I really did, but I had to. After enjoying its shade and many a fruit, the poor old pear tree in our back yard had to come down. It had always been improperly pruned and had periodically lost a few branches to the wind, but it still bore enough and seemed solid enough to keep. Then, last summer, I noticed the ants and their sawdust. I decided it best take the old devil down before the wind beat me to it.
Here it is just after taking the first two limbs. Both were hollow. A few limbs later, I had to lasso that one leaning over the garage, and had the missus pull on the rope while I cut the limb. She did a great job of dropping it right where I wanted it to fall (which was anyplace but on the garage roof.)
Here's the new view with all four trunks down. Turned out it was the right decision, since all four trunks were hollow and rotten. Opened things up a bit.
The implements of destruction: a pole pruner and a milk crate. Not pictured: cheap, rickety bow saw.
More implements of destruction: trenching shovel, grubhoe and single-bit ax. Looks like fun, doesn't it? Turns out even the heartwood in the roots was rotten. I had hoped to get enough wood out of the trunk to maybe make a couple of mallets, but I'm not optimistic.