Friday, December 18, 2009

Large Tree Removal Part Three : Final Cuts, Logs Removed, Peace Restored

Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens, a City of Mississauga park, was used as access to remove a large poplar tree on private property that abuts the gardens at the Lakeshore Road entrance. 

This page is Part 3 of large tree removal at the BRG in Port Credit, Ontario, where the final cuts are made, the logs hauled awy, and peace restored to the Lake Ontario garden park. See also Part 1 and Part 2 for earlier photos.

Crane Truck Mississauga Ontario
In this photo, the wheels of the level crane truck clear the lawn. This truck was moved into place to hoist a working platform for crew.

Crane hoists platform for crew 
The two man crew worked in tandem, measuring and marking the new cut lines, then chain sawing through each section.

Close Up look at crew with chain saw
Close up of crew cutting trunk with chain saw.

Log crane drops in lot
Crane lifts large section of tree to place in parking lot. Brown debris is what's left after earlier sawn sections had already been removed to the chipper truck.

Logs Stacked BRG Parking Lot
The large logs were cut and stacked pending removal in the BRG parking lot. Some sections were to be recycled into pallets.

Close Up Cross Section Logs
 The logs shown in cross section view appear to be in fairly good shape, but this was definitely not the case. One large branch might still appear healthy, but overall the tree was rotted out.

Wildwood Tree Service Mississauga Ontario
Thanks to the crew for their graciousness and attention to safety towards the myriad photographers and onlookers who attended the tree removal.

Winter Sun Lake Ontario
 And then the trucks, cranes, chippers and chain saws were gone, and the Gardens peaceful once again.

Winter Sun Lake Ontario Birds
 Another view of the winter sun low in the sky, overlooking Lake Ontario in Port Credit Mississauga.

This bay in the picture -- Cranberry Cove -- is one of the areas that is included in the Christmas Bird Count on Saturday, December 19, 2009.  See South Peel Naturalist site for details of this and other bird counts.

And then there were none - Logs Removed at BRG
The next day, another truck and crew removed the logs, and one returned to take away the steel plates used to make a 'road' across the lawns.

See Tree Removal Part 1 and Part 2 for earlier photos.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Large Tree Removal Part Two Poplar Tree : Cranes, Platform, Bobcat, Chipper

The removal of a large poplar tree on private property in Mississauga required crane trucks and other heavy equipment too large for a typical suburban back yard. Happily for the homeowner, the back yard abuts the Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens near the parking lot on Lakeshore Road West.

This page is Part Two large tree removal at BRG in Port Credit, Ontario. For Setting Up, see Tree removal Part One and Part Three.

Crane Truck on Steel Mat Path
A crane truck uses the path made from steel mats to move into position closer to the trees and wood fence separating the residential lots from the Mississauga park land.

Crane Truck for Tree Removal
Still on the steel mat 'road', one of the crane trucks is positioned close to the fence, then support struts are used to level and stabilize the truck. Click on photo to enlarge, and you can see the truck wheels are off the ground (Click Back button to return to this page).

Smaller Trees Removed First
But first, two smaller trees had to be removed. These smaller trees were on the BRG side of the fence, and had grown crooked and were leaning on fence.

 Men in Trees
Tree removal crew climbs one of the smaller trees to limb branches. A cable from one of the crane trucks steadies the trunk, and after it's sawn, hoists it overhead to the parking lot for disposal.

Crane Hoists Tree Trunk
Section of tree attached and suspended by cable from crane truck is hoisted over other large trees in the area.

Bobcat and Chipper BRG Parking Lot
In the parking lot, a bobcat operator was kept busy moving branches to the chipper. Each time the crane delivered another large section of tree, the bobcat operator would steady it and detach the cable so the crane operator could return to the platform crew.

Chipper Makes Short Work of Branches
The bobcat operator used a chain saw to cut the tree debris into stable sections, then using the bobcat, he picked up and moved branches to the chipper. Here he is shown feeding branches into the chipper.

Attaching Crane Cable to Tree Trunk
Crew on a platform suspended from a separate crane truck used power saw and wedges to cut the poplar into roughly 8 foot long sections. By this time, it was  early afternoon and the fog was rolling in.

Crew with Chain Saw on Suspended Platform
The crew on the suspended platform used a chain saw to make the cut while the tree trunk was held fast by the crane truck cable.

Crane Moves Platform into Postion 
As each new section -- about 8 feet long, weighing about a thousand pounds -- was removed, the platform was lowered into a new position so the crew could repeat the process:  Measure and mark new cut line, affix cable from the tree removal crane into position, make cut with chain saw, hammering in wedges as needed, then move out of range while the other crane lifted the sawed-off section to the parking lot.

