12 Step Program for Dead Tree Removal (belle style)

(Original article from ExistentialBelle.com Jan/2006)
My husband insisted that I re-post this article that I wrote for my personal website in 2006; he says it was always one of his favorites.

Step 1) Cut down big f*$#-off tree right behind your house. Make sure you get someone equally brave/ignorant to help you, so that you can do the pushing while they cut through the trunk. (Otherwise you’ll have a tree on your house, which is rarely a good thing)

Step 2) Watch your helper rip the blade off the chainsaw as the tree shifts and starts to fall. Point and laugh.

Step 3) Yell “TIMBER!” at the top of you lungs. This will convince your neighbors that you are insane and make their dogs bark.

Step 4) Jump out of the way in time to avoid getting creamed by the trunk when the tree falls and it kicks back.

Step 5) Realize that since the chainsaw is now broken, there is no way to finish the job you’ve started. Leave the tree lie in the yard for at least one year to dry out and get brittle. This is VERY important to the next steps.

Step 6) Not less than a year later, go and gather all the small broken branches from the tree and put them in a pile.

Step 7) Break a few more branches off, this is easy since the tree is now brittle. If you didn’t follow my advice in Step 5, then go back inside and complete it before moving on to the next steps.

Step 8 ) Since the chainsaw is STILL broken a year or more later; get a flimsy hacksaw and attempt to saw through some of the remaining branches. If you get tired, come back at random intervals over a course of months.

Step 9) When you have successfully removed AT LEAST one branch with the hacksaw; decide this is too much work and use your body weight as leverage to snap a few more medium to large sized branches off. Again, if you didn’t follow Step 5, this is going to be MUCH more difficult.

Step 10) Be sure to fall on your ass at least a couple of times when the branches break off. It’s especially helpful if the branch lands on top of you, pinning you to the ground for a few minutes. Sitting on a thorn bush gains you extra points.

Step 11) Pile all your torn branches up. Collect enough trash in the house to set them on fire. Pizza boxes and 12-pack cases are excellent for this. Toilet paper rolls and old bills burn too quickly to start a decent fire.

Step 12) Here’s where you must make a decision about what to do with the remaining branches you couldn’t break off, plus the tree’s trunk (which you’re NEVER cutting through with that hacksaw, a year old or not):

-If the tree doesn’t bother you much and you’re not all that ambitious, leave it where it is. It will get more brittle each year it lies there; eventually you will be able to remove more branches and possibly the upper part of the trunk in time. You can use the trunk as a little bridge to get to other parts of your yard; at least until the termites do enough damage that your foot goes through when you step on it.

-If the tree is REALLY an annoyance and you’re a bit more ambitious, you can try raking leaves and piling yard waste, trash, etc on top of it and slowly burning it until it’s gone.

-If you aren’t even ambitious enough to burn trash on it, then bribe a friend with a chainsaw to come cut it up for you in to nice, manageable chunks. Or, if you have money to just throw away, you can always call a professional yard/tree service to remove it for you.

So there you go! Tree removed, problem solved!
Plus, as an added bonus, unless you called the tree removal service, you can brag to your friends that you did it ALL BY YOURSELF!

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