Author Topic: Mustachian tree removal  (Read 4895 times)

Case

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Mustachian tree removal
« on: July 07, 2015, 07:32:54 PM »
Apologies in advance for the bad language:

I am fucked; we have ~5 large trees in our backyard that are dead.  Probably taken out by the Ash borer, not sure.

They are all growing out of a creek which as eroded their roots; some of them are aimed to land on my house when they fall.  I have no idea how far off the falling is.

I probably need to have these fuckers removed.  PLEASE, help me figure out the cheapest way to do this that wont kill me or take out houses/powerlines in the process.  A few are aimed away from my house; I was thinking to leave these alone.  The ones that are most threatening to my house I was thinking I'd get lots of quotes from professional tree removers.  Maybe I can ask these guys to just do the bare minimum, such that I can take over the rest with a chainsaw?  Get them chopped to a more manageable height? (say from 50 ft down to 20 ft).
The more intermediate trees, I can try to partially trim manageable limbs.

I wont be climbing any trees myself; I'm probably crazy enough to give it a try, but my wife would kill me.  There are power lines somewhat nearby, so I can't just 'timber' the ones that aren't aimed at my house.

dragoncar

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2015, 07:35:22 PM »
No idea if this will work, but would the power company do it since it threatens their lines?

Case

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2015, 07:37:44 PM »
No idea if this will work, but would the power company do it since it threatens their lines?

Tried that; they won't.

Our power company basically wont do anything unless the tree has fallen on the line, or is growing right on top of it.  These trees are distance, but in theory could hit the lines depending on how they fall; more likely they will hit my house.

thanks though

Axecleaver

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2015, 07:58:19 PM »
Sounds like they're too far from the highway, too... I had a 100 year old maple tree on my property that was hit by lightning, and the highway department came out the next day, ground up the smaller bits, and left me a pile of wood chips and perfectly sawed up firewood, at no cost. Score!

It's probably best if you leave this one for the professionals. Your wife would be very upset if you broke your house. For trees that lean, I would ask the tree management companies to fell them, and you would go ahead and do the hard work of chopping them up and grinding them. You can rent a wood chipper for the majority of the cleanup. Assume you can use the wood, if not, cut it up and look on craigslist for the going rate of wood. Around here, it's about $200 a cord for green wood, $225 for wood 1 year seasoned.

Now, if you still want to give it a shot... Felling trees isn't hard. There are chainsaw techniques to use to direct the trees, which are limited. One method, you drive large spikes into the ground and tie lines to the tree to limit their fall. Another method is to climb the tree with leg spikes and drop portions of the tree until can be felled safely. Imagine a tree at the center of the clock; it leans to 3 o'clock and threatens your house. You tie lines at 9 and optionally at 3 and use a saw cut to drop it toward 6. With one rope at 9, the rope permits it to fall anywhere between 6 and 12. With two ropes, you can limit the fall to exactly 6 or 12, depending on your skill with cuts. Don't underestimate the weight of a tree; it is substantial.

StockBeard

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2015, 01:47:08 AM »
Yeah, looks like the risk of doing it yourself totally outweighs the potential gain of not paying professionals here. I'd go with the pros, your idea of getting several quotes sounds good enough

former player

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2015, 04:30:39 AM »
Last time I had a professional in to deal with a tree on my property, he told me that the only two companies in the country which would still insure tree surgeons were both thinking of backing out because they lost so much money on injury claims.  That plus various tales of accidents made me sure I would never want to deal with anything bigger than a bush.

There are some things in life worth paying for.  Tree surgery is one of them.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2015, 04:46:06 AM »
It's probably best if you leave this one for the professionals. Your wife would be very upset if you broke your house.

Or your skull.

MsPeacock

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2015, 04:54:32 AM »
I had a very large tulip poplar removed last year - it was about 130' tall, close to my house, and estimated to weigh about 22 tons. I called around and got 4 quotes - one was much more reasonable then the others. Because there are many large trees in my neighborhood I had an easy time getting recommendations for reliable companies. If your trees are very large a crane may be needed to bring the tree down (at least this was the case w/ the massive upper limbs and the gigantic trunk portions of my tree).

Also due to the large trees in my neighborhood I've had several neighbors have huge limbs, and in two cases, the entire tree, come crashing through their house. Definitely something to be avoided (as it is ruinous to the house and possibly deadly to the occupants).

