Tree near house

To prep the area, we had to remove dead and dying trees. This tree was close to the house and in the way of the deck. First, the ladder is lashed to the tree. Branches are cut off as high as can be reached. Our friend uses a chain saw to notch the tree by cutting out a wedge, with the mouth pointing in the direction we want the tree to fall.

Tom working

A Chain is wrapped in a loop around the tree above the notch. We put lateral force on the tree using a come-along, the tree starts to bend at the notch. Progressive enlargement of the notch plus pulling on the come-along to lean the tree, leads to a slow and controlled fell.

Tree down!

At the end, we discovered beetle bark infestation and internal core rot at the base, so it was definately on the way out, even though it appeared healthy on the outside. Part of the bark was dying, and when this happens, the branches above will die back soon after.


Support beams and foundation holes boulders are difficult to locate and level.

Construction snow

Winter creeps in and halts the project for 4-1/2 months. New Jersey weather sucks.


Of course in the spring and summer when work resumes, it rains every weekend, but work continues as each board is cut to fit into the rock.