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Posted: 11/19/2007 9:55:33 AM EDT
Had a couple die from ye olde oak wilt this summer, so I need to take 'em down. They make me a little bit nervous. They're not close to the house or anything, they're just so damn large. There are certain directions that it would be preferred for them to fall, but again, I've got some leeway.

OSHA suggested method

These 2 trees are both 36"+ diameter. God knows how tall. Pretty dang tall.

So why am I nervous? A tree that tall isn't going to do anything fast. I have a trustworthy cutting pattern courtesy of OSHA. It's just a whole lotta damn tree. I know I can deal with it once it's on the ground. How much would it cost me to get a tree guy to come out and just drop them?
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 9:58:14 AM EDT
Call a tree guy and have him give you an est.

Most I know will cut it if you give them some of the better parts of the tree.

Have him drop both and keep a couple 4 foot sections if it is hard wood.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 9:58:52 AM EDT
Maybe one or 2 hundred bucks just to drop it.

If YOU cut it up yourself, you'll save a bundle.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:01:56 AM EDT
Should be doable. I'd just use a whole lot of caution

Run a line to it as high up as you can, run it to some kind of ancor in the direction that you want it to go, and put as much tension as you can. I've used ratchet straps and a good thick rope for this.

Get a good notch and back cut on the opposite side.


TIMBER


****Comments are not given with any level of expertise authority and should not be taken as such

*****if you drop a tree on yourself, anyone else, or anything don't blame me.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:01:57 AM EDT
I had a large pine tree dropped and cleaned up cost me $500 , it was worth it.

I watched them do it it was a hell of a lot of work .
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:04:01 AM EDT
I do it routinely but I shan't be giving advice on this because you may indeed kill yourself or someone else, pretty easily.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:06:23 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2007 10:08:41 AM EDT by Torf]
24" bar is long enough to cut down just about anything reasonable.

I have spend lots of time sectioning oak tree trunks in excess of 40" with a 24" bar. Yeah, it takes a lot of cutting, but as long as your saw has guts and your chain is sharp, you shouldn't have a problem.

Watch out for kickback when you get that saw tip into the wood!

Caution, a large falling tree has a huge moment arm, and while it won't move fast, it will KILL anything that gets pinched or crushed, including dogs (who don't look up), chainsaws, bars (which get pinched), etc.
Make sure you have an escape route. When the tree starts to fall, stop cutting immediately and walk away at a 90 degree angle. There is potential for the trunk to come off the stump, so watch it! Most would recommend setting the saw down when the tree falls, but I think that takes extra time, and if the tree hits it, you might lose the saw. Carry it with you and hit the chain stop if you have one.

I trust myself to do it, but if you have any doubts, hire the job. Once the tree is down, the danger isn't over, BTW. Fallen trees can still kill you.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:07:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dedfella:
I do it routinely but I shan't be giving advice on this because you may indeed kill yourself or someone else, pretty easily.


Well, FWIW, I'd just kill myself. If I do it, I won't let anyone else be within 150'.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:10:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2007 10:12:09 AM EDT by SandWMandP15Tee]
My nieghbor in Hialeah wanted to save some money so I bought a small chainsaw and hacked down the tree that was bothering my Mom's house because it had already done some damage the previuos hurricane.Needless to say when I finally brought her down I didn't really estimate the size of her ! The limbs brought down the power line supplying his house and the local PD came by and wrought a report,then FPL came by and said his house wasn't up to code so he had to hire an electrical contractor to bring everything back up to par.He lost power for almost two weeks.And nearly two thousand dollars in bills!Remember to tie some rope to sway the tree away from you so it falls correctly and don't forget to do some trimming above.Your always better off hiring someone that does this kinda work.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:12:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2007 10:13:57 AM EDT by wump]
i wouldnt be afraid of doing it, but telling someone else how could end up bad.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:16:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Torf:
Caution, a large falling tree has a huge moment arm, and while it won't move fast, it will KILL anything that gets pinched or crushed, including dogs (who don't look up), chainsaws, bars (which get pinched), etc.
Make sure you have an escape route. When the tree starts to fall, stop cutting immediately and walk away at a 90 degree angle. There is potential for the trunk to come off the stump, so watch it! Most would recommend setting the saw down when the tree falls, but I think that takes extra time, and if the tree hits it, you might lose the saw. Carry it with you and hit the chain stop if you have one.

