I asked if I might not trim away the smaller branches that were in the alley.
"Sure," they said, "We've taken pictures for insurance already."
So I got my little metal bowsaw and nibbled away, while the others cleared away the loose branches.
Tam looked over the bigger branch-chunks and said, "This is chainsaw work!"
"Well, I don't have one of those," The Democrat said, "But I have a little reciprocating saw."
"You've got a sawzall?" I asked.
"Sometimes it comes in handy," she replied.
Not only did she have a sawzall, she had the proper kind of blades to take on green wood. She handed me the saw, saying, "I think I'd trust you with this over myself," which I took as high praise. Tam had fetched loppers and we all set to -- Atom, The Dem, Tam, Bear the dog (supervisor), new neighbors and me. In short order, we had the alley cleared and the garage-owners went in to call a tree guy and their insurance company.
As for the rest of us, we were on a roll. We'd cleared just enough to be able to see our way to removing a lot more -- so we kept on. We kinda made some progress.
We finally had to start piling debris and tree-jetsam next to the Roseholme driveway across the alley. When the young couple returned, they were surprised and pleased by the results of our efforts.
Welcome to the neighborhood, folks -- and I hope you own a snowshovel!