I agree that you may be able to get someone to down the tree and just leave it to you for clean-up. The one large tree in my yard generated 3 large trucks of shavings (trucks are about 20 cubic yards) and they hauled the larger limbs and trunk portions off for lumbar processing. So, consider just how much cutting up of stuff you can do and where you might dispose of all the wood chips and such.

notoriusjt2

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2015, 05:27:27 AM »
Check with the power company again. My local power company will take down trees, through their contractor, and will give you 36 month interest free financing split up in your monthly electric bill.

If the trees could honestly impact service to other customers, its in their best interest to trim/remove them. Make sure you stress to them that they will be falling on the power lines sooner rather than later.

PS: I work for the power company

Capsu78

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2015, 09:32:21 AM »
My back property started with 10 corkscrew willows that over time fell over, often into the neighbors yard and sometimes in winter.  We were down to the final 4 and asked for a quote on the whole lot.  He was able to shave the cost by doing all 4 together but the bill still came to $3800 for complete take down, removal and stump grinding.
The work team consisted of 6 guys, maybe 5 different chain saws, a mega chipper that could chip pieces as big as a grown man and a stump grinder.  I saw at least 3 different types of chain saws- shorty for the climber, 3 24" for work on the ground and what looked to be a 48" for cutting the stumps into movable pieces.  They spent 7 hours from arrival to driveaway.  They did not have any wires or complicating issues other than a 1/2 acre drag of debris from the site to the street.  They completely filled 3 truckloads of chip.
I share this with the OP as his project appears to be a similar scope and scale to mine... If you take this on yourself be certain you have enough tools and manpower to get the job completed in a reasonable time.   It pained me to cut the check, but when you watch how much work went into it, I just told my wife- we do it now, in the sunshine or in the dead of winter...

Only pricing tactic I maybe should have tried would be to contact a tree company and ask what it would cost to hire his crew and truck for a day as opposed to paying per tree.  If you could hire a crew for a day, with equipment you might be able to get most of the important stuff done and you can finish it up yourself.

Good luck. 

TrMama

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2015, 09:53:43 AM »
The only tactic I know of is to offer the tree guys the wood. Sometimes if your tree has commercial value as lumber they will deduct that from the price. However, I suspect your tree will need to be taken down in short pieces

Don't mess with ropes trying to pull it in a different direction. It doesn't work and only makes the job even more dangerous. A leaning tree can really only fall in one direction and the snapping ropes add considerable risk.

It's also important to be nice to the tree guys. Bake them cookies, offer beer and pizza and pay them on the spot. My parents lived in an area that was hit hard by pine beetle. They had half a dozen dead, giant ponderosa pines removed for a reasonable price. Their next door neighbour was a grouch and the tree guys refused to take her trees out, for any price.

partgypsy

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2015, 10:31:12 AM »
Had a terrible story in our neighborhood of an older man found in a tree, with a chainsaw, had been up there for days before they found the body. Apparently he went to do some tree trimming and somehow hit himself with the chainsaw/branch combination of both. Even if you do decide to do it, it is not a 1 person job.

Case

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2015, 11:44:53 AM »
My back property started with 10 corkscrew willows that over time fell over, often into the neighbors yard and sometimes in winter.  We were down to the final 4 and asked for a quote on the whole lot.  He was able to shave the cost by doing all 4 together but the bill still came to $3800 for complete take down, removal and stump grinding.
The work team consisted of 6 guys, maybe 5 different chain saws, a mega chipper that could chip pieces as big as a grown man and a stump grinder.  I saw at least 3 different types of chain saws- shorty for the climber, 3 24" for work on the ground and what looked to be a 48" for cutting the stumps into movable pieces.  They spent 7 hours from arrival to driveaway.  They did not have any wires or complicating issues other than a 1/2 acre drag of debris from the site to the street.  They completely filled 3 truckloads of chip.
I share this with the OP as his project appears to be a similar scope and scale to mine... If you take this on yourself be certain you have enough tools and manpower to get the job completed in a reasonable time.   It pained me to cut the check, but when you watch how much work went into it, I just told my wife- we do it now, in the sunshine or in the dead of winter...

Only pricing tactic I maybe should have tried would be to contact a tree company and ask what it would cost to hire his crew and truck for a day as opposed to paying per tree.  If you could hire a crew for a day, with equipment you might be able to get most of the important stuff done and you can finish it up yourself.

Good luck.
Thanks all of the comments.

