Tree Pruning King Charles Style

Tree Pruning King Charles Style

by Jez Hall

The other day, whilst thinking about mowing the lawn, I noticed how shady the bottom of the garden had become. The trees that grow there had, without me noticing and almost 'overnight', become very, very, virile in the branch department, and were in need of a good prune.

After about half an hour of trimming a twig here and there with a saw, there wasn't really much progress - it was hard to see the wood for the trees (geddit?!). I plumped for a more drastic action - I decided to go for the full King Charles. Yes, these trees were for the chop.

I have done quite a bit of chainsawing before but never actually cut down a tree. When you handle chunks of trunk wood for wood-burning stoves, you realise how heavy the material can be, so the prospect of cutting down a whole tree is pretty scary. I had a nice, small but powerful, petrol chainsaw and all the protective gear, and did quite a bit of research before undertaking this task.

As it turned out I had plenty of space and the tree in question had a good lean on it so I was confident which direction it was going to fall - but it was still quite scary and the tree made a huge cracking sound as it fell. Once the tree was down - an old, spindly pear tree - the real work began as I had to "process" the wood. Yes, it is one thing to fell a tree, it is quite another to actually get rid of the wood!

I used an old bow saw to trim away as many of the small twiggy branches as I could, and stuffed the wheely-bin up to the top. Then I used the chainsaw to trim away the rest, and then chopped up the limbs of the tree into 12in long pieces - ideal for burning next winter.

The only thing left to do then was deal with the trunk. It was about 15 feet long, and at the bottom it was about 12 inches thick - so quite a size really. I grabbed my Smart Saw Horse which allows you to slide any size branch or trunk into its "gate", which then clamps the wood in place after you have lifted it slightly. With the trunk effectively "suspended" in mid air, I was able to chop-chop-chop with the chainsaw, slicing it into the required chucked - with ease!

I've put the wood in the wood store where it will stay for a year so that it dries out. Then I can use a log-splitter to dice it into quadrants ready for burning.
So, two jobs for the price of one - tree cleared, free logs in stock. Great!
The Smart Sawhorse
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