The tree guys finally got here yesterday and cut down the dead pine tree.
While I'm sad that it died and had to be cut down, I'm VERY glad that they got here and took it out before any tropical storms or hurricanes decided to take it out while rearranging our roofline.
The picture to the right here shows the first major cut being made. They had a rope tied to the top section to make sure that it fell in the direction they intended.
The second picture, to the left, shows the top down and the leftover "stub", which they rapidly felled to lie right beside the top.
After cutting the trunk up into 8-10 foot sections, they systematically loaded everything up into the bucket of a Bobcat and carried it out of the yard to a waiting dumptruck. Even the pine straw was eventually scooped up into the bucket.
In less than 1 1/2 hours, they were done. The tree was gone, the stump was ground up, and a new normal was being established in the yard.
The thing that amazes me the most is how open and vulnerable that area seems now. Since the tree has been dead for almost 2 months, and since we saw nothing but the bare trunk at our eye level, I didn't expect to feel as much of an impact in the yard as I do. It will be good for the butterfly garden to get a little more sun, but we've lost any sense of destination and/or enclosure for the "Outback" seating area.
A little side note: the tree was younger than I expected. Counting the rings, I estimated that the tree was between 42 and 47 years old, depending on how long it had stayed in the "grass" stage. Overall, about my age or a little younger. Somehow that gives me pause.
Life goes on. Typical of any gardener, I suppose, I'm already planning what I'm going to put in the empty space. Suggestions anyone?