Once a 30 metre tall tree

tropicbreezentJuly 31, 2014

The day came that I finally had to bite the bullet and do it. It's great having great big trees. What's not so great is when you have cyclones hovering around and your great trees look like they might start going to ground on you, literally. Not being one for great heights, let alone wielding a chainsaw at great heights I've had to get the tree experts in. It's been real good viewing from the sidelines, not so good when some of the prized garden possessions get the full weight of a limb from a great height. The tree mob are quite skilled, but they're demolition experts, not gardeners. It's certainly changed the skyline with only the one tree down. Another 4 near the house/in the garden to go.

The first one had the biggest number (and volume) of Epipremnum aureum growing on it, up to about the 25 metre mark. I now have enough lengths of stem as thick as my wrist to fill a small 4 tonne truck. Anyone wanting a few pieces just drop by and grab some (I don't do postage :))

Here's some photos of the operation.

Looking up into the trees, foliage too dense to see much.

Man Vs Epipremnum (if you can see him there in the middle of it).

On the ground, the "Reductionists.

Out on a limb.

Sawdust flying

It's not getting in a knot on your corsets you need to worry about.

Not easy when you're near the top.

Working his way down

You wouldn't believe, there was still 8 tonne in the trunk above this cut, but it still held.

Epipremnum vines, looking a bit bigger close up.

Giant laid low

Time for the Fat Lady to get ready to sing.

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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

can relate to the cyclones , typhoons, ,hurricanes or as my neighbor likes to call them big blow jobs lol My property has been torn down 3 times over the last 10 years As you can see the "canopy" is recovering so time for epiphytes
This is the latest incarnation of the main grow area added the paving to control water and mud.
The 6 trees are NOt as good as I'd hoped .
Envy a property large enough to have large trees or maybe not when it comes time to pay the scalpers lol Good luck with your plan!! gary

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 5:52AM
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inga007(Ont. 6a)

Like you " illustration" of the tree removal.
May be you should offer the photos to the company for an ad campaign and retrieve some of your expenses . :>) Ha-Ha

Your garden looks very "lush".

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:41AM
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Gary, the last cyclone took down one of my largest African Mahoganys, but luckily it was back from the house enough. 2 large Mango trees in it's downward path got splintered almost down to the ground. It's only a matter of time before a big blow comes through so better if the Mahoganys are gone before then. I've got a lot of fairly large Ficus, they're a lot better. They have a lot more give, and branches twist rather than break off. So now my secondary canopy has become my primary canopy. All the plants have to get used to the new order of things. I'm hoping by the end of the next wet season the secondary canopy will have filled out with things back to normal. Meantime, I have a lot of logs that wouldn't fit into the chippers to move.

Inga, the blokes doing the cutting had their own cameras, even video cameras on their helmets. They'd probably be happy to sell me some of their photos, LOL.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:59AM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

Yeah that last cyclone, 'Oswald', I think it was took out my big jacaranda. I cleaned it up with the chain saw and had a stump grinder in to take care of the stump. What you've had done there looks like it was expensive!

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:02AM
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Oswald was a strange one. It dissipated into a tropical low over Cape York and travelled down the coast. As it got further south it came up against a high pressure ridge over NZ. The funnelling effect coming off the sea caused heavier rainfall and stronger winds than when it was a cyclone.

I'm not getting any stump grinding done. In fact, I asked them to leave trunks standing up to 3 to 4 metres high. I can easily remove any shoots that try to start up off the trunk, and meantime epiphytes can grow over them. Of course the other advantage was that an already expensive exercise would have been a lot more expensive with stump grinding and the contractors removing the logs.

It's been a bit tricky getting logs out of some places without damaging more of the garden. The trunk left in this photo is a bit over 5 metres tall, but that's still okay. The Philodendron and Hoya already growing on it were damaged but should come back. Some of the large logs will become part of the landscaping. After that's sorted I have to fix the damaged irrigation system. It's a massive job, but needs to be done before the next cyclone season.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 4:55PM
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A bit of an update on what's been happening the past few days.

Been busy moving logs. Can easily lift a bit over a tonne, although some still need dragging.

The New Order, some things have had quick makeshift shades put over them

Still looking a bit like a Malaysian or Indonesian logging operation.

Woodchips were sprayed out where convenient but slowly getting most into one big pile to let them age.

The local inhabitants seem to be coping so far, Green Tree Frog, Litoria caerulea

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 2:45AM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

Seems you've got s big job going on there, hope all the little green frogs survive.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 4:17AM
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With logs and frogs you're creating lots of interest
well done chas

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 5:53PM
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Your garden still looks great, rainforest atmosphere I just love it.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 2:35AM
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Thanks for the comments. Got 6 trees down this time, but have a lot of logs and woodchip still to move. In 3 weeks time there's another 6 to come down. That gets most of the dangerous ones near house, shed, etc., away in case cyclone season brings in a big one-eyed monster. Had to do it dry season while the ground is dry and hard for heavy equipment to move around. Down side is less cloud cover, hot dry winds meaning plants previously in shade are more exposed to direct sun and harsh conditions. Just hoping this wet season will be enough for the canopy to close back in again.

