which is what we were quoted JUST to trim the big tree (not including the little ones). And now our house can breathe and our roof is safe :)

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

To save you some scrolling, here’s the before and after:

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

And here are the less dramatic before and afters for the two smaller trees:

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Timber! How to Trim Your Own Trees - evanandkatelyn.com

Glad to be almost done with this project! Will be even more glad when there’s not a forest chilling in our backyard. Anyone else have a tree trimming experience where it ended up being like 10x the amount of branches you expected? Seriously, how did that happen??

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6 Responses to Timber! How To Trim Your Own Trees

  1. Yvonne @ Sunnyside Up-Stairs August 5, 2013 at 9:26 pm #

    Thank you for sharing the chainsaw tip! You both did a lot of work and those before and after pictures show huge improvement. We have a large mango tree that is almost 30 years old with the most sweet, smooth-fleshed mangoes I’ve ever tasted, with some of the tree “eating” our roof. We got a new layer of shingles recently (after 20+ years with the old shingles) and the branches were trimmed by the roofers, but we know we’ll have a smaller mango harvest this summer. Ah, sacrifices. :)

  2. Katelyn Shibley August 6, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    SO jealous that you guys have a mango tree, that is amazing! That does stink that it’s the tree that had to be trimmed though. Sacrifices indeed! Maybe to make up for it, you can plant another mango tree (or some other tree if you want) farther from that house that won’t need to be trimmed :)

    • Yvonne @ Sunnyside Up-Stairs August 8, 2013 at 2:38 am #

      Our kind neighbors planted 7 papaya trees right next to our fence so we could harvest them for ourselves. In exchange, we give them mangoes, and they’ve planted baby trees from the seeds! I was growing a pineapple plant in a container, so I planted it in one of their empty garden beds to share. It’s huge and may grow a baby pineapple soon! (Can’t wait, it’s been growing for over a year.) Our neighbors also grow citrus, apple bananas, and pomegranates. They’re hoping to turn their extra land into a community garden soon. I offered to build things for them. =D Maybe a new adventure in the next year or two!

      What kind of fruit trees are local to your area? Do you have fruit trees in your long term plans?

  3. Katelyn Shibley August 8, 2013 at 6:41 am #

    That is so cool!! So much fruit in the neighborhood. Evan’s family lives in the area too and they have meyer lemons, grapes, pomegranates, some tiny little orange that I don’t remember the specific name of, and a bunch more. And there are a lot of orange trees in the neighborhood. We are definitely open to growing some fruit in the backyard! Think we are gonna start with an herb garden and then expand to fruits.

  4. Yvonne @ Sunnyside Up-Stairs August 8, 2013 at 8:01 am #

    Meyer lemons, grapes, oranges… yum!! :) Those are fruits I’d use every day, an awesome selection to have! An herb garden is a great start, something I still need to work on.

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