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My niece finally realized she better get the damaged trees and limbs removed from her backyard before the city calls itself done picking up all the debris residents pile up on their curbs. So, she put out a call for help and Second Son and I, the most experienced with a chainsaw and cutting down trees, were elected as the main labor crew.

Here’s what we had to deal with:

The willow tree, which really doesn’t look all that bad in this shot, actually sprawled clear back to the house, and more importantly, over the neighbor’s garage. The maple tree in the foreground (only the bottom half of which is showing here) wasn’t sprawling all over the place, but had to come down because it sits atop the sewer line and she’s sick of calling Roto-Rooter out every time she turns around to clear the tree roots out of the line.

The rest of what you see here is mainly debris that came down with the weight of the ice. There’s actually a fairly good-sized wooden swing set directly beyond the maple tree, but the debris is so thick, you can’t make it out (not even standing in the yard!)

So, armed with a chain saw, a ladder and my dad (for supervision and strategic planning), we entered the jungle that was her backyard this afternoon after school.

We had a crew of extended family members gathered to drag what we cut out to the curb, but ALL of the climbing and in-the-air cutting was done by my brave, strong and not-afraid-of-heights Second Son.

Yes, we had a couple of close calls with limbs coming down in unexpected directions, and I got a good bonk on the head that knocked me on my large part, but most importantly, Second Son stayed in the tree until he came down via the ladder, as planned.

It was too dark to take an after picture when we finished, but I’ll be going back over there tomorrow after I get the kids off to school to take Dad’s chainsaw to get a new chain and cut up what is now on the ground so it can be drug to the curb, as well. I’ll get the after picture then. Trust me when I tell you, it’s a vastly different backyard now.