The natural environment here is equatorial savanna, meaning hot rainless half the year, heavy rain the other half. So my rainforest garden is artificial, but the animals like it, particularly the frogs. This bit of a disruption won't affect them, a natural set up would have been a lot harsher anyway.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2014 at 8:40AM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

Just hope a bit of that expected rain stretches down my way (Northern Rivers NSW). Bloody 'ell it's dry!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 1:42AM
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I can relate to that. Last rain here was about 6mm in early May. Since then the temps have been low to mid 30s every day, clear bright skies, and frequent strong winds. We're still at least a month away from the earliest possible rain, but October should see a little at least.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2014 at 9:17PM
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Excellent photos. Thanks for posting them.

After "Larry" came through here in 2006 I decided to take down anything that hadn't already come down and could possibly reach the house or sheds. Luckily I had plenty of room for clean drops, so no climbing trees. Damn near stuffed me little ECHO 452VL, but I managed to finish the job.

I see from all those vines that you have a few potential "widow makers." Nothing clears the mind faster and gets the feet moving then a tough tendril of "lawyer vine" making a pass at you as a big one goes down.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 5:37AM
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Thanks Rob. Next week there's another 3 coming down. A little easier than these last 6 but still a little tricky. Using a crane this time. After that there's only about 15 left but they're pretty much straight drops. With them gone I've a much better chance getting rid of the millions of seedlings coming up all over the place. I don't envy you the Lawyer Vine, fortunately we don't have any Calamus species native here. But I wouldn't mind having a Calamus caryotoides, they're far more manageable and look really nice.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:13PM
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Calamus caryotoides or the "fish tail" lawyer cane... would you like some seed? I can't imagine any of the Lawyer vines being "manageable" outside of a pot.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 9:10AM
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Would absolutely love some. It doesn't get anywhere as big as C. moti or C. australis, those get way up into the tree tops. Not sure how well it'd do here, I've seen more of it up in the Tablelands than in the lowlands. And it's supposed to be quite cold tolerant. Unfortunately that doesn't necessarily equate to heat tolerant, but I'd sure like to try.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2014 at 4:17PM
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funnelweb(NSW Aust)

I remember some years ago bush walking and being stopped, dead, by Lawyer cane! Not sure if it's the same plant but sometimes we referred to it as 'Wait-awhile'!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 2:10AM
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Tropicbreezent, I'll verify the species and see if I can score the proper seed. My wife, who corrected me when I said I thought there was only one species of "Wait-awhile" up here on the Tablelands, is very familiar with "fish tail" lawyer cane.

Funnelweb, My first encounter with "Wait-awhile" was while riding a dirt bike down a local rainforest track. A sturdy tendril connected with the exposed padding on my helmet and pulled me off the bike. Luckily I wasn't going that fast!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 8:29AM
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Thanks Rob. There's a number of different plants called "Wait-a-while" and pretty much for the same reason. A vine here that has sharp spikes all along the stems is called that too.

There's one species of Calamus that grows down into northern NSW, don't remember which one now. But getting up further into north Qld there's quite a few more. I think moti and australis are the most common.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2014 at 7:36PM
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I'm fairly certain that it's the "fish tail" that has established itself up in our house rainforest. The leaf is right and it doesn't seem to produce those vicious spiny stems that I find on the lawyer cane in the rainforest tracks at the base of nearby Mount Bartle Frere. The fruit must be a favorite of one of our Queensland rainforest doves/pigeons .

    Bookmark   September 12, 2014 at 8:43PM
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It looks like I've got the "fish tail" species growing in the "home" paddock. I doubt that any of the specimens on my property are old enough to produce seed, but there should be some close in the immediate area that do. I'll have to work out the time of the year the seed matures and take me machete for a walk in the woods. Any problems sending seed to the N.T. after us Queenslanders so graciously gave you Bufo marinus? (Grin)

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 1:50AM
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That's the one! Year before last, September, I collected some Calamus moti seed but never saw any caryotoides seeding (or even flowering). So don't know the right time of year. And my Australian palm book is in storage at the moment, so no help there. I have a few C. moti seedlings, but they're very slow. They normally seem to take ages to get up to about head height and then suddenly rocket up into the tree tops. I'm hoping my climate will curb them from becoming too exhuberant.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 9:23AM
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I don't know how fast this particular species grows. Our property was originally a treeless maize/grazing paddock when we first purchased it back in the late 70s. Over the years we've ripped the ground with the old Fergie and tightly planted local rainforest species over almost the entire place (I hate mowing grass!!!). The Calamus has been introduced by (probably) the native pigeons and doves. In the heavy shade of the forest the young Calamus plants seem to grow rather slowly unless a cyclone or a fallen tree happens to open a hole in the canopy allowing an increase in light to reach the forest floor.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2014 at 7:36PM
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