Advice on tricky tree felling?

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At a remote location we have a couple of large oak trees that partially ove rhang or lean towards our cabin roof. These are tall, narrow profile scrub oaks, but are 50'+ high and have trunks about 2' in diameter. The terrain is sloped, so essentially I am looking to fell these trees "uphill".
I was thinking they could be safely taken down with minimal pre-pruning by attaching a grapple at a fairly high location (20-30' up), roping to a bloc k on another tree, and applying a lot of pull on the line as the trunk is c ut.
I realize a pro would be the best option, but as I said, it is pretty remot e and cost is a large factor.
Wondering if anyone has taken a similar approach to removing trees that nee d to fall in specific directions. Would a standard block and tackle suffic e, or are there specific tree handling versions I could rent somewhere? No t seeing much info online.
Cheers
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On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 3:44:48 PM UTC-4, gwandsh wrote:

ub oaks, but are 50'+ high and have trunks about 2' in diameter. The terra in is sloped, so essentially I am looking to fell these trees "uphill".

ock on another tree, and applying a lot of pull on the line as the trunk is cut.

ice, or are there specific tree handling versions I could rent somewhere? Not seeing much info online.

Here you go...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbKZiejUuTg

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On 07-31-2013 16:05, DerbyDad03 wrote:

I remember when a "pro" was someone who could control the direction of fall by the angle of his cuts.
--
Wes Groleau

Words of the Wild Wes
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Wes Groleau wrote:

That works only when the tree is reasonably vertical and balanced. No amount of angled cuts will get a tree that is leaning notably or significantly out of balance to fall the opposite way.
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Just for the record, major Snippage must have occurred because DerbyDad03 did not say any of the words quoted in the post above.
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wrote:

I felled 3 tall pine trees that were close to the house. What I did was climb as high up the tree as I could and tied a rope to the tree. Put a loop in the other end and attached a come-along. I then put as much pull on the come-along as I thought it could stand. From that point I began to fell the tree in the normal method and had a neighbor slowly crank on the come-along as the tree weakened. Everything worked out just fine. Now, how do you get rid of the stumps. Simple. After the tree is down you then cut the stump as close to the ground as possible. Get you a galvanized garbage can, or if needed 55 gallon drum. Cut the bottom out so it is open at both ends. Put that over what is left of the stump. Fill it up with one bag of charcoal, light it and a day or so later, all you have is a hole in the ground. It might take a couple of bags (one at a time) but you will see what you need to do after the first bag is gone. Easiest way in the world to get rid of stumps. You might want to wait until the stump appears to be dead, but I usually just grill 'em when I cut 'em. The most important part of all of this is to be careful, very careful. take your time and keep an eye on what is happening. ** Lonesome Dove
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Lonesome Dove wrote:

Putting it under tension and then cutting is a recipe for disaster. Even without tension there is danger of kickouts and whatnot, tension increases the risk of problems exponentially.
The safer DIY approach is to rent an aerial lift for the day, and take the trees down a piece at a time, putting the parts in the basket with you if need be so you can move off to the side to drop them in a safe area.
There are nice self propelled lifts with 50' working heights and ~2'x4' baskets good for 800# that you can tow on a trailer with a good pickup. They use outriggers instead of massive weight, so you can't move the base while up, but you also don't need a semi to deliver them. I rented one recently for about $250/day.
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I'm with Pete C. on this one.
You can save 75% of the cost of maintaining your home by learning to do the simple repetative stuff yourself. Cutting down a tree falls into the other 25% catagory.
I'd either rent a cherry picker to do this or hire any company in the sign business because all of them will have cherry pickers. That way, you can do the job safely and not risk dropping the tree onto something you don't want to crush.
Either that, or hire a tree service company to cut it down for you.
I'm just thinking that at some point DIY becomes dangerous when you're doing things you don't know how to and the consequences of doing them wrong can be significant. This is one of those instances, and it's where a wise DIY'er would pay the extra money to rent a lift so that he can do the job safely or pay someone experienced in this kind of work to do it for him.
--
nestork

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On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 5:26:12 PM UTC-7, nestork wrote:

Exactly. I have been cutting firewood and felling big trees since 1976. H ad a spruce tree (20" diameter with no appreciable lean) in my back yard th at needed to be removed. Simple job, tree could fall in a 270 degree arc w ith no damage. The other 90 degrees would be on the house. I hired a pro to fell it. The cost of rebuilding a house is far more than what a pro cha rges.
Harry K
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wrote:

WILL fall safely, where you want it. Notch it low towards where you want it to fall, then cut downwards toward the notch from the back side. That way it cannot kick back at you, and it won't jam the saw.
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On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 5:49:29 PM UTC-7, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote:

scrub oaks, but are 50'+ high and have trunks about 2' in diameter. The t errain is sloped, so essentially I am looking to fell these trees "uphill".

a block on another tree, and applying a lot of pull on the line as the trun k is cut.

suffice, or are there specific tree handling versions I could rent somewher e? Not seeing much info online.

