Last of the dead giants

By Jack Elliott
Special to the Times

It finally is gone. On Wednesday, June 22 the corpse of Rainy River’s biggest, long dead, Elm tree
succumbed to the chainsaw ministrations of Daryl’s Custom Landscapes Ltd.

Over the last decades Dutch Elm Disease has steadily wiped out the towering American Elms lining many streets in our towns. During the last five years the few remaining giants in Rainy River have succumbed and a responsible municipality and private property owners have undertaken the removal of the derelict trees from their property before those giants rotted and fell onto surrounding streets and properties. Only this one remained. It died several years ago and had already began dropping branches; it was just a matter of time before larger limbs – or the entire tree – came down, causing serious damage or bodily harm.

It took an 85ft reach bucket truck with two operators and a ground crew of three or four, several hours to whittle the giant down bit by bit. Surrounded by assets like the neighbouring houses, the Bell exchange, power lines on all sides as well as two streets, and # 11 highway, it was a slow methodical process as smaller branches, and the pieces of ever increasing diameter limbs were cut and dropped to the ground without hitting those adjoining assets.

The last piece to fall was the approx 30 ft main trunk which was tied off and winched to fall in a safe spot. The branches, debris, and larger limb pieces on the ground were either run through a chipper or loaded on a trailer and hauled away. By quitting time Wednesday all that remained on site was a few large blocks, a bit of debris, and the monster, four ft high stump….no word on its intended fate.

The end is that a potentially deadly derelict giant is gone. It can no longer threaten the lives and property of folks at the junction of 1st St and Atwood Ave in Rainy River. Kudos to Bell for finally seeing to its removal.