So last night I bought a tree pruning saw. It's a hand-held saw, curved, with wicked teeth. The package said it cuts "twice as fast" as "ordinary" saws so that was the one for me. I couldn't go for the expensive pump-operated things. As it was, this little beauty went for $20.
I got out there this morning and actually sawed through one rather thick branch at its intersection with the tree trunk. But it continued to rest on the roof. It is a big branch, and very heavy, and I wasn't sure how I was going to get it down. I sawed other branches, smaller, and started sawing them again so pieces would pop out, thinking maybe in time the bigger branch would shift forward and I could work on it little by little.
A neighbor popped his head over his tall fence (a fence he built no doubt to obscure views of my place) and offered his help. I have determined to change so I actually accepted his offer!
Turns out he runs a tree company. He is in trees all day long. He brought over some similar pruning equipment to mine, except on a longer pole, and he cut a few smaller branches and then discovered I had already gotten the big one. He was impressed. And he climbed the tree to pull that sucker off the roof. From there he cut it on the ground into smaller sections, which we both hauled to the dumpster. It didn't take long at all.
Oh, for the record. The big branch was oval in shape, 3-1/2" in one direction, 4-1/2" in the other. Pretty good size for me.
I learned - I asked - that he also has a chipper and he had a big pile of chips in the storage yard across the street from my house. He said "take as much as you want," and loaned me his wheelbarrow and fork. So I hauled about six barrels of chips to my front yard and dumped them and spread them. It isn't all that beautiful but it's a lot better than plastic sticking up from the old bark chips. And it gives me a nice mulch to start with if I go farther and put in some ground cover.
That was not all, no. I raked up all the eucalyptus leaves around my yard and house - well, not all - and hauled several trash cans of that, plus trimmings of other rampant plants - to the dumpster. Almost everything in that dumpster came from my yard. I am going to sweep it up a little later and call it good for now.
There was a time when this kind of exercise would have done me in. I simply would not have gotten very far. Maybe half a branch and then oh well. And a few leaves and then save the rest. I had the energy and the will and the strength for this, although I learned that my grip strength isn't so hot and whatever muscles were needed for the saw soon got their fill. Nevertheless, this is what I really want: to be able to do what I want to do, have the energy and the strength for it.
Seemed like a workout to me, so I had a piece of banana bread soon after coming in the door. Up those carbs! Build those muscles!!