To make it clear, I have no intention of doing anything dangerous like felling the trees by myself (was joking there), but I would be up for anything that is safe for a guy with no experience in this to do.  Thus I want to do the minimal amount of tree removal necessary.  I need to get some quotes, but a neighbor across the street from me had a large tree removed (completely) for $2500.  Doing the rough math, this could put me >$10,000, which is why I'm freaking out.

Per the comment I am quoting:
My tree size/sounds is similar (the corkscrew willows) , although I am not interested in complete removal of the tree.  All I want to do is to either trim them down to the point that they can no longer fall on my house, or trim them to the point where it is possible for me to safely fell them with a chainsaw (which I am guessing-with-no-idea to be 20ft tall or so).  The tree pieces can be left near where the tree is, as I am not in a rush to get it out of there; the back of my backyards is a woodland sort of area which I don't really care about stuff getting piled in.  I can slowly move it way myself or use it as firewood.
A complications for the tree removal is that trees cannot be accessed by truck.
I can ask them if they want it to sell as lumber, but since the tree is dead (maybe has been for a couple of years) I don't know if the wood is in sellable condition.  Stump removal is not necessary.  Leaving a totem pole in its place is totally ok.

dragoncar

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2015, 12:15:27 PM »
The only tactic I know of is to offer the tree guys the wood. Sometimes if your tree has commercial value as lumber they will deduct that from the price. However, I suspect your tree will need to be taken down in short pieces

Don't mess with ropes trying to pull it in a different direction. It doesn't work and only makes the job even more dangerous. A leaning tree can really only fall in one direction and the snapping ropes add considerable risk.

It's also important to be nice to the tree guys. Bake them cookies, offer beer and pizza and pay them on the spot. My parents lived in an area that was hit hard by pine beetle. They had half a dozen dead, giant ponderosa pines removed for a reasonable price. Their next door neighbour was a grouch and the tree guys refused to take her trees out, for any price.

Don't offer them beer on the job, though

Case

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2015, 01:23:04 PM »
My back property started with 10 corkscrew willows that over time fell over, often into the neighbors yard and sometimes in winter.  We were down to the final 4 and asked for a quote on the whole lot.  He was able to shave the cost by doing all 4 together but the bill still came to $3800 for complete take down, removal and stump grinding.
The work team consisted of 6 guys, maybe 5 different chain saws, a mega chipper that could chip pieces as big as a grown man and a stump grinder.  I saw at least 3 different types of chain saws- shorty for the climber, 3 24" for work on the ground and what looked to be a 48" for cutting the stumps into movable pieces.  They spent 7 hours from arrival to driveaway.  They did not have any wires or complicating issues other than a 1/2 acre drag of debris from the site to the street.  They completely filled 3 truckloads of chip.
I share this with the OP as his project appears to be a similar scope and scale to mine... If you take this on yourself be certain you have enough tools and manpower to get the job completed in a reasonable time.   It pained me to cut the check, but when you watch how much work went into it, I just told my wife- we do it now, in the sunshine or in the dead of winter...

Only pricing tactic I maybe should have tried would be to contact a tree company and ask what it would cost to hire his crew and truck for a day as opposed to paying per tree.  If you could hire a crew for a day, with equipment you might be able to get most of the important stuff done and you can finish it up yourself.

Good luck.

I'll try out asking about hiring for the day rather than per tree.

Greg

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #15 on: July 08, 2015, 01:24:03 PM »
Get several quotes, some from tree services and some from arborists.  Where I live in the PNW, I know a certified arborist who can often to a better, and cheaper, job than some of the large pushy tree service companies.  Since you seem to have the option of just leaving the wood down, you could get quotes for just felling the trees and maybe offer the wood for sale or free "you haul".

Prairie Stash

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #16 on: July 08, 2015, 04:36:33 PM »
10k for 4 trees? Is there anything below? I'm sitting in a boom lift right now thinking how easy it would be to cut the branches off and let them fall. No climbing with the boom lift, maybe you have a friend who can help?

Case

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Re: Mustachian tree removal
« Reply #17 on: July 08, 2015, 06:14:22 PM »
10k for 4 trees? Is there anything below? I'm sitting in a boom lift right now thinking how easy it would be to cut the branches off and let them fall. No climbing with the boom lift, maybe you have a friend who can help?

I haven't gotten quote for my situation yet, so hopefully it will not be nearly that high.

We'll see.

Not sure how big a boom lift is... smaller lifts can probably fit into the location.  Truck sized stuff cannot.
I am not sure how tall the trees are exactly.  Maybe 100 feet (wild guess) at highest.  They are not super bulky, more tall and skinny... but still a 100 ft tree is big.