It worked pretty much as I expected so I thought my plan was good. Some time after my post, I again got back up on the ladder with an axe and got busy on one of the remaining two branches. Within about ten minutes, my neighbour appeared in his backyard wondering what I was doing. He couldn’t believe I was using an axe. When I explained that this was all new to me and I wasn’t about to add a chainsaw to the mix, he said he’d be right over.
Less than ten minutes later, he and his son brought two chainsaws, and a half-hour after that, he had cut the two branches and most the tree trunk. In fact, things didn’t go exactly as planned, and each of the two branches fell over the fence, into his yard. It worked out well because he wanted the wood anyway. He diced the trunk into short pieces which I tossed into his yard.
What’s left is what you see in the photo. In the spring, and I’ll dig up the stump and cut out the remainder. And no, I won’t dig it out completely … but just the biggest part, and I’ll bury what remains.
My neighbour is very kind and I’m grateful for his help.