A city is no place for a lumberjack. Felling trees in urban areas is a dangerous game; crews must dodge deadly power lines and expensive real estate to finish the job. But when there’s a tree sandwiched in the middle of a metropolis, it’s up to the urban tree cutters of Big Bad Wood to take it down.
In the Big Bad Wood series opener, four fearless crews fell enormous trees in the middle of Greater Boston, all with their own distinct flair.
Urban cutter Rich Yurewitz calls his crew at American Climbers the “cowboys of the industry.” “We’re not upper echelon of the tree companies, but those jobs that no one else wants, we get in and get it done,” he says. His team’s mission for the day is tough: taking a 70 foot box elder in a narrow yard stuck between the owner’s house and several power lines. And to make matters worse, there’s an locked car parked right in the drop zone.
Who better than to run a shipshape tree cutting company than a military man? Foreman John Haehnel and his crew at Tree Tech made their name in the tree cutting business with their high-tech fleet. “We get the call when all the big jobs come up. ’cause we got the equipment to get it done,” Haehnel says. “I’m a former Marine and I like to run a tight ship.” When a Tree Tech climber goofs off and nearly crushes the crew with a falling branch, Haehnel is forced to lay down the law while keeping his team together.
For the guys of Specialized Rigging and Tree Care, urban tree cutting is a purist endeavor. “We’re climbers, that’s our niche,” says owner Jay Relouf. “We don’t use any machinery. Just four guys using our expertise do it all by hand, so we’re real craftsmen.” Relouf’s crew may see their work as art, but will their old-school tactics be enough to take down a 100 foot white pine?
Brian Kittery, the owner of the small “Mom and Pop shop” All Season Tree Service, has the biggest challenge of the day – a drunk crew. His number one man Jimmy “The Goat” Scannell hit the sauce at 7 a.m., and when Kittery tries to send him home, a nasty fight breaks out, endangering the day’s work.
In the precarious world of urban tree cutting, not every crew can succeed. Find out which teams come out on top on the series premiere of Big Bad Wood, tonight at 9P.