I have a columnar white pine tree, about 40 feet tall and maybe
8" in daimeter at the base, I need to remove. I am considering
trying to use an old climbing rope and a come-along to winch
it out of the ground. I figure that if I attach the rope to the tree
about 30 feet from the ground, it shouldn't be too hard to winch
it over. I would used prussiks to allow me to pull it multiple winch-
fulls to move it far enough to break roots (with a little axe help maybe).
Does anyone have any idea how much force this should take?
Will it work?
You gotta be kidding !!!!!
Have you ever heard of a chainsaw?
I can guarantee that if your winch, cable, whatever you use does not
fail first, the tree will snap off somewhere along the trunk, and the
snapback will likely hurt someone and/or damage property. Cut it
down, then use the winch to help remove the stump while you dig and
(You CAN connect your winch to help assist the tree to fall the
desired way, when you saw it off. Just snug it up before you start
sawing, and of course know how to make the cut).
Of course you could always call a tree expert too !!!!
Bob, I really think you are going to be a lot safer following the
advice. It may be a little more work, but think of this: If it were easier
and safe, don't you think the professional loggers would have been doing it
I think lots of great opinions here! Roots will always be an issue,
depends on how old they are, how far they travelled, how much water
they got over the life to determine which direction they travelled,
etc. Yes, Pine have larger root systems than Palms, but each tree will
be different. There is no magic answer. Key is: SAFETY! A tree this
size is DANGEROUS and can cause REAL damage to surrounding stuff (like
Suggestion: Tie a rope/chain to the top section and connect it to a
known SAFE area. Lop the tree at 25 feet or so (which will fall towards
the rope/chain), then again at 10 feet (again with the rope/chain
guiding it's descent). Dispose of those two sections. Now, dig around
the tree trunk a bit and see if you can saw the stump below grade. If
so, and if you do not plan to build anything on top of it, simply cover
it with soil and enjoy your new yard. Alternatively, get a stump
grinder to level what sticks up. They can be found for under $100 and
their machine takes 20 minutes or less to unload, grind and load.
Joseph Meehan wrote:
I have no idea but I can tell you a palm tree can easily be pushed
over with a tractor.
Kinda doubt it. The only pines I have any experience with are
Southern yellow and they have a pretty good root system. I imagine
your rope will break first and if you beef up your rope to 1" Dacron
or so or a stout wire rope I suspect the trunk will snap.
Pines were used for masts on sailing ships hundreds of years ago. Today's
pines are probably not nearly as strong, but still... two-four cuts with a
chainsaw and a nice push are all it takes. Even I took down a tree that
size when I was a teen, with my dad and brother. Really no big deal.
No big deal until it doesn't fall where you want it. I have been
cutting firewood (up to 12 cord/year) for over 30 years and I still
won't fall a tree in tight quarters. Using a cable or chain
(definitely not the run of the mill rope) tied somewhere up in the tree
to "guide the fall" is not the answer either. Once you snug it up and
make the falling cuts, any guidance is lost as soon as the tree begins
to fall and the cable goes slack.
That is not true. Pine trees have a small root ball, and are
very prone to being blown over. They are very easy to knock
down as I know from experience. I owned a logging company in
East Texas (unfortunately during the Carter administration).
Our skidder could easily push over a 10-12" pine. No way with
an oak or a hickory. Part of my side work was to remove pines
blown over by high winds. Oaks would snap in half. Oaks ARE
larger underground than above, but this is not true of pines.
I had no control over the politics of the decade. I did,
however, have control over my costs. While others were
purchasing their equipment, I was leasing. When the bottom
fell out of the construction industry and it became
increasingly difficult to find mills to buy logs, I was able
to get out of the business. Others had huge notes to pay and
many went bankrupt. I don't really get to count that as
tremendous business acumen as much as it was just plain dumb luck.
It should be: Except for pines and a few other species.
Depends on the type pine. Here in the south the majority of pines
(Loblolly & SYP) have a tap root that anchors the tree really deep into
the ground. Not a dense root system, but a deep one. A hurricane or
tornado will break them off, but will *not* blow them over. Oaks on
the other hand have a massive root system but it is shallow with no tap
root. A saturated ground and a strong wind will blow over 100 year old
oaks fairly often.
What's the highest wind it's been exposed to? At V mph, P = 0.00256V^2 psf,
eg 6.4 psf at 50 mph. On a 40'x10' wide tree, this would make 2560 pounds
with a 2560x20 = 51.2K lb-ft moment, vs 1 ton x 30' up = 60K lb-ft.
It might, if the force is applied over a long time, eg a month. You might
tie the top of the tree to the base of another with 5 loops of 400 pound
rope and tighten it every few days with the come-along, so you can keep it
out of the rain, and water the base of the tree.
Not likely! and all abit dangerous - climbing 30 ft to attach the
winch for a start. There is no way that you are going to break roots.
HAve a look at some photos from the latest hurricane/cyclone/typhoon.
Roots don't break, they come out of the ground , but only with the
right amount of encouragement.
Try a chainsaw, or if you don't like them, an 8" diameter trunk really
wont take too long with a good sharp axe.
If you are at all worried about where the thing will fall, call a
Come to think of it - call a professional anyway!
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