End View of Platform Crane
Here's another view of the crew platform held aloft by second crane.

Platform Crew Removing Branches
 Fall foliage still clings to some of the poplar branches around the crew on the platform.

Three crane trucks were used to remove this large poplar tree: One to set up the steel mat base; One to steady and hoist the tree branches and trunks to the parking lot; and one to hold the platform for the crew doing the sawing.

Go to Part One Setting Up Tree Removal Part One and Part Three.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Large Tree Removal Part One : City Park Access for Private Property Tree Removal

Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens, a City of Mississauga park, was used as access to remove a large poplar tree on private property that abuts the gardens at the Lakeshore Road entrance.

 This is Part 1: Crew and crane truck arrival, placement of steel mats, secondary tree removal, and visitors. See also Part 2 and Part 3

Crew Arrives to Prepare Tree Removal
The poplar (tall tree, centre of photo) was about 110 feet high. Though it appeared at first glance to be in decent shape, this was not the case and concerns were that high winds could bring it crashing down.

Parking Lot Rhododendron Gardens
The tree removal company brought trucks and equipment and crew that filled the BRG parking lot, arriving around 8 a.m. on a cloudy day in November. The parking lot was closed to public parking this day.

Crane Truck Off Loading Steel Mats
One crane truck first unloaded the steel mats that would provide a firm path from the BRG lot  across the lawn area towards the fence separating gardens from private lot.

Steel Mats Support Heavy Equipment
The steel mats are about one meter x 1.5 meters rectangle, each weighing in at 1300 pounds (about 590 kg). The closest weight guess by passersby was 800 lbs.

Crane Truck on Mat Road
The steel mats provide a solid base for cranes and prevent damage to the park grounds. Here the crane truck has moved from the parking lot towards its ultimate location close to the side fence separating park from private lands.

Crew Position Steel Mats
Here's a closer look at the tree removal crew positioning the mats held aloft by the crane operator.

Crane Lifting Steel Mat
This photo shows the crane truck lifting mat into position well above the new steel road towards the private property.

City Mississauga Forestry Crew Tree Removal
On a day already busy with the large poplar tree removal, who showed up but a City forestry crew with bucket truck. This crew was removing another dead tree along the path near the main rhodo beds.

Close Up Bucket Truck Mississauga Park Forestry
Here's a close up of the bucket access to trim branches prior to take down a dead evergreen.

Visitors at Brueckner Gardens
These visitors from Etobicoke who come several times a year to tour Brueckner Gardens had a lot more than flower and shrub beds to view this day. This much activity is an anomaly. Most days the Gardens are tranquil, and perfect for a serene respite from city life.

Hydro Crew Bucket Truck at BRG
And yet more visitors this busy day! Another bucket truck, this one from the hydro company,  showed up mid morning to check a transformer near the gardens office. Head gardener Para was kept busy directing traffic around the north west area of the BRG

Not photographed were Peel Police operating in this area this day. From time to time, a short burst of siren let all present know another speeder had bee stopped.

I took a large number of pictures throughout the day, far too many for one post. To see more tree removal pictures go to Part Two Tree Removal.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bioswale, Roses, Rhododendrons, Tree Stump Removal, Mulch - Getting Gardens Ready for Ontario Winter

 It's been a busy few weeks at the Gardens in Port Credit: The new bioswale is in place to improve the drainage in the east garden; The tree stump removal specialist came with a remote controlled grinder to remove tree stumps (video below); and volunteers and staff continued preparing the rhododendron and azalea beds for winter.

Warm fall weather in south Mississauga made for pleasant November days along Lake Ontario, and a few late bloomer roses cheered all that came to visit.

Bioswale Created East Garden BRG
The gardens area east of Tecumseh Creek at the middle bridge are prepped to create a bioswale -- basically a shallow ditch -- to receive runoff and improve the drainage.

Bioswale to be Naturalized
With the bioswale in place, the shallow ditch will be naturalized -- planted with wildflowers and other native species.

Bioswale Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens
The near end (bottom of photo) of the bioswale slopes towards Tecumseh Creek.

Here's a short video of the bioswale :

BRG Lake Ontario Waterfront
Warm sunny days made more pleasant the task of placing pine needle mulch around rhodos, azaleas, and hydrangeas, and the benches overlooking Lake Ontario were a great spot to take a break.

Front End Loader at BRG
Mississauga staff used the front end loader to shift larger amounts of needles to the rhodo beds where volunteers made fast work of spreading among the acid-loving plants.

