Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Project by Travel Man #2 - Cutting a Coconut Tree

Reasons to cut a coconut tree

Amid the drizzles of afternoon rain (June 16, 2011), I decided to go to our old home's location at the center of our rice fields. My dog, Brownie followed suit. Cutting the coconut tree was far from my mind.

I was expecting to see fruits of our Indian mango trees, but to no avail; only one was still hanging on its branch.

Trying to control my irritation, I looked up the coconut tree to see if there's an old fruit. Nothing. I surveyed the next one. There were some left, but I knew it's been already looted with its young coconut by some farm helpers.

I cannot climb easily because the rain made its trunk slippery. So, my last recourse was to cut it down. That I did!

It's a sound decision to stop the thieves from harvesting fruits from it.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Cutting a coconut tree by using a bolo takes an hour to complete (Photo by Travel Man)The coconut tree...still standing (Photo by Travel Man)Almost done (Photo by Travel Man)Did I miss something...where's the trunk? (Photo by Travel Man)The coconut tree fell down. (Photo by Travel Man)The fallen trunk (Photo by Travel Man)The coconut fruits (Photo by Travel Man)
Cutting a coconut tree by using a bolo takes an hour to complete (Photo by Travel Man)
Cutting a coconut tree by using a bolo takes an hour to complete (Photo by Travel Man)
The coconut tree...still standing (Photo by Travel Man)
The coconut tree...still standing (Photo by Travel Man)
Almost done (Photo by Travel Man)
Almost done (Photo by Travel Man)
Did I miss something...where's the trunk? (Photo by Travel Man)
Did I miss something...where's the trunk? (Photo by Travel Man)
The coconut tree fell down. (Photo by Travel Man)
The coconut tree fell down. (Photo by Travel Man)
The fallen trunk (Photo by Travel Man)
The fallen trunk (Photo by Travel Man)
The coconut fruits (Photo by Travel Man)
The coconut fruits (Photo by Travel Man)

Cutting the coconut tree

Armed with just a bolo, I don't have a chainsaw or rented one. With a silent prayer to accomplish it in just an hour, I started cutting it right-handed.

I whistled and sang fragments of songs that I knew while the rain drenched my raincoat. The cutting continued and my right hand began feeling the burden of too much force that I exerted.

After the first quarter (I kept checking on my wristwatch), I decided to use my left hand. I had to cut the other part of the trunk near its base. Not bad. Although, I was not a left-handed person, I pursued to swing to arm and there it was, the bolo's blade slowly chipped the bark of the coconut trunk.

I decided to document my project, as usual in order to prove that I can do it myself, amid the rain. It continued until I was almost at the core of the trunk.

I decided to rest for a while, taped some scenes then waited for the gravity to come in.

True enough, it did help me brought the trunk down. BAM!!!! There went the sound

Some farmers heard the sound and stopped momentarily as they looked at me from a distance. Well, it's my parents' property so, I don't mind them, although it hit a portion of the rice paddies of the adjacent farm.

What I did:

  • I removed all the leaves.
  • I gathered the young and old coconut fruits or shells.
  • I cut the trunk near its tip.
  • Last but not the least, I brought the coconut heart at home.

The farm thieves and looters will wonder who did it. Their guesses will not be far from the truth. That I knew what they did prior to my DIY project.


DIY 2 - How To Cut A Coconut Tree c/o MrMusicman1971

Related hub on coconut

I've written a hub on the uses of coconut and enumerated some of it.

One of the recent remarks caught my attention about the use of young coconut leaves for native sticky rice delicacy. She's a local legislator in her province, who filed a bill banning vendors to use it. I don't know how to react, since, it's the practice in the entire archipelago of the Philippines. A poor alternate is banana leaf, although it's also used for other delicacy.

Coconut industry in the country is one of the major dollar earners, aside from labor deployment abroad. There are lots of job opportunities if the government will concentrate on its mass production and usage.

From roots to tip, coconut tree has unlimited uses. From the copra, chemical, soap making, cooking oil, butter, margarine, dextrose and other coconut products, this tree is dubbed as "the tree of life". True enough, it lives up to its name.

Coco lumber is the most available construction materials in the country. local agency on environment requires license for commercial production. There's a restriction that a coconut tree should be cut because:

  1. it's already old (20-25 years old);
  2. it's afflicted with coconut blight or parasite or insects that eat its young leaves causing it to die;
  3. it's been affected by road widening;
  4. the owner feels the need to cut it due to thieves or looters or for personal needs.

More by this Author


Comments 12 comments

Idecide profile image

Idecide 5 years ago from India

I just checked out the wikipedia article on coconut, and I found that Philippines is the largest producer. That's great.

