We had some pretty high winds yesterday and last night, and I woke up this morning to find that a maple tree in the back part of our lot had broken off about four feet from the ground, falling onto my garden. Fortunately, we had already harvested the beans and it couldn't do any damage to the onions. Another tree had fallen in the back a couple of months ago but I couldn't get my chain saw started to cut it up. Since it hadn't fallen onto anything important, it was no big deal, but this one was laying across my whole yard. It was a maple tree, about a 14-15 inch diameter. I have two gas-powered chain saws: a STIHL saw that I have here, but which I have often had trouble starting once it sits for a couple of months. Once started, it has a lot of power as it's a real working lumber saw. Because I once drove more than three hours north to cut some trees on my wood lot only to bend the bar of my chain saw on the second tree, I decided to buy a second saw. I bought this one new a few years ago. It's a Craftsman chain saw, not one that any real woodsman would choose but it's easy to start (either because it was new or because it was a Craftsman, I don't know) and it does fine with softwood, and that's most of what I have been clearing up north because I'm giving some room for the hardwood trees to breathe and to grow. The Craftsman also has a 20-inch bar, while the STIHL has an 18-inch bar. I can cut a hardwood tree with the Craftsman but I have to go easier with it. My understanding of chain saws is that they can be compared to motorcycles. Real bikers prefer a Harley, but a Harley requires constant tinkering in order to keep it running right. I used to ride motorcycles, and Harley riders always spent a half hour or so tinkering with their bike after a ride, whereas someone with a Yamaha or a Suzuki would simply park it, knowing that it would be good to go the next time they needed it. Real woodsmen like STIHL or Husqvarna chain saws but they require more maintenance than something like a Craftsman, and you've got to know how to maintain them, and be willing to take the time to do so. Thirty years ago, if I had had a wood lot, I might have preferred a STIHL or a Husqvarna. Today, I prefer a Craftsman. However, my Craftsman is up north and I had only the STIHL here, and I spent an hour trying to get it to start with no success. Pulling that chain is a lot harder than it used to be. So I did something I never thought I'd do. I bought an electric saw. As long as I plug it in, it will turn, leaving only the bar and the chain for me to worry about. Plus, it's quieter for use in town. My neighbors are pretty accepting but I imagine it can be annoying to have someone running a chain saw next door. If you've never been near one, they are loud. The electric chain saw cost less than fifty bucks, whereas a new gas-powered chainsaw worth having would set me back two or three hundred. With the electric chain saw, I cut up both of the fallen trees and a cut down a couple of other smaller ones that weren't doing anything other than crowding larger trees. The whole process was fairly painless and quiet. But I know people who would laugh at me for using an electric chain saw.