Pine Trees & Permits

I headed out this overcast and cool Sunday with some nervousness.  Today I needed to decide if I could cut down 2 pine trees that block some of the entrance into the main contractor gate.  I spent the drive there praying for the trees and to the trees.  By the time I arrived my heart was racing but I knew I had to do what I needed to do. I figured I would just do my normal routine as I entered the property.  I couldn’t help but notice as I drove up to the gate that both Pines looked even more beautiful than ever with some new spring green on them.  They welcomed me as they always had.  These were the first trees I walked past the first time I entered the property.  They were majestic and comforting to me each time I approached the property. The most beautiful trees on the property to me.

I started slow by first visiting the garden area – the Rainwater Collection tank was still doing it’s thing and collecting what little rain we had this week.  I chuckled about it being the drought season in Florida which simply means it rained less than the rest of the year.  Then I looked over at the bird bath … OMG the fountain was still spraying water!!! Last week’s fix of putting a shorter fountain nozzle on it worked.  It had obviously run all week and kept the water in the birdbath!  Had any birds visited it yet?  Was it even being noticed by the remaining birds who had not started migrating north?  I don’t know … but it made me smile to see that it was there and full of water with the little fountain spray to welcome them.

Then it was time to go back to the Pines.  Besides being so sad that they had to come down I was also pretty scared about the thought of me taking them down by myself.  I had taken a few smaller trees down but nothing this size so far.  Now let’s be clear these are probably not so big to most people.  But when you are 5’2″ and weigh 90 lbs and are 66 … things have a slightly different perspective.  Everything is taller and bigger than me for the most part LOL. 

I approached them and stood looking at them.  First my eyes welled up at the thought of taking them down. As I stood there asking them for forgiveness a breeze came through and I caught the smell of them and the other smaller pines around them.  Then I felt a wave of what I can only describe as compassion run through me.  The breeze stilled and it was as if I was being told it was OK.  I suddenly saw the big firepit circle where I wanted to do women’s circles and ceremonies and around the circles I saw beautiful pine logs and seats for everyone.  It was as if they were telling me how I could honor them.  More tears came but then it turning into acceptance and a knowing that they would always be part of Freedom Acres – exactly as they intended. I went to them and hugged them and thanked them.

I straightened up my shoulders and body and got my tools out of the Jeep.  The chainsaw, my protective glasses, my gloves, the tree wedges and rubber hammer, etc.
I stood and decided where I needed each of the trees to fall so they would have the best chance to not be caught in other trees.  There were quite a few other trees around them so I found the exact place for each of them to land.  The bigger tree would be able to get all the way to the ground but the smaller one would still land in a few other trees.  I made my marks on both trees for where the wedge side (the direction they would fall in, and the straight cut side would go.

I could do this.  I had the blessing of the Pines and the Universe would take care of me. I set up the tripod, because I had to capture it in video and put on my protective gear and grabbed my chainsaw and approached the biggest of the two. I started working on the wedge side making sure I put the wedge in the right place and working the chainsaw a little at a time.  My heart was still racing.  I have a little 12″ chainsaw so it took quite a while to get the top and bottom cuts of the wedge done.  Now it was time to put the straight back cut on the other side lining it up with the straight bottom cut of the wedge.  Once again it was slow moving with my little chainsaw.  Finally I had the back cut in leaving a hinge piece in the middle. 

I pulled the chainsaw out and hear the tree begin to move some but it looked like the hinge piece was too wide.  Heart racing again I went back in and started cutting the back cut a little deeper then I heard a slight crack. At this point I ran LOL. It moved both slow and fast all at once.  I ran to my escape point off to the side and heard the tree falling.  I turned around to watch as it quickly but gently went down to the ground, it’s own branches keeping it from completely hitting the ground. When I review the videos afterwards it had swung back as I ran out of the way and I was blessed that it did not hit me … thank gawd I was watching in hind site … but at the time it felt like a clean get away. She landed exactly where I wanted her to. I stood there in shock as my panic subsided. She was down. I felt the tears roll up again. I went and stroked her bark and thanked her.

