SEARCH BLOG: WOOD and FUEL
Having spent the better part of the weekend hauling branches and sections of about a dozen tree trunks from the fallen ash trees at our summer cottage and the neighbor's property, I can attest that my physical conditioning is not quite the same as it was 40 years ago. Nevertheless, the miracle-in-a-bottle pills have reduced my discomfort to mere stiffness rather than pain in every joint.
It is a shame to have lost the ash trees to the Asian import Emerald Ash Borer, but it wasn't a total loss. The brother of one of our neighbors had a tree cutting service and so our neighbor negotiated a better price as long as he could have a large portion of the cut wood which will be used this winter for fuel... and that we would contribute muscle power as needed to bring the trees down and clean up the debris.
Our neighbor will split the wood and share it with my son who stays at the cottage and my son's friend who lives next door. In return, my son's friend, his father, and brother, pitched in to clear branches and move trunk sections along with my son and me. The wood cutter also kept several cords of cut wood for winter fuel.
This was a clear example of neighbors facing the same problem and working together on a voluntary basis to solve that problem in the most efficient, cost-effective manner possible. It had the side benefit of getting to know neighbors better and realizing that we were fortunate to have such good people next door.While the loss of the trees is a sad event... they were over 40-years old... the fact that the wood will be recycled to provide heat for at least a couple of years and that better relationships came out of the effort does mitigate the loss. We will look for new trees to plant along the property line with our son's friend's home... after they tear down the fence.
Fortunately, not all of the trees on the property were ash, so we will still have the beauty and shade of an oak, maple and American elm [quite rare after the Dutch elm beetle infestation of the 70s].I'm sure we'll all be getting together one of these weekends when the warm weather returns to have a cookout, a few beers, and a lazy trip around the lake in our pontoon boat.