A black locust tree — which a few years ago was a small sapling and was now a nearly twenty-foot tall tree — needed to come down. I had confirmed this decision with the Deva of the Garden. Since the time when the tree first began to grow, I had planted many new shrubs and trees in the area. These presented a challenge with finding the best path for the tree to fall when it was cut.
After studying the situation and thinking about it for months, today became “the day to cut down the black locust.” In mid-summer, I had seen a yellow jacket nest in the ground near the trunk of this tree so I knew I wanted to wait until the cold weather had arrived before attempting to cut the tree. We’ve had some bitter cold days and today’s weather provided a warm reprieve with the temperature rising into the sixties and a partly cloudy sky.
I set up the ladder (to remove some lower limbs) and the chain saw. Next, I opened a “four-point coning” (as explained by Machaelle Small Wright). First, I asked assistance with removing a large limb — wanting it to fall in between some planted shrubs and avoiding a recently planted yellowwood tree. I made the cut and the limb fell perfectly — removing one tiny twig from the yellowwood.
Next, I asked the coning team to help with making the best notch cut on the tree as well as with the direction the tree was to fall. As a novice tree cutter, I was unsure of my ability to make an accurate notch cut. I successfully cut the notch, checked what looked like the direction the tree would drop, and made the final cut. The entire tree fell in exactly the right direction! No other planted shrubs or trees were harmed at all. Thanks, team!