I took a deep breath and chainsawed off some branches from the bottom up so she could lay easier.  I headed over to the slightly smaller one. This one was going to have a more difficult landing process because of some of the other trees around it.  I began the process again still kinda shaken up from the first one.  The battery died and I replaced the battery with my spare. I cut the wedge in and then cut in the back cut.  In hind site with this one I did not make a wide enough wedge cut. She too cracked and I ran. She tried to gracefully come down but her cut side got stuck on the stump and her top got blocked by the other trees so she could not fall.  This was where things went really off. I needed to free her up from the stump part.  I figured I could chainsaw down the front side so she was freed up.  That resulted in my chainsaw getting caught as she slid back against the stump. Note to self … don’t put chainsaw where the downward pressure with trap it. LOL. Now what????

I went an grabbed my 8″ pole chainsaw and used it to free up the chainsaw.  The pole saw’s chain came off but I got my bigger chainsaw free with no damage except for needing to tighten the chain again.  Now I needed to begin to cut branches off to allow her to settle towards the ground. The pole chainsaw would have been great for this except I was too tired to fiddle with getting the chain back on again. So I began to remove branches going from the bottom up.  I got through several branches and then on a bigger one I managed to get my chainsaw stuck and trapped again.  You’d think I had learned about the downward pressure from before … but, nop, I didn’t.  So now the chainsaw was dangling from a branch by it’s chain.

By this point I was becoming a bit slap happy.  I stood back and laughed at how at Freedom Acres we have chainsaw fruit hanging from out trees coz we can grown anything here.  I went back to my tools and grabbed two tree wedges and my rubber hammer.  I inserted the first one in the under cut and saw the chain move some. Then I inserted the second one and the chainsaw was freed up and dropped to the ground. I needed to back away fro her for a while and think things out.  I rubbed her bark thanked her and let her know I was going to let her rest among the other trees for a while. 

I went back to the first pine tree and realized I needed to get part of it out of the way still for the trucks so I needed to begin to chop it up from the bottom.  I got about halfway through the cut and my backup battery died.  I guess it was time to quit for today.  Next week I will come back and get the second pine tree lowered to the ground and begin to chop both of them up so they are completely out of the way of the truck path.  I also will need to take both tree trucks still left on the ground down to the ground so the trucks can drive over the stumps.

It was such a mix of emotions as I stood back and looked at both of them.  The sadness of seeing them there.  The fear and panic still racing through me.  The gratitude for them being so loving and giving me the vision of how to have them be a part of Freedom Acres to honor them. The gratitude that I am OK and was taken care of with no injuries in the process.  I picked up all my tools and got them back into the Jeep and headed over to the home area to just sit and breathe for a moment. I wandered around a little identifying some new wildflowers and plants that had sprung up on the property and ended by freeing up 5 more oak trees from some more vines. What a day!

NOW for the GREAT NEWS!!! On Saturday I officially moved from Permit Hell to Permit Heaven!  On Friday the permit had been signed by all the appropiate folks in the county. Then Nair got a message on her contractor portal with Impact Fees itemized and a link to pay them. The Impact Fees were $8300.  For those of you who do not know what an impact fee is (I didn’t for sure) … they are a fee you pay the county when developing land.  It is for the impact on the county of adding a new developed property.  So it includes police, fire department, schools, roads, etc. and is based on the square footage of the property. That hefty $8300 was because I own almost 10 acres of land. Never mind that I have no kids and that I have a limestone road vs. asphalt on one side of my property … we won’t go there LOL. 

Some counties seem to roll this into monthly or quarterly payments. Some attach it to your property taxes for several years until paid.  My county it is a one time fee to be paid immediately …. OR … no permit is issued. So on Saturday AM Nair and I got on the phone and I gave her my routing and account number for my bank and we paid it.  Within minutes she got a receipt and an email that said that the permit had been ISSUED!  BAM!  Money talks!

I posted videos, on the Freedom Acres YouTube Channel, of the rainwater collection tank  and birdbath weekly update again along with all my various foibles in being a novice at taking down those Pine trees. Of course, there is  a short exciting end of the day report with Gracie as a part of it.  Feel free check it all out by clicking HEREAlso, feel free to subscribe and you can get notified when new videos go up! 🙂

We are now in the last week of March and I have a permit. NOW, things get to MOVE fast! All systems go with all the contractors who have been waiting … the cement guy to lay the piers & foundations, the residential and storage shipping containers then delivered, electricity and plumbing hooked up, siding put on container and interior of container fleshed out with appliances and cabinetry, etc. Game on to be living on the property by May!! I absolutely will keep praying, chatting with and trusting the Universe.  Time will keep rolling and I will be back next week ready to play again and get the Pine trees chopped up and out of the way!

As always, I send you Love and Freedom until then!











Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>