He gathered his crew: 1 brother, 1 brother-in-law, 3 nephews, one son, and 5 dogs. My daughter, sister-in-law, niece, and I waited inside as long as we could. I tried to document some of the action through the sunroom room window.
CONTEMPLATION: How is the best way to take down a hollow tree that is about 40 feet tall, is within 6 feet of the house, and within 15 feet of a power line? Oh, and what about the thick mud, slow drizzle of rain, and a slippery roof?
OPERATION: The answer, of course, is to chop smaller limbs away piece by piece and pull them quickly with the attached rope before they crash through the window.
PREPARATION: Get the ladder, climb on the roof with a long limb saw. Attach a hammer to the rope so that it can be thrown to the guys on the roof. (Scare all of us inside with each bang and thump.) Tie the rope to the limb and have the guys on the ground get ready to pull violently. Saw off the limb.
COMPLETION: When most of the limbs are gone, Mike takes the chainsaw and notches the tree so that it will fall beside the deck-missing the house and the powerline. My son pulls the tree with a rope attached to his truck so that he can help guide it to fall in the right place. We all come outside and hold our breath until the tree is on the ground. RELIEF! Mike and I look at the fallen tree.
CELEBRATION: The adults view the remains of the tree, and the men enjoy a beer while they sit on the fallen tree's trunk. We ended the day with a BBQ supper and I think Mike really enjoyed the day.
It was stressful for me to watch this whole process but the tree fell exactly where Mike planned it, no one was injured, and I am proud that they accomplished this dangerous task.
Thanks for your help everyone!