I trust myself to do it, but if you have any doubts, hire the job. Once the tree is down, the danger isn't over, BTW. Fallen trees can still kill you.


+1


Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:16:40 AM EDT
A 24" chain bar on a 36" isn't the right size to do the job safely. If you don't have experience with lesser trees and have a good grash of all the things that can wrong - I'd say that its cheaper to pay someone to do it. A tree that size can do a number on you and you can't outrun it once you say "uh-oh".
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:19:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dedfella:
I do it routinely but I shan't be giving advice on this because you may indeed kill yourself or someone else, pretty easily.


Yep. Every year I have to cut some large timber. Standing timber is easy to cut , I hate cutting that involves trees that have already fallen into other trees.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:23:05 AM EDT
Hire this job out.

Save money cutting it up yourself, but if you have to ask this question, this just isn't for you. Unless you've done this before you have NO IDEA how much energy you are about to unleash.

I dropped a pair of bad limbs, ten inches in diameter each but joined near the trunk, spun them in midair to barely miss electrical service to the garage, and when they hit the ground, it brought out the neighbors from all around, who thought we'd had an earthquake, while inside their houses.

There's just WAY too many things that can go wrong during this kind of thing, getting the saw stuck, having it kick back, having the tree split before you expect it to and falling at some strange angle, etc.

I'm reasonably certain that no apprentice tree whacker is assigned to a 36 inch diameter trunk his first day out, before he's ever seen it done, and that's about where you're headed.

Bad idea, bad idea, bad idea. Good thinking, trying to save money, but some things you just want to hire a pro to do, like coronary bypass surgery and felling massive trees.

Unless you're intimately familiar with dynamite, you'll want to hire a pro to blow the stump too, or else burn it out, dig it out, chop it out, whatever. Yet another one of THOSE jobs.

:-)
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:23:47 AM EDT
Some of you folks that recommend tying the tree to something?

It depends on the tree size of course, but the kind of tree that the OP is talking about would throw a truck or yank down a wall if the tree wasn't cut properly!

Let me rephrase: A 5,000# truck, a 10,000# cable and a 40,000# tree. If that tree falls away from your anchor point, what do you think is going to happen?

Wind, gravity, etc... can all push a tree the "wrong" way. Better to NOT have your expensive truck tied to it.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:25:22 AM EDT

Originally Posted By CZ75_9MM:

Originally Posted By dedfella:
I do it routinely but I shan't be giving advice on this because you may indeed kill yourself or someone else, pretty easily.


Yep. Every year I have to cut some large timber. Standing timber is easy to cut , I hate cutting that involves trees that have already fallen into other trees.



I have a huge tree(60") that caught the fork of another huge tree(60").

it has so far defeated all my efforts to "fix" it.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:26:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Torf:
Some of you folks that recommend tying the tree to something?

It depends on the tree size of course, but the kind of tree that the OP is talking about would throw a truck or yank down a wall if the tree wasn't cut properly!

Let me rephrase: A 5,000# truck, a 10,000# cable and a 40,000# tree. If that tree falls away from your anchor point, what do you think is going to happen?

Wind, gravity, etc... can all push a tree the "wrong" way. Better to NOT have your expensive truck tied to it.


I always use another tree and a "come-along" to pull off of. YMMV
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:29:39 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Torf:
Some of you folks that recommend tying the tree to something?

It depends on the tree size of course, but the kind of tree that the OP is talking about would throw a truck or yank down a wall if the tree wasn't cut properly!

