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OLDHOUSENORTHEA...
Cutting Down Trees

We have a tree in our yard that we need to cut down. It is a pine cone type tree with short needles. The trunk is about 24" diameter and then about 15' up it branches out with 3 more shoots that are about 12" diameter and then has many branches from there. I would estimate that the overall height is 40 to 50 feet.

We received some quotes for removal and were from $800. to $1200.

When I get a quote like that, my mind starts saying "We could do that ourselves, and get some cool tools to keep for the same money".

I know I will need a ladder of about 20' to get into the tree at about the 15' level. I have a chainsaw that has about an 18" bar on it. I'll need to repair that, but I would guess it will take about $50. to fix.

I'll need some rope to lower the limbs nicely. Also, I'll need some safety gear to avoid falling to my demise.

Does anyone have any suggestions for this undertaking? I saw the TOH episode where they hires a professional to cut down a tree with nothing around to avoid. They used the rope to control the fall of the limbs. Does anyone know how to tie the rope they way they did? It allowed the limbs to fall a little bit and then be lowered to the ground nicely.

Any suggestions would be nice.

Thanks,

Cody

A. Spruce
Re: Cutting Down Trees

Unless you have a firm understanding of how to remove large trees, I would strongly caution you against doing this yourself. Trying to use a ladder against the tree you're cutting is quite dangerous, and that is without any chainsaws involved.

To save yourself some money, you could hire the tree to be dropped, then you do the clean-up once it's on the ground.

Not exactly what you wanted to hear, certainly, but I'd rather have you around to participate on this forum, than to have done serious bodily injury to yourself or others by trying to save a dollar. :)

OLDHOUSENORTHEA...
Re: Cutting Down Trees
A. Spruce wrote:

Unless you have a firm understanding of how to remove large trees, I would strongly caution you against doing this yourself. Trying to use a ladder against the tree you're cutting is quite dangerous, and that is without any chainsaws involved.

To save yourself some money, you could hire the tree to be dropped, then you do the clean-up once it's on the ground.

Not exactly what you wanted to hear, certainly, but I'd rather have you around to participate on this forum, than to have done serious bodily injury to yourself or others by trying to save a dollar. :)

I appreciate your thoughts on the safety aspect of the job. Truly, safety is always my number one concern. This may very well be too big of a job for me.

Thanks,

OHNEPA

choqokat
Re: Cutting Down Trees

i know TOH has cut down trees in quite a few episodes, but which episode was this? i'm looking for an episode that showed cutting down a tree (really old walnut?) and ended with a new driveway (having a top layer of white/quahog shells and a picket fence with a curved in gate). it was for a cape home where the "garden" was also replanted. i may be in the wrong show, but thanks for your input.

ed21
Re: Cutting Down Trees

I've dropped a fair number of tall trees, but if it involves limbing and lowering large branches, I leave it to a pro.
Also how critical is the direction of fall? Can it hit anything if it doesn't go where you want it to? A rope tied off as high as you can get it and a few hands to pull or a truck can relieve a lot of worry, but a knowledge of felling trees goes a long way.
If it's a small lot with little room for error, let a pro with insurance do it.

Timothy Miller
Re: Cutting Down Trees

Howdy how much is your life worth? bet its over a $1,000.....
What will the tree destroy if things go all wrong?
I too hate to spend when i think i can do it my self but that sounds like a big tree. I stopped my self last year when i compaired $1,800 for 3 trees verses my life. They were big trees. Looking back i would of surly got into damages of property or me so the 1800 was well worth it.

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Cutting Down Trees

First of all you never use a ladder to cut trees. It doesn't take a very large limb to hit the ladder and catapult you across your property. That's why pros use climbing harnesses or cherry pickers. Topping trees can often end in kick back and rip your head off. If it is a large tree even tying a car or truck to a line connected to the top may not make the tree fall where you want and can actually throw a truck like a toy on the end of a string. Even experienced pros have been known to fell a tree the wrong direction and a tree can do a lot of damage when it falls. I have cut a lot of trees down but always hire pros for work near the house.
Jack

frdtrkmn
Re: Cutting Down Trees
OLDHOUSENORTHEASTERNPA wrote:

We have a tree in our yard that we need to cut down. It is a pine cone type tree with short needles. The trunk is about 24" diameter and then about 15' up it branches out with 3 more shoots that are about 12" diameter and then has many branches from there. I would estimate that the overall height is 40 to 50 feet.

