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Slouching tree, Hidden Challenge

Creative Remodeling Contractor Finds Solution to Odd Problem

The Problem:

A cedar roof restoration client of ours had an old oak tree that added tremendous character to her property. The problem was that over years the heavy limb (right) sank lower and lower and our client kept buying higher and higher vehicles. She couldn’t stand the idea of chopping the limb off, (or of driving a Ford Fiesta) so it was time to build a limb crutch. We theorized that whatever we built needed to be somewhat dynamic in that it needed to allow for the movement of the tree in the wind.

Case Study 36

(1) Car whacking point

Our clients have learned that we shy away from nothing when it comes to solving problems. So she called.

The Solution:

We tracked down some hand hewn timbers from a log supplier near Ely, Minnesota. The shipping unfortunately cost more than the logs so we paid one of our guys for a little road trip. When he brought the goods back to the workshop we realized that they were a bit massive for conventional tools. We notched them out with a chain saw, roped and bolted them together and presto! We had made the first and most likely last tree crutch of our careers. We calculated that the limb weighed somewhere between 1500 and 2000 lbs so it had to be strong. Another challenge was that we couldn’t nail or screw the crutch to the tree because that wouldn’t allow for natural movement through the seasons. After we were done we achieved a 10 foot clearance under the lowest point on the branch. Seven years later the tree and the client are still peacefully coexisting. Got a problem? Just Kuhl it.

Case Study 36.2

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