With a laugh, Ed Reierson says he’ll be happy when he’s able to retire.
In the meantime, the 82-year-old Silver Creek man takes some pleasure in felling trees.
On Monday morning, June 25, Reierson of Reierson Farms Ltd. was at a Salmon Arm residential property where he was hired to remove 23 “danger trees” from the lot.
“We had two right there leaning over a power line – I had to push them over with a bobcat,” said Reierson, noting the fallen trees weren’t the result of a recent wind storm.
Aided by employee Tav Webster, the two had most of the trees, some of which were 100 feet or taller, down over the span of a few days. Most of the fallen foliage lay piled up on the front lawn, having dropped safely between the residence and the road.
Reierson says he does all the cutting from the ground, no climbing, while Webster does the limbing.
“I used to climb but I’m getting a little long in the tooth for that,” laughs Reierson.
The two danger trees still standing on the property are down in minutes, with Reierson on the chainsaw and Webster driving in a wedge. Despite the wind, both trees come down away from the house, onto already fallen timber.
“Knowing how to put these trees down where you want them, that’s probably the most challenging…,” said Reierson. “I’ve been at it long enough that I can pretty well figure out most trees. And you know the old saying – a tree will fall three ways: your way, my way and the way it’s leaning.”
Reierson said his family moved to the area in 1946 and he’s been here on and off ever since.
Asked if it’s unusual for a man of his age to be a tree faller, Reierson said, “I think so. But I’ve been running saw for 65 years so it kind of comes natural. And I’m addicted to the smell of fresh sawdust and the exhaust from the chainsaw – yeah, I’m addicted to those two things.”
The fallen trees will be trucked back to Reierson’s mill where he’ll turn some of the wood into lumber or log furniture. With the cedar, he’ll do some live edge pieces for special orders.