Let me rephrase: A 5,000# truck, a 10,000# cable and a 40,000# tree. If that tree falls away from your anchor point, what do you think is going to happen?

Wind, gravity, etc... can all push a tree the "wrong" way. Better to NOT have your expensive truck tied to it.


Tie to a truck...OH HELLZ NO

unless you don't want the truck anymore.

What I've done is get a big assed stake and bury it about 3 ft in the ground, and tie to that, and just put enough pressure to give some tension on the side I want it to to fall.

You have to be able to read the tree. If there is wind, if it has a lean or a twist, if it has rott, to be able to get an idea of what it may do.

If the OP hasn't dropped a lot of trees, by all means hire it out.I've dropped my share of trees, and you can never tell exactly what will happen, but if you have had experience you can usually for a hypothesis.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:33:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2007 10:42:36 AM EDT by Quarterbore]
Oh shit, this has the potential to be an ARFCOM horor story!

My father cut down a tree once and he cut off the lower limbs and worked his way up. Once he got up pretty high (oh about 30-feet) he cut off a limb and it caught his safety harness and yanked him pretty hard. He ended up tearing his rotator cuff on his shoulder clinging to the ladder. I had to drive him to the hospital and all he could say was how stupid that was...

The tree was a huge Maple and it may well have been 36-inches around... it was taller then the house and it got stuck by lightning and died do my good old Pa thought he would save a few bucks

It's been 20-years now and it still bothers him!

So, each to their own but if you have room to drop the tree as one unit I would do it myself. If it is close to your house or other things (power lines, street, or something you don't want smashed) then call a pro. I know my father wishes he had called a pro and not tried to save a few bucks.

If you do it yourself, make sure you have someone there with you as a slip up with a chainsaw can be darned nasty as well if you need to bring the tree down in pieces.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:33:57 AM EDT
Tag for AAR, injury pics, and fun with insurance agents story!



Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:36:31 AM EDT
Hell yes but dead trees are the most lethal, IME. They can often twist on you and therefore can be awful unpredictable. It's a very good idea to use a safety line/cable/tow strap or something suitable in your circumstances to make sure the tree falls predictably.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:36:32 AM EDT
dibs on his guns and ammo.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:39:57 AM EDT
This job requires lots of beer and a video camera along with the chainsaw.

I think the funnest way would be to call on all ARFCOMers with a 6 hour drive and bring the EBRS and 500 rounds a piece. Paint a line on that bitch and have at it.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:43:43 AM EDT
Don't cut down the trees...hug them
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 10:45:27 AM EDT
No wonder the doctors at the ER all know my name. I honestly would never even remotely think to ask anyone if cutting this tree down is a good idea or not. Even if it were 3 feet from my house.

Me: Oh man that's a big tree and it needs to come down, ASAP.

Inner Me: Great idea John, Man this is going to be so much fun

Me: This means I get to buy a chainsaw!!!!

Inner me: What size/kind?

Me: The biggest one they have in fire engine red

Inner me: Sounds good, let do it!

Neighbor: Julie call 911 and ask them to stand by, John just got back from Home Depot he has a big box and a big grin on his face and I don't see his wife anywhere.

Me: Damn this chain in my leg hurts really bad and I hope my wife wasn't in the part of the house where the tree fell, I don't think I can lose much more blood before I pass out.

Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:00:07 AM EDT
Since you don't have any real background in timber falling and are going with the "OSHA suggested method", I'd hire this one out before you kill yourself.

Personally, I'd drop it myself...but, I also have the knowledge, skills and tools to do so. I wouldn't hesitate to use a saw with a 24" bar on a 3'+ tree, but it would depend entirely on what that saw has for a powerhead.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:03:58 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
A tree that tall isn't going to do anything fast.


famous last words right there
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:10:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
A tree that tall isn't going to do anything fast.


famous last words right there


No shit.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:22:47 AM EDT
HIRE SOMEONE.