Young Rhododendrons Get Winter Prep
These newer-planted rhodos are nicely tucked in behind snow fencing faced with burlap and snuggled under a blanket of mulch, ready for cold winter weather.

Wild Cucumber Gourd
Underneath one of the large evergreeens shading the rhodos, I found this delicate, dried gourd like shell. New to me, but David, who really knows his wildflowers, identified it as wild cucumber, the fruit of a  vine. See the complete life cycle on this page.

Late Blooming Roses
Tess of the D'Urbervilles is one of the roses still blooming in the Rose Garden but is showing signs of black spot. This late in the season, black spot is to be expected.

And a week or so ago, the tree stumps dotting the Gardens were removed -- well, chewed up and spit out --  with help of a technician and a self propelled, remote controlled grinder. The  remaining small roots left underground are not a problem.

See video self propelled tree stump grinder remover or view below:


While the warm fall weather holds, volunteers and staff will continue to prepare the rhododendron and azalea beds for winter. The lily garden also needs a few good days of weeding and mulching, so if you have any free time, do give David a call. See  Volunteer link in right menu.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Rhododendrons, Roses, Compost, Pine Needle Mulch ~ Getting Ready for Winter

Compost for the rose garden, peony, hosta and annual beds, and pine needle mulch for the showpiece rhododendrons: We're getting ready to winter at Brueckner Rhododendron Gardens in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada! Many hands make light work, and about eight volunteers turned out today to spread the compost and make a start on the rhodo beds.

Truck-load of Compost Delivered to BRG
Most of the  volunteers showed up around 9 a.m. on a chilly fall morning, and finished edging the rose garden and started spreading the pine needle mulch until the load of compost  arrive in mid morning. 

Front End Loader BRG Rose Garden
Staff scheduled the front end loader to help with the heavy lifting, to the great relief of volunteers. The loader dropped bucketfuls of excellent compost around the gardens for staff and volunteers to shovel and fork onto the rose beds. Fresh compost is often too 'hot' for the newer rose bushes, so care was taken to keep it well back from the base and canes.

Mulching Mower BRG
Deciduous trees drop leaves in the fall, and with so many large maples, oaks, apple trees and more at the BRG, leaf litter can be a problem to clean up. But instead of blowing and piling and hauling leaves away, the gardens takes advantage of this large mulching mower, that chews them up and spits them out onto the lawns and so enriches the soil.

Mulching Mower - Front End Loader
Nothing like heavier machinery to make faster work of a tough job! The white cloud in front of the blue front end loader at the peony bed is the steam rising from the warm compost on this cool day. The large hosta bed (base of tree, left) also got a nice topping of compost. All the commotion in this part of the gardens today kept the red squirrels away.

Rose Gardens Dressed in Compost
Rose garden beds shapes emerge when the rich, dark compost is spread between plants. The compost left on the lawn outside the bed was raked into the grass as top dressing.

Over Seed Lawn in Fall
Grass seed was broadcast on the top-dressed lawns and lightly raked in. Rain forecast the next few days will settle the seeds, and we look forward to a bright green new growth in early spring.

Pine Needles Mulch, Acid for Rhododendrons
Mississauga City crews vacuum pine needles from other areas, and these needles are great for mulching the rhodos. Several large truck loads were dumped into large piles near the rhododendron beds. As with compost around the roses, so with pine needles around the rhodos: Don't get too close to the base of the plants. Pine needles help acidify the soil, as well as retain moisture and keep down weeds.

More Pine Needles for Rhododendron Mulch
While waiting for the compost to arrive this morning, volunteers helped move part of these large piles of pine needles. There are still many such large piles to be spread, using pitchforks and wheelbarrows. Pitchforks seem to work best to get a grip on the tough, compacted needles. Pine needles are not all that heavy, but shifting them is labour intensive.

Fall Colours BRG
The sun came out for a while in early afternoon, and turned this carpet of leaves golden! Shortly after I took this picture, the mulching mower moved to this part of the Garden, and the golden carpet became mulch too.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, volunteers will join park staff to help get the mulch spread, and the gardens ready for winter. This work week is the final of the year for one seasonal city worker, though the head gardener will be in the park into December. The countdown to winter is on!

If you'd like to help, check the right menu for map and more information. One fellow out for a walk through the gardens on the Waterfront Trail this afternoon stopped to chat, and soon picked up a shovel and helped spread compost on the peony bed. Best of all, he volunteered to come back tomorrow.

White Rhododendron Bloom in Novemeber
While working on spreading the needles the other day, this white rhodo that thinks it's spring caught our eye. We'll be back in the gardens the week of Nov 16. Still lots of good work to be done, and the sun is forecast to shine for us.