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This is a Shagbark Hickory Tree. I took this two years ago when it was struck by lightning (the brown line on the outside is from the lightning). The current traveled down the outside of the tree and into the ground water, then up my pipes, bursting one in the bathroom. Because the current ran down the water on the outside of the tree, the tree survived and went on to live two more glorious years, until today. This tree stood about 10 feet from my front door. I should have taken it down back then. This tree starts out as one trunk and then about 20 feet up it splits into two seperate trunks. About 1:30 today I came home with the whole family in the car and saw this. One of the trunks had blown over in the storm and fallen away from the house. The remaining trunk still stood, though it was supported by less than half of the single lower trunk.
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The wind was still gusting away from the house and when each gust let up, the tree whipped back precariously toward the house. Every time this happened, I was pretty sure it would crash onto the house. I sent the family on to someone else's house, and moved the cars. Then I made four calls. One to my friend Luther, who knows about stuff like this, three to tree service companies, and one to the insurance company. Here you can see exactly how little of the lower trunk in holding up the upper trunk. Two tree companies said they would not send a guy up until the storm went away. Too dangerous. One cowboy said he'd do it and for half the price the others quoted me. The insurance co. said they'd cover any damage to the house but not the cost of preventing said damage. In other words, I'm paying for this. The view from inside the house. Luther said that the only reason it was still standing was because it was hickory. Anything else would have fallen already.
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So while the wind is whipping this thing around this guy gets up there and starts trying to secure it. He tied a rope around it. As the tree moved, this stretch he did had everyone wondering if the whip would yank him out of the bucket. Yeah he had no harness, no fear, in fact he dangled a cigarette from his lips most of the time. The rope came down and around another tree and got attached to this truck. Once the whipping stopped, he felt more secure about getting up there and cutting stuff. After clearing most of the easy stuff, the guy cut on the trunk as the truck backed up and...