Thursday, 3 March 2011

Tobacco Tree Pain

We hateses 'baccy trees we does precious, nassty trees !

I mean really!

I just spent two days cutting out three trees and they are nasty things. I had originally tried to use an axe and a saw but the saw would get wedged tight and the axe boucned off the heartwood if I didn't hit it exactly right. So I used a chainsaw - it was amazing: the saw would get stuck if I tried to go all the way through in one go and then I needed a hatchet to cut it free without breaking the chain. It would sink in easily enough, until it hit the heart, and then it would just sit there smoking and I had to use slicing motions - just stroking the saw through the cuts, to make headway. If I tried to press down, the saw would stall and the sap would glue the blade in position. And would the trees fall nicely? Not a hope! They would all, every one, twist as the fell - if I didn't watch it this would flick the saw out of my grip or belt me a huge bruise someplace. Nasty.

Not only that but cutting the things down is only the start of my problems. They are hydras: each stump sprouts a half-dozen new blanches below the cut. If you cut at ground level (harder than it sounds because these trees don't grow in convenient places) then each severed root grows a whole new tree! So I have to cut a big X in each stump and pour kerosene over it.

Every part of the tree is nasty and the drawback to chainsawing is the sawdust it throws everywhere. I had a face protector and a mask and I still got sick ... nausia, dizziness, shaking, I probably swallowed a bit. I had small hives all over my exposed arms. I must have pulled something too, because my whole right arm was paralyzed this morning.

I used to think of them as annoying before, now I hate the buggers.

Curiously, some US gardeners deliberately cultivate it ... well, it is easy to grow, but it is not in the slightest bit decorative, it destroys other plants, and is very poisonous.

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