Docking The Maple Tree

Whilst we didn’t tackle taking down the apple tree until last year, we did tackle taking down part of a maple tree before the first winter.

DSC_0339 rotton tree

The dock was built around a maple tree that has three trunks. One of them was very rotten and moving. We were concerned it would come down during a winter storm and take the dock out with it. The dock is not in great shape, so it probably wouldn’t take much for it to come apart.

DSC_0369 strapping tree

We enlisted the help of some young muscles and strapped the tree to make sure it fell away from the lake.

DSC_0379 tree coming down

My husband went to work with his chainsaw and all went according to plan. The tree came down with nobody underneath!

DSC_0471 leaves on tree

We were surprised to see how many leaves were still on top of the tree. It was hard to see with the other two trunks so close what leaves belonged to what trunks, but for a trunk so rotten we didn’t expect to see such life at the top.

DSC_0472 rotten log

As you can see, the wood was very rotten! We were able to salvage quite a bit of the wood for firewood and made good use of it last fall, after it had seasoned for a year.

DSC_0493 tree stump

You might have noticed that we didn’t cut the tree low to the ground. We had intended to do that, but one of our young helpers suggested that if we left it higher we could build a tabletop and make a table from the stump. We had provided refreshments and were struggling to find a place for them on the dock that was out of the reach of our dog. We loved this idea and had a vote on the size to leave the stump. Bar height seemed to be what everyone agreed on and we went with that.

DSC_2167 dock table

Last year we played with a design for the tabletop. We intend to make it out of cedar strips eventually, but to test the idea we just made it out of plywood to prove the principle and make sure we like the size etc. The dock is too small for it to be a big table. It has been great! We ran into a few issues, which we are going to try and address with an umbrella. We found that bits sometimes drop from the tree, so you have to sometimes use a cover if you put drinks and food there. It is a great place to leave my camera to try and catch those magic moments!


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