UPTON — “I’m going to calculate there’s probably between between four or five thousand feet of wood here,” Upton resident Ed Bennett said.

He recently cut five massive white spruce trees not far from his house, and hauled them with his 20-ton Caterpillar bulldozer to a more open section of his property. Bennett estimated that when standing the trees were close to 95 feet tall, now on the ground and trimmed, he said they are 80 feet in length.

One had a diameter of 34 inches. He said each tree weighs between four and five thousand pounds, but that the bulldozer has no issues dragging them.

Many would think that large trees would be cut and split for firewood, but Bennett has much bigger plans for these trees. A man of many trades, Bennett said that in late spring/early summer he will begin construction of a new house. A foundation is already in place and he said hopes to build the home himself. Bennett has built other homes in the past, including a long cabin in Newry, where he resided for 15 years.

“It’s going to be my little piece of heaven when I completely retire not too many years down the road I hope,” Bennett.

One of the unique things Bennett said he’ll do is take one the trees and run it vertical through his house starting in the basement. He then wants to build a spiral staircase around it.

Bennett said most of the wood used for the house will be white spruce, with the exception of some inside work, where rough pine will be used. He hopes to complete the project by the end of 2019.

The opportunity to build his “little piece of heaven” almost didn’t happen. A couple of years ago he suffered a massive heart attack while at Togus in Augusta. He said the staff saved his life. Despite his setback, Bennett is still active and works all the time.

“So here I am at 66 years old, still cutting wood and enjoying it,” he said.

More on Bennett 

Bennett, who has always enjoyed heavy equipment, has kept his 54-year-old bulldozer in excellent condition. He does all the repairs on the machine.

He has lived in Upton for 16 years. In 1971 Bennett was drafted into the military and thought he would join the Marines. However, after meeting and explaining his interest in heavy equipment, the recruiters told him to join the Seabees, the Naval Construction Force.

Bennett also taught handgun shooting while in the Navy.

He has owned his own business, Bennett’s Welding and Fabrication, since 1985. While it keeps him occupied throughout the year, he still finds time to go outdoors, his number one activity.

Hunting and fishing top the list of his favorite hobbies, but another is engineering, something he’s always had a knack for. It will come in handy as he builds his new home.

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