Cleaning up from Arthur

Tropical storm Arthur came through New Brunswick and downed so many trees that we were 8 days without power. The longest power outage I had experienced prior to that was under 36 hours.

Our new property had 10 trees blown over. I expect that all of them were taken down by Arthur. While the trees don’t need to be cleaned up right away, the longer they sit there the more work it takes to clean them up. It’s also more work once the snow gets so deep. Since we aren’t trying to move in as soon as possible, cleaning them up sooner is better.

I grew up around chainsaws. We had a woodlot and had heated our place in Wirral with wood so I’ve spent a few hundred hours working with chain saws. Over the last 10 years I’ve had hardly any reason to use one so running one started out as both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

Almost 30 years ago, I took a job doing pre-commercial thinning which I did for 3 years. The weapon of choice for forestry thinning is a bush saw that hangs from a harness that you wear.

If I remember correctly, my brush saw weighed 25 lbs, my safety gear weigh another 10, thinning an acre required walking an average of 17 miles, and your goal was to thin an acre a day. Running a brush saw could wear you out.

The trick to running a brush saw for 6-8 hours a day was developing a rhythm and letting the saw do the work. You job is to keep track of your footing, where trees, obstacles, etc. are, and guide the saw.

While I was cutting up the tree on the front lawn I realized that I also had a rhythm with the chainsaw. It had probably taken about a half hour for me to get it back. The rhythm isn’t the same as a brush saw because they are different equipment doing different jobs. But, the rhythm is based on the same things: footing, obstacles, what’s next & letting the saw do the work.

It’s safe to say I sleep well after an afternoon on the business end of a chainsaw but I find it relaxing. Given I spend Monday to Friday sitting in front of a computer there are definitely benefits to keeping my heart rate up for most of an afternoon.

Front view after cutting up the downed tree
This was taken from approximately the same place as the front view on purchase picture