There are no little mistakes with trees that big.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:25:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By NoVaGator:

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
A tree that tall isn't going to do anything fast.


famous last words right there


big,tall trees have been known to break the sound barrier with their top whip
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:36:22 AM EDT
Last Spring I watched a crew bring down three of my neighbor's monster trees. Each was maybe 45'-60' tall with a trunk diameter of maybe >30". The crew was very good and the boss made good on his brag to bring them down within a very narrow arc on the ground....virtually exactly where he said it would land. It was very dangerous.

I have a couple of trees of the same size that need to be dropped. There ain't NO way I'm attemtping anything like that.

Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:40:51 AM EDT
I have done tree removal before and with a tree that large unless you are experianced its just too fucking dangerous. That and proper tools make a world of difference.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:50:56 AM EDT

Hire someone to do it.



If you insist on doing it yourself, go all out and try to get some det-cord (and of course a video camera)!!
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 11:58:38 AM EDT
Nothing to it. Knock yourself out! Oh, be careful.

ETA: Please video the event for us.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:01:29 PM EDT
I've dropped ~40" trees with a 20" saw, so I see no problem with a 36" tree and a 24" bar.

With that said, if you have to ask, you might want to bring in a pro. A man's got to know his limitations and all that.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:09:32 PM EDT
Can I be the designated beer holder during this operation?
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:17:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2007 12:22:50 PM EDT by AeroE]
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:27:00 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Torf:
Some of you folks that recommend tying the tree to something?

It depends on the tree size of course, but the kind of tree that the OP is talking about would throw a truck or yank down a wall if the tree wasn't cut properly!

Let me rephrase: A 5,000# truck, a 10,000# cable and a 40,000# tree. If that tree falls away from your anchor point, what do you think is going to happen?

Wind, gravity, etc... can all push a tree the "wrong" way. Better to NOT have your expensive truck tied to it.


But think of how popular the youtube video would be...
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:27:32 PM EDT
1.) Drill holes in tree.

2.) Insert bottles of tannerite.

3.) EXECUTE.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:28:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Thuban:

Originally Posted By Torf:
Some of you folks that recommend tying the tree to something?

It depends on the tree size of course, but the kind of tree that the OP is talking about would throw a truck or yank down a wall if the tree wasn't cut properly!

Let me rephrase: A 5,000# truck, a 10,000# cable and a 40,000# tree. If that tree falls away from your anchor point, what do you think is going to happen?

Wind, gravity, etc... can all push a tree the "wrong" way. Better to NOT have your expensive truck tied to it.


But think of how popular the youtube video would be...


Yeah, that's called a "trebuchet".
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:34:59 PM EDT


Now that a lot of people have posted it reminded me of the summer I worked for a tree service company. I was just the schmuck who hauled branches to the chipper and cleaned up, but I remember many incidents where these authentic experts had woah-that-was-close-to-a-disaster moments.


Link Posted: 11/19/2007 12:47:33 PM EDT
I am all for the DIY approach anytime it's possible, but this is one of the things I would hire out (as with electrical work).

Do you realize that loggers have one of the highest occupational death rates? It's a dangers job cutting down trees, and while your tree isn't a 150' tall 5' diameter hardwood in a rainforest it can kill you just as quick and easy.

As mentioned, lots of guys who are in the business will take the better parts of the tree as payment, and if you don't care about the wood you can try to negotiate that as payment. Even if he wants money, it's still a better option than doing this yourself IMO.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:06:49 PM EDT
How does someone inexperienced with felling trees end up with a 24" barred saw?

I burn wood and the biggest chain my saw will pull is 20".

If that saw is powerful enough, it's plenty tool for the job. I felled one 36" tree this summer, don't underestimate how much work cleanup is going to be though.

Depending on how tall it is, it may be something worth topping first.

