Coconut denutters in Cairns
FROM a room high up at Rydges Hotel on the Cairns Esplanade, Big Rigs opened the curtain early on December 20 and was greeted by a worker removing coconuts from a tree. The tree-climber, named Aaron, was attached to a safety harness and gladly posed for Big Rigs when I yelled out to him.
Down below on the street was a 2000 model Mitsubishi Canter driven by Adrian Carty, who works for Arborcare.
Adrian was mulching the leaves and small branches cut down by Aaron.
"We do a lot of de-nutting of coconut trees so they can't fall down and hit a person. There are many such trees here in the far north," Adrian said.
The boys usually operate in a team of three, with one high above the ground and the other two below picking up and mulching and chipping.
"Sometimes we have five and we travel around the Atherton Tablelands," Adrian said.
The lads are in high demand at this time of year, especially when tropical cyclones are around. Coconuts and branches can become dangerous missiles in the big blows.
Coconut de-nutting fascinates tourists who visit Cairns, including lots of Japanese.
Numerous Japanese men and women who were on a bus tour took the chance to snap pics of Aaron. Ironically, the Japanese were taking pics of a Mitsubishi truck.