You had actually cut the whole coconut tree. Why? I know you wanted to protect it from the thieves, but come on, you actually cut the whole thing down? Haha!

While reading you article, I remembered removing the husk of a coconut. Man that was hard. I used a screw driver and the reservoir of my precious energy.

Good Hub. Great that you actually documented the whole process.

-------

Read my hubs too. Nobody reads them! :D


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Hi, Idecide. Yes, I decided to cut it because, for the past years, it's fruits have been looted by those thieves. So, why not end my misery of this palm tree as the owner itself cannot benefit from it?

Hahaha! Really? There's a technique on how to remove the coconut husk. Don't use screw driver. You have to remove the bottom portion first by using a bolo, then

divide the upper part and removed it one at a time.

Coconut farmers have a special remover for better production.

Yes, my country is the top producer of coconut products. It should alleviate poor people's living status; but, only large coconut farm owners benefit largely on it.


Idecide profile image

Idecide 5 years ago from India

"Yes, my country is the top producer of coconut products. It should alleviate poor people's living status; but, only large coconut farm owners benefit largely on it."

That's sad. I hate corporate fascism. Sometimes it feels like as if the world is not progressive, it's retrogressive.

"Hahaha! Really? There's a technique on how to remove the coconut husk. Don't use screw driver. You have to remove the bottom portion first by using a bolo, then divide the upper part and removed it one at a time."

I'm an amateur. When I get older and earn money on my own, I'll come to your place. You can teach me then.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Idecide: Who said that I am professional, LOL! It's only courage that overwhelmed me to do it.

That's what is happening in the country. Landlords who have vast coconut plantations are the ones who'll get richer and richer, not the peasants or farm helpers or tenants.

For the technique, there's this triangular-like cast iron thing we call TIGKALAN (husk remover). You'll enjoy seeing those coconut farmers do it during the copra (coco meat) production.

The aroma of coco meat being dried up or smoked before marketing it at the local distributor, used to engulf me when I was young, as I watched my father and his help do it. It's like a bonfire, as they exchanged stories while waiting for the coco meat on its shell to separate.

The next process is to remove the meat from shell. It's tedious but at the same time, enjoyable.

I'm a more of an internet owl these days, but still have to go back to the mountains and recall such refreshing episodes in my life. Dramatic, huh?

Never mind, at least, I did what I had to do to stop those thieves from taking advantage on us.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines

travel_man, as you know, I'm also from the Philippines. But being a city girl, I don't know anything about cutting a coconut tree nor about removing a coconut husk. I just know how to eat them! And the juice is very refreshing. Awesome hub! :)


thesailor profile image

thesailor 5 years ago from Seven Seas

It's a man's job to do the cutting, right, travel man? It's a wise decision for you to decide the fate of that palm tree which was always the looters' find.

Good job! How's your hands, by the way?


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@seriousnuts:LOL! Good for you as you enjoy eating young coconut meat or flesh. I'm sure you do enjoy buko salad, right.

It's juice is also a cure if you have difficulty urinating.

Don't worry about cutting a coconut tree or removing coconut husk from its shell, it's a man's job, anyway.

Thanks for your hub-visit. Appreciate it!!!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@thesailor: A man's job? I agree; most of the times hard labor or workloads are for men, especially those who need natural strength, without an aid of modern machine.

Although, I can say that I used a sharp wedge of a simple machine (that is bolo) to accomplish my DIY project.

My hands, it's still complete, LOL!!!

Thanks for reminding.


seriousnuts profile image

seriousnuts 5 years ago from Philippines

My mom loves buko salad! If you ask me, I still prefer the coconut as it is. I really love drinking the juice. Not only is it delicious, it's also very healthy. I guess you're right, those are a man's job. I'm glad your hands are still in good shape! :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@seriousnuts: Give my regards to your mom. Actually, I prefer the natural taste of buko, just like you. Although, during fiestas, visitors prefer buko salad.

Well, I'm still mending the veins and arteries of my right hand (I'm basically a right-handed person). No big deal.

My next DIY project is to fix the bamboo gate of our small farm, near the highway. Local folks (farmers) used to open it without asking permission from me.

I'm still eyeing another coconut tree beside the road but my mother didn't agree. LOL!


AskAshlie3433 profile image

AskAshlie3433 5 years ago from WEST VIRGINIA

Voted up and useful! This will come in handy if I ever move somewhere where they grow. I can cut down a pine tree though! lol Great article!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@AskAshlie3433: Thanks for voting up my hub. Actually this DIY project of mine was just a bold move to stop thieves and looters from harvesting the fruits of our coconuts in the farm.

It would be great to cut a pine tree, with a chain saw, of course. It will take a lot of human force and effort, if you'll do what I did. LOL!

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