We received some quotes for removal and were from $800. to $1200.

When I get a quote like that, my mind starts saying "We could do that ourselves, and get some cool tools to keep for the same money".

I know I will need a ladder of about 20' to get into the tree at about the 15' level. I have a chainsaw that has about an 18" bar on it. I'll need to repair that, but I would guess it will take about $50. to fix.

I'll need some rope to lower the limbs nicely. Also, I'll need some safety gear to avoid falling to my demise.

Does anyone have any suggestions for this undertaking? I saw the TOH episode where they hires a professional to cut down a tree with nothing around to avoid. They used the rope to control the fall of the limbs. Does anyone know how to tie the rope they way they did? It allowed the limbs to fall a little bit and then be lowered to the ground nicely.

Any suggestions would be nice.

Thanks,

Cody

You sound just like me. Earlier this summer my father-in-law, grandfather-in-law and myself managed to fell 18 pine trees (were all still alive) the key with us was we either climbed a ladder to tie a strong rope to the tree as high as we could, or throw the rope (attached to a trailer hitch nut) over a limb and around the tree and tie it. Then my father-in-law and i pulled it as hard as we could while gramps cut. worked well. (Of course you shouldnt do anything that will potentially hurt you... ;))

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Cutting Down Trees
frdtrkmn wrote:

You sound just like me. Earlier this summer my father-in-law, grandfather-in-law and myself managed to fell 18 pine trees (were all still alive) the key with us was we either climbed a ladder to tie a strong rope to the tree as high as we could, or throw the rope (attached to a trailer hitch nut) over a limb and around the tree and tie it. Then my father-in-law and i pulled it as hard as we could while gramps cut. worked well. (Of course you shouldnt do anything that will potentially hurt you... ;))

Congratulations, you survived. But I have known professional lumbermen that have been killed. It's a very unpredictable job.
Jack

Tony
Re: Cutting Down Trees

I had some trees on my property and took down anything under 15 feet myself with a helper. Anything over that size I hired professionals. Even at that, the large tree they took down was tied off and cut to direct the direction of fall and the tree fell just the opposite of where it was supposed to. Thank God no one was injured (the tree was 50 feet tall and about 30" in diameter). The only damage was a ladder they had leaning nearby, the tree smashed it like a toothpick. Use Professionals so you will be around to tell us how it went.

Calcats ;)

Sparksrick
Re: Cutting Down Trees

Ditto all of the above. I'm a big fan of doing it myself, always have been, but common sense prevailed this year. We had a 16" cottonwood that was aimed at the house taken out by pros. They took it down in sections, chipped the branches smaller than about 6", and I added the big stuff to our woodpile. That said, the area around it for a good 20 feet was pretty beaten down when they finished dropping the last of it to the patio.
We had another 10" cottonwood that I took down myself. I used a nylon rope which I pulled really tightly in the direction I wanted the tree to fall and carefully notched the trunk. A gust of wind took the top 90 degrees from the way I wanted it to go, took out the fence and trashed a pretty little spruce tree. :( Just glad it didn't go the other way and take out the sauna. Me, I cleared and rehearsed my exit direction before I started cutting, and was well outside the radius of the top before it landed anywhere.
Lines: holding onto a rope tied to a falling tree is a realllllly really bad idea. Think:badder than the worst rope burn you've ever had, down to bone is possible; shoulder dislocations and broken bones if a loop of your line grabs a hand or a foot. If you need to do that, loop it around a nearby tree post or something and stand off to the side 90 degrees from the direction of pull to avoid potential snap-back. Any rope, and especially synthetics such as nylon and perlon, have a lot of stretch built into them. If you pull a 3/8" nylon rope tight enough to snap it, the tail will be moving almost as fast as a bullet, in the opposite direction. Don't be standing there.
I've worked out in the woods off and on all my life, have cleared acres of mixed hard and softwood forest, and own all the right tools, including a chainsaw almost as old as me. We both still work pretty hard, and we both have a little trouble getting started in the morning :).

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