My neighbor called me one afternoon and told me that her husband had just seen a very tall tree fall over in my backyard! I thanked her for calling and quickly went to check it out.
I didn’t hear when the Wild Cherry tree fell, but I was still concerned about the potential damage of a “very tall tree” falling. Once outside I could see the tree precariously lodged against another tree. It was certainly not a good idea to get close to it. However, I could tell that if it fell down on its own, there was potential to damage the neighbor’s fence. When considering our options, we thought if it remains lodged against other trees, we will get a professional tree removal service to take it down safely.
Perfect End To A Tricky Situation
Fortunately, the tree fell on its own within the next few hours. And, it landed in the most perfect location ending up parallel to the fence and in between two other large trees! How great is that!!
Cutting Up A Wild Cherry Tree Is Hard
We thought we could just rent a chainsaw and take care of this problem ourselves. How difficult can it be? It’s already on the ground!
Cutting the small branches from the Wild Cherry Tree went well of course, but once we tackled the larger ones the first chainsaw just couldn’t handle it. It totally stopped working after a while so we returned it and got another.
The second chain saw managed to cut a bit more of the cherry tree branches and the narrow part of the trunk. But, it was clear our rented chain saws were not cut out for the stuff Wild Cherry trees are made of. Cherry wood is a hardwood like maple, oak and walnut and the wood is very dense. We were able to get all but the biggest part of the trunk cut up. Then, we called in the pros and they finished the job.
Honestly, this entire job should have been left for the professionals. Now we know. Live and learn!
What Does A Dangerous Tree Look Like Inside?
Below are photos of our very sick Wild Cherry tree. It is also called a Black Cherry tree and the Latin name is Prunus Serotina. It can grow as tall as 100 feet, but the average is 50-80 feet tall. Our cherry tree was over 60 feet tall.
(1) The first photo shows the inside of the hollow tree trunk after the top broke away. (2) The second photo shows the hollow inside of the section of the tree that is on the ground. (3) The third photo is looking down inside the still standing hollow tree trunk. I don’t think a tree can be much more hollow than that!
What Caused Our Cherry Tree To Die?
All during the cleanup process, I wondered what caused the tree to die in the first place. After quite a bit of reading I’ve learned that, at this point, I’ll probably never know what killed our tree. But, I have learned what to look for in the future. The link below is from our local University of Georgia Extension Office and is a short but excellent article on how to conduct a visual evaluation of your trees in order to determine if there are any safety concerns.
UGA Extension Article: Is My Tree Dying?
In the future I plan to be much more aware of the health of all of our trees and do regular inspections. We don’t want to lose any more. Last year, I wrote a post about a large, Oak tree we had professionally trimmed below its umbrella to remove straggly lower branches. By doing this we maintained the shade we needed for the woodland garden but opened up the other side for grass and other sun-loving perennials. To read the post please click on link below.
Finally, a look back before our Wild Cherry Tree fell. We had no idea that 4 months later its hollow trunk would bring it to the ground. After a great deal of work, the cherry tree is cut, stacked and valuable lessons learned!
John Popelish says
I have a small (14 inch bar) Echo chainsaw that I have been working pretty hard for 6 years, including cutting up lots of cherry. The only trouble I have had is with the chain oiling system. Before I learned to recognize the symptoms of a dry chain, I burned up two bars and had the chains get loose way faster than they should have.
I am stumped as to how you had two saws fail, before getting through one tree. Can you tell me what brand of saw you had, and what sort of failure they experienced? Thank you.
Hi John, we rented two, 16-inch Makita chainsaws from one of the big home improvement retailers. As you read, the first one stopped on us, so we took it back. The rental department guys selected a second chain saw of the same brand and size. They replaced the chain that was on it and oiled it and we took it to continue working on the cherry tree. It worked fine and we were able to clean up all of the tree but the large base of the tree trunk. I wouldn’t say that the saw failed, it was just working too hard on the largest trunk pieces. By that time we were pretty exhausted and ready to stop anyway. Thanks very much for your input and for coming by our blog.