It was a good tree. Although you couldn't call it pretty, you could call it pretty awesome; it provided shade for the generator shed and the garden beds below it, fruit for many species of birds and bats, and home to the most massive Myrmecophila orchid I have ever seen. Below is the homely fig tree 13 months and 1 week ago as seen from the sunset balcony.
Then, on 4 August, 2016, Hurricane Earl hit northern Belize. We felt some of it - high winds and lots of rain on the order of a tropical storm rather than a hurricane for us here in southern Belize. The fig tree weathered the winds of Earl, but not the rain - the day after Earl came through the fig slowly tipped over in the dead calm. Its shallow roots just pulled free from our sandy soil.
Time to get the chainsaw out once the little stuff is dealt with by the machete.
But our chainsaw still could not make a dent in the big trunk and main roots, even after a year. We had to call in a professional to junk up the tree. Enter Godwin and his big chainsaw.
No one touches Godwin's chainsaw except Godwin.
The fig tree was a good one and we have some fig seedlings to set out in places that aren't so close to our various buildings and structures. Near this spot, we will plant a Coral Tree, which is much better suited to the high water table. More on it next time.
|The fig tree, still suffering from a bad trim job that we gave it when it was interfering with our satellite internet reception. It needed to have dead branches cut out too.|
|Fallen fig tree behind the gen shed. It considerately slowly rolled off the roof, leaving some slight bends in the metal.|
|Such a shallow root system just couldn't hold it up in the water saturated sand.|
Over the next week, we started trimming the tree into smaller pieces. I learned just last week that locally this process is called "junking up". There are people who make a living "junking up" trees.
|Richard, junking up the tree. But saving as much of the big orchid as possible.|
|Orington, AKA Tiger, standing next to the large orchid in the partially junked tree.|
|Orington and Pascal attacking the roots with a machete.|
|Slow going with a machete.|
|Roots trimmed of with the chainsaw.|
|Godwin going at the tree.|
|He made several girdlings of the trunk with moral support from Orington, Clinton, and Pascal.|
|Clinton giving it the machete test to see how much more needs to be cut with the saw.|
|First section gone, working on the second.|
|Clinton trying to help push apart the sections while Godwin wields the saw.|
|The last section.|
|Trimming through the roots.|
|Flipped back with the roots down to get a better angle for cutting.|
|We can finish this part with our smaller chainsaw.|