Efrain the Tree Climber Topped the 70ft Oak Tree at Brick House 319

Yesterday afternoon, Efrain arrived to top the 70ft dead oak tree in the front yard. He’s originally from Puerto Rico and has been working as a tree surgeon since 1970.


Efrain and his helper brought a 40ft ladder which they leaned up against the tree. He attached two spikes to the inside of each ankle and then he put his harness on with attachments to hold his saw.

IMGP3080John had already attached a 200ft rope over the roof ridge and then attached it to the back deck hand rail. He did this to prevent anyone from taking the rope until he drops what is left of the tree.

IMGP3081John stood on the upper roof ridge of the house and took photos as Efrain skillfully manipulated the Stihl topping saw.

IMGP3082IMGP3084IMGP3085IMGP3089IMGP3091IMGP3093IMGP3095IMGP3096IMGP3097IMGP3098IMGP3099IMGP3101IMGP3102IMGP3107IMGP3108IMGP3109IMGP3111IMGP3113IMGP3114IMGP3115IMGP3116IMGP3119IMGP3120IMGP3122IMGP3123IMGP3124IMGP3125IMGP3126IMGP3127IMGP3128IMGP3129IMGP3130IMGP3131IMGP3132IMGP3134IMGP3136IMGP3138IMGP3139IMGP3141IMGP3144After Efrain’s expert tree work, John will pull down the remaining 35ft tree trunk and cut it up for firewood.


Reclaimed Wood Stumps at Brick House 319

In preparation for the pending renovation and new roof, and after getting permission from the township, a few days ago, John had to cut down an 80-ft pine tree on the west side of the house.

IMGP2841The tree behind John is dead and will need to be removed as well.

IMGP2843Here is the dead tree with a broken branch precariously hanging on by a thread.

IMGP2840You can see the truck in the driveway backed in and loaded with the third load of branches which is ready to be taken to the recycling mulch place.

IMGP2825When I came back from work I saw these fabulous stumps and immediately thought of turning some of them into end tables. I would also like to use a couple for a place to sit in my future garden. Maybe place them out of view so there’s an element of surprise when a reclaimed “stump seat” is stumbled upon.

IMGP2823I marked off 5 of the biggest pieces to save before the others head for the log splitter and turn into firewood. First, I’ll chisel off the bark, John can level them for me, and then I’ll seal each stump with polyurthene. There’s the option of staining one or two first, but I would rather leave them natural. (If anyone has other ideas for the stumps, send them my way.)

IMGP2848John then loaded the stumps in the back of his truck to drive the heavy load back to the corner of the property. We will need to rent a log splitter or maybe eventually buy one. He has gone through about three tailgates since buying the truck in 2004. It’s actually hard to find tailgates for his make/model/year at junkyards. When they do come up, a used one is between $150 & $300. We got the last three at a junkyard in Flemington, NJ (not too far from Princeton where we lived before).


You’ll actually see some empty bins to the right. John intentionally set some aside for the construction/renovation phase; they will be useful in various ways (filling with construction debris, etc). You’ll also see on the ground, and to the left, a pool of black cable wire. John began slicing the length of the black plastic coating with a razor knife exposing the copper, which you can see on the right side of the photo. This was very time consuming but when he takes it down to the metal recycling place, it will pay off. There is a filament inside the copper so the rate they give him will be different than solid copper. Finally, John gets to make a little something from what was left on the property.

IMGP2853IMGP2867Once it’s seasoned, the pine will be ready for the fireplace. The stump on the extreme left is one of the future end tables.