Cost of cutting a fallen tree

I have an old oak tree, about 18 inches in diameter, fallen across my driveway. The larger end wedged between two large trees on one side of the driveway, about 12 feet above ground. The smaller end was resting on two of its large branches (about 10 inches) sort of a saw horse position on the other side of the driveway. The whole thing is very stable, and looks like a large gate to the elf Mirkwood. There is plenty of room underneath for my car to pass through. It is interesting to look at, and I would love to leave it the way it is, but afraid one day it would rot enough and fall on me while I was driving through it.
What would be a reasonable cost of cutting the thing down, chop, split, haul up to my house and stack them ? I plan to have a local handy man who also remove trees to do the job, but not sure if he over charged me last time we did business. I wanted to be more informed this time.
By the way, the fallen tree is about 200 meters down hill from the house, and pretty much in the wild and there is no construction near by that the tree could damage.
pac
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One of those questions to which the answer is - "that depends"!
If you find someone who wants the wood, they should do it for free (or maybe even pay you).
If you want the wood as you imply, I would think the cost should be comparable to what it would cost you to buy the equivalant amount of firewood (which went through the same process elsewhere but with somebody elses tree).
Cutting it up with a chainsaw is quick and easy (provided it's not too hard to get at in its current position). If you are willing to split, carry and stack yourself, the cost should be much less.
If you are concerned, get a couple of estimates before giving out the job.
John W

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I'd do it for free if I get the wood. (I build fine furniture and woodenware.) Advertise "free wood--you cut and haul away."
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I'll do it for $1800, payable in advance. PJ

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wrote:

Your're caught between a rock and a hard spot. Let someone cut it up for the wood?? I wouldn't as the liability if he gets hurt or damages something of yours is too high. Hire a professional?? Very expensive. I was quoted in the $500 range for a simple job behind my house. Cut it yourself?? Not if you haven't run a chainsaw and understand the hazards.
Harry K
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Harry K wrote:

Precisely! I know how to operate a chansaw and did a number of times. I understand the harzard enough to not jumping into it head on. The geometry of the structure is not straight forward and make it hard to decide where to cut and to predict how it will fall.
Here is the structure. 1. The highest point is the largest part of the trunk, where it rests between two trunks of another standing tree. The trunk is almost horizon across the driveway about 12 feet above ground slanting slightly downward. 2. The other end is resting on two of its big branches making a downward V shape. 3. To add to its character, there is a third branch slightly larger then the two downward branches pointing upward but slanting about 15 degrees off verticle away from the driveway.
My guess is to first simplify the shape by getting rid of the upward trunk (3). This should not be too hard. Find a secure ladder or sit securely on the trunk then cut that branch downward. The branch will topple down under its weight away from the tree.
The hard part is 1 and 2. The tree is supported on three spots. The branches of the other tree, which is highest and heaviest part of the tree. The other two spot are at the tip of its two branches. These branches are about 7-8 feet long, 8 or so inches diameter. It would be interesting to see how the pro would do it. Cutting at the top and make one big fall?Alternately cutting off a little part of each leg at a time? The second way, the tree will make several smaller predictable falls.
pac
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At least get a professional (or 2) to come out and look at the job for an estimate. If they are talkative, you may pick up some clues.
Otherwise, make sure your health ins. is paid up and you have a spotter standing by. Post-Isabel, there have been a number of deaths of *professionals* cutting down big trees here. The fella who removed a very large tree leaning on my house had harness, ropes, spiked shinguards, and a spotter. It took him several hours.
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I'd suggest you use chains and/or cables to prevent any unforseen movements. A ComeAlong would be nice. PJ

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On Thu, 04 Mar 2004 11:34:00 +0000, PacKat wrote:

If you want the wood, it'll probably end up being more expensive than wood brought from off-site. Reason being, that (in our area) guys have these super-cool machines that take logs in one end, and dump cut & split wood out of the other end. Doing that work on your property is a lot harder.
On the other hand, you should be able to give the tree away, and someone would love to come do the work in exchange for the wood. I'd do it in a minute if you were local, and it's really an oak tree.
Good luck with it.
Also, if you have a big clear trunk section, a local woodworker or mill might be interested in it.
--
The Gnerd


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I got rid of a couple of young deciduous oaks in awkward spots that way. Just listed them for free in the "Under $100" section of the paper--"Free--you dig, you fill." I felt a little twinge when I checked up on the finest of the oaks and found they were going for $700-$1,500 at nurseries. zemedelec
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No clue about reasonable job cost. I'd suggest that if you were to take a stab at it this time, you might have a better understanding of what's involved. A tree hung 12' up is a significant hazard to the feller, for one.
Once you got a clear picture of the work and risk involved, you might relax your grip on the purse strings. Or just make sure you have coverage for "acts of God" in your car insurance policy.
John
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After the hurricane in VA, I found out fallen trees are not covered, unless on the house or DRIVEWAY! My insurance covered it fine. Tim S.

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Tim or Marty Shephard wrote:

My insurance would cover it, but I don't want to make any claim on this one. I made two claims in 2002 and the rate recently jumped up over 40%!! (A storm damage and a small theft).
I would like to keep the wood for my wood stove. I am fully equipped, chain saws (one gas and one electric), a hatchet and splitting maul, a splitting axe and a wagon. I might also rent a wood splitter if needed. I shouldn't have any problem if only the tree is on the ground. Because of the potential danger, I might have to post an ad in the local paper as some suggested.
pac

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Given the hazard in that tree...
If you didn't mind putting a lot of sweat into the thing, I'd suggest calling someone in to get the thing _down_ first, then you buck/split/transport the wood yourself.
Shouldn't cost more than a hundred or two for someone with construction equipment (like a suitably sized backhoe with chains to support it while being cut) to get the thing cut into a couple of sections and off the driveway.
Locally, we have a tree crew that we can hire for $20-25/hour/man (that's Canadian dollars BTW).
It seems a trifle steep, but these guys are amazingly _good_ and real _fast_. We hire 4 or 5 of them for a whole day every 2-3 years. [general woodlot maintenance/improvement. Not that much tree felling per-se. We have had them take down several "difficult" trees. Mick's "tree monkey" act is worth the price of admission ;-)]
3 of these guys'd probably have your tree down and out of the way in an hour or two.
If you had a chunk of good tree trunk that a woodworker might be interested in, you might even break even.
--
Chris Lewis, Una confibula non set est
It's not just anyone who gets a Starship Cruiser class named after them.
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