Hire it out.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:07:58 PM EDT
I've dropped a lot of trees (well, probably 50ish anyhow, a lot for an amateur) in that 16-20" range without incident, hesitation or issue. I've cabled smaller trees and brought them down on the exact angle to miss the garage without hitting the well head... I've cut enough to realize that dropping trees can be serious business, and enough to recognize that these are a couple of serious trees. Some "expert" acquaintances who are big into wood as fuel and make your own lumber mentioned long cabling to a Bobcat to help direct it. I laughed and said the same scenario that Torf described. I summed it up with "Not my Bobcat..."

I'm thinking I'm gonna hire the drop, but part them out on my own. After I've seen their insurance certificate, I'll watch from a distance. Maybe even video.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:15:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 11/19/2007 1:19:37 PM EDT by C6H12O6]

Originally Posted By Watermaker:
This job requires lots of beer and a video camera along with the chainsaw.

I think the funnest way would be to call on all ARFCOMers with a 6 hour drive and bring the EBRS and 500 rounds a piece. Paint a line on that bitch and have at it.


+1

=

or

+ + =
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:28:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BadShovelhead:
No wonder the doctors at the ER all know my name. I honestly would never even remotely think to ask anyone if cutting this tree down is a good idea or not. Even if it were 3 feet from my house.

Me: Oh man that's a big tree and it needs to come down, ASAP.

Inner Me: Great idea John, Man this is going to be so much fun

Me: This means I get to buy a chainsaw!!!!

Inner me: What size/kind?

Me: The biggest one they have in fire engine red

Inner me: Sounds good, let do it!

Neighbor: Julie call 911 and ask them to stand by, John just got back from Home Depot he has a big box and a big grin on his face and I don't see his wife anywhere.

Me: Damn this chain in my leg hurts really bad and I hope my wife wasn't in the part of the house where the tree fell, I don't think I can lose much more blood before I pass out.



Dude!...

Your inner me and my inner me are drinking buddies!

Let's all 4 of us get together and blow some shit up!
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:40:07 PM EDT
Definately hire somebody to do it. I do this for a living and it's a lot more involved than what you think. I won't even get into any more detail on how to do it just in case something happens.

Where are you located? If you are in the Rochester NY area, I might be able to help you out.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:45:37 PM EDT
Hire it done.

Those are bigger trees than your bravado. Admit it and hire it done with the guys who know what they are doing and have the equipment to get it doen correctly.

Plus.... there is the insurance thing.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:46:41 PM EDT
yah... That osha methods is umm nuts.

Needs a good bore cut and wedging, but doable....

If theres any kind of structure around... dont touch it.

Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:46:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By NoStockBikes:
I've dropped a lot of trees (well, probably 50ish anyhow, a lot for an amateur) in that 16-20" range without incident, hesitation or issue. I've cabled smaller trees and brought them down on the exact angle to miss the garage without hitting the well head... I've cut enough to realize that dropping trees can be serious business, and enough to recognize that these are a couple of serious trees. Some "expert" acquaintances who are big into wood as fuel and make your own lumber mentioned long cabling to a Bobcat to help direct it. I laughed and said the same scenario that Torf described. I summed it up with "Not my Bobcat..."

I'm thinking I'm gonna hire the drop, but part them out on my own. After I've seen their insurance certificate, I'll watch from a distance. Maybe even video.


That's a good call. The problem with bigger hardwoods is limb weight and the habit they have of catching wind just as you're finishing your back cut. Loggers make up half my family tree, but a sizable majority of the premature funerals I've attended. If you're not 100% confident of your ability, don't fuck around with this. Last fall one of my oldest friends and a professional timber cutter with 40+ years experience suffered 10 broken ribs and a punctured lung from a falling limb. They don't call them widow makers for nothing.
Link Posted: 11/19/2007 1:48:37 PM EDT
Hmm actually the osha method is plain dangerous.

ALWAYS use a 90 degree face notch.. any less then that and the tree is likely to barber chair like hell
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