A sloping backcut is a sure sign of an amateur who has no clue about fellin g a tree.
Harry K
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wrote:

Jonsered reccomends a slightly downward felling cut. Every woodsman I've worked with uses a slightly downward felling cut - some aimed right at the apex of the directional notch, but more often aimed higher in the cut - and NEVER cut all the way through. You leave a narrow "hinge" to control the direction of fall. Wedges can be used in place of the rope or come-along, , or in conjunction with the rope.. Using a block and tackle, the "pull" rope should come back past the tree so the puller is not in the path of the falling tree. Using a straight pull you want to be sure the puller is WELL beyond the point where the top of the ree will land - out of range of flying projectiles as well.
We felled a LOT of large elms back in the sixties due to Dutch Elm Desease. I was a teanager on the farm back then and spent a LOT of time in the bush.Then we lost a lot of Birch due to Birch Borer - and now it's the Emerald Ash Borer doing it's thing - so the ash trees are coming down by the hundreds.
Then we get these freak storms that indiscriminately down anything in their path and we need to clean up after them - felling those that are too damaged to salvage after the cleanup.
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gwandsh wrote:

So you are fortunate enough to have some mature oak trees, but you're too much of an ass to appreciate them.
You're a tree-hater and it gives you a hard-on to swing an axe and destroy them.
We have too few trees and too many asses like you on this planet.
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wrote:

LOT of trees to downbursts, a LOT of people are taking a long hard look at some of the remaining mature trees that are within striking distance of their houses and deciding to have them come down in a controlled manner, rather than crashing through the roof. We only had a couple of small limbs come down from the Honey Locust on the boulevard, but I spent several hours removing half of a huge hard maple from a friend's back yard - just missed the house falling from the neighbour's back yard - and another large tree came down in my brothersa yard - torn out of the ground in his neighbour's yard - again JUST missing the house and deck - and there is a HUGE half dead tree 3 lots away that could wipe out his house if it came down the right direction.
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On 7/31/2013 7:32 PM, Home Guy wrote:

Trees are more trouble than they're worth. Neighbor got a Refuse to Renew notice from his insurance company unless he had 2 large trees removed from his yard.
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wrote:

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I've done this at least a dozen times with no problems. Use 1/2" rope and notch the tree in the direction you are pulling it with the rope. Do it like this after attaching rope and notchin:
1. apply tension to rope 2. cut a little (1") opposite (and above) the notch
Repeat above until tree starts to fall in the direction of the rope.
Of course the rope must be longer than the height of the tree.
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gwandsh wrote:

I had to do that once at my cabin but our cabin sits on a flat land at high altitude. Exactly that is what we did but I used 1 ton pick up with winch to hold the rope tight and enough away from falling trees. We attached heavy rope to the winch cable. After pruning, we notched the tree where to cut, we used big chain saw little above behind the notch.
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On 8/1/2013 12:10 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Depends on the lean, have you felled trees in the past? I have been successful each time at putting it down where I want. None were leaning the opposite direction.
Pruning like others have said on the side toward your structure and the lean will give some weight to the opposite side.
You realize that cable is dangerous... and rope would have to be rated for thousands of pounds... The cable can actually launch toward you if things go wrong, and the speed would make it impossible to get out of the way. Rope would be safer... but again, the weight of the tree exceeds most ropes...
__Only you can determine if this is doable... none of us has the vision to recommend what you are capable of__ and how dangerous the task is. Pics would help. With someone in the pic for scale.
--
Jeff

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On 8/1/2013 12:10 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

Depends on the lean, have you felled trees in the past? I have been successful each time at putting it down where I want. None were leaning the opposite direction.
Pruning like others have said on the side toward your structure and the lean will give some weight to the opposite side.
You realize that cable is dangerous... and rope would have to be rated for thousands of pounds... The cable can actually launch toward you if things go wrong, and the speed would make it impossible to get out of the way. Rope would be safer... but again, the weight of the tree exceeds most ropes...
__Only you can determine if this is doable... none of us has the vision to recommend what you are capable of__ and how dangerous the task is. Pics would help. With someone in the pic for scale.
--
Jeff

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