Powerless for the Weekend

We had the electric service taken down on Friday so the tree trimmers could remove a large tree branch that was growing against a power pole in the front yard.  There was quite a bit of weight pushing against that pole.  We also had the other trees in the front yard cleaned up.  The furthest east ash tree had a lot of dead wood in it.  The trimmer discovered that insects were boring tunnels in the upper part of the tree and it was crumbling.  About 50% of the canopy of each of the trees was removed.  The consensus was that because of disease all of the trees should eventually be removed.

The cleanup of the branches has begun to open up the yard to sunlight and will certainly change how things will grow in the yard for the better.  Our main shade trees are on the west side of the property and are in relatively good health.  The ash trees on the south have provided a great deal of shade to the yard but they don’t directly shade the roof of the house.  We hope that there is not a substantial change in the temperature of the house with removing the trees.

The trimmer showed us how to prune our fledgling apple trees.  I would have never dared to do as he suggested on my own, but we forged ahead and topped both apple trees, removing about a third of the growth.  The tree in the back yard had an entire second trunk removed since the join was weak.  We removed tip growth on several branches to encourage the trees to become stronger.  When we drove home from church I saw some very old apple trees that had been trimmed yearly as was suggested.  I can see how this will keep the fruiting branches low and easy to pick.

The elderberry we planted last year survived the winter but none of the prune trees show signs of life.  It could be a good thing in the end, since we are now moving things around in our yard plan and I will probably want to plant plum/prune trees elsewhere.  A month ago we felled a dying quaking aspen from the garden area.  I am excited to plan new fruit trees and flowering bushes.

The electric company wanted a minimum of $600 to come on Saturday and move power lines for the tree trimmers, so we opted for the free service of a take down on Friday and power restored on Monday morning.  Living without electricity for three days, except for a single power cord running from the neighbor’s outside plug, is eye opening.  I thought about vacuuming, doing laundry, and baking, none of which are conducive to life on an extension cord.  We moved the cord around the house, plugging in the freezer for a couple of hours each morning and the fridge twice a day to keep them to temperature.  We lit a fire in the wood burning stove and kept it going to provide heat during the chilly nights, and lit a few tea lights and used flashlights.

The experience showed how dependent our lifestyle is on being connected to the power grid.  I hope to reduce our impact on earth resources.  This would require a change in lifestyle, which I believe is for the better.

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