We had to cut down a huge tree in our Georgia woods recently. The thing was rotting in the top and dropping large limbs on the driveway so time for it to come down. With the assistance of our neighbor and his tractor, he and the Saint got her to the ground. We cleaned up the mess the best we could and the Saint and our neighbor cut the trunk into lengths for firewood.
We rented a Log Splitter and spent one weekend splitting wood for the wood shed. Perfect timing as we had used the last stick of wood this past winter. While splitting the wood, we found the culprit to the trees death. Or what we believe anyway. Click on the video to see this scary thing crawling around.
See how large these creatures are compared to the Saints hands? They were like giant caterpillars that could saw a tree down!
Even out of the wood, their jaws were chomping as if trying to tunnel out of a tree! We plucked at least 100 if not more from the rotting wood. I contacted our County Extension Agent and he informs me these creatures are Sawyer Beetles. They are decomposers and eat dead or dying wood so they did not kill the tree. He says the tree looks to be an Oak and probably died due to the drought.
Here the Saint is busy splitting a small piece of wood from the limbs. Look at the size of the piece which formed the trunk of the tree that he is sitting on. The trunk pieces each made between 40-45 pieces of fire wood! The tree was really hard wood where it was not dying or dead. The Saint and I both worked as a team splitting the large pieces. He had to use the muscles to get the huge piece in place while I worked the levers on the machine. Together we got most of it split. About 6 remain in the woods where it will stay until it dries out a bit more. It was too difficult to split the wet wood while in such large pieces.
Yep, that was one huge tree to get to the ground then to get cut up into firewood.We traded off splitting the small pieces of wood with the Saint splitting while I loaded my little red wagon and drove to the woodshed and stacked. Then I split and he loaded and stacked. Was a tough job and of course this took place with unexpected humidity in the air. Just our luck...We joke and say, "Yet another thing we can put on a Resume that we would never do for a living" Hard work I tell you and I admire the folks which do this to earn a living!
We stacked the good hard wood 2 rows deep in the wood shed and it should be ready for the fireplace this winter. We also split the rotting wood for easy burning in the outside fire pits. Will make some good campfires on cool nights.
It was probably the drought and not the strange creature that was a TREE KILLER, In the Garden...
Always trying to find the bright side of things, we have a shed full of firewood!