I have (unfortunately) three large live oaks lying mostly on the
ground (two are still alive). They were knocked down by hurricanes
two years ago. A few smallish roots came out of the ground but mostly
I'd probably go 20' -- and I would keep a close eye on the tree to
make sure it doesn't snap.
If you've got a sacrificial axe and not too rocky soil that might
work. I've used a demo hammer with a sharpened clay spade with good
results--- and a reciprocating saw is handy sometimes, too.
It depends entirely on the root system and soil. Sandy wet soil &
you're home free. Dry, rocky soil & you've got a couple days work
for one man.
If your anchor point is heavy enough and you release enough of the
root system- sure.
I did a similar one a few years ago. Cut it off at 20'- then pulled
it with my old Taurus while cutting roots. Found several large
roots near the surface-- and a nasty tap root that went deep.
Next one I cut off at 20 feet- debranch - make a platform for hawk/owl
nests on top and carve the rest into a totem pole.
Lets make a mountain out of a molehill.........
Hell, it's only an 8 inch trunk. If you dont have a chainsaw and dont
want to spend $50 to rent one, get a cheap bow saw from Walmart for $6
and spend a 10 minutes sawing it by hand and enjoy the exercise.
The whole point is to remove a chunk of the root structure while
I have the leverage to make it easier, and to drop it slower so it
doesn't damage nearby plants. Also, so I don't have to remove
parts from a ladder leaned against the tree. Cutting the tree at the base
is not an option due to location.
But if you are not, do not use a climbing rope. That would be really
dangerous. Use a static rope; that would only be pretty dangerous.
And it won't work anyhow. I had a "microburst" 7 years ago. I broke 15
mature white pines in my yard. The only tree it uprooted was a butternut.
I spent a weekend digging out a 3" diameter white pine a few years back.
Try to live with it, or at least with the stump.
Depending on what soil that trees in I don't think you want to do it
this way... The only one that MIGHT work would be a really sandy soil
mix. Doing it this way ---- When the tree breaks there's going to be
some pretty impressive physics applied... :-)
Unless it's diseased, pre-cut, or full of termites that trees gonna
break long before you ever uproot it with that method.
The safest way is to cut it with the chain saw and drop it where you
want it. You'll have a couple of options to get rid of the stump. You
can either. Cut it down as close to the ground as possible and let it
rot, hire/rent a stump grinder and make it go that way, or there are
several products on the market that you can cover/introduce via drilled
holes into the stump that will either let you burn it (check your local
ordinances) or rot faster. Or leave about four feet of stump and have
a piece of heavy equipment (dozer, skidder) in to pull the stump.
I have done something similar with a few oak trees that were near the
house, one of them was 28 inches diameter. I used my skidsteer to dig
a trench around the base of the tree breaking and tearing as many of
the roots as possible. I doesn't take much digging and the tree can be
pushed over with the machine. They are quite top heavy and leverage is
Usually I use a chainsaw but these trees were near the house and
acually leaning towards the house. With this method I was able to push
the tree in a safe direction, away from the house, much safer than
using a saw.
If you don't have access to a skidsteer you could maybe rent a
walk-behind trencher and make a trench around the base of the tree to
the maximum depth. This should sever enough of the roots to winch it
A similar method could be used without a machine. You could hand dig
around the base of the tree until some of the larger roots have been
severed. Then try to winch it over. If it won't budge then you dig
some more. It's not a safe as using a machine because you would have
to winch the tree towards you rather than push it. Use a really long
chain for safety sake when winching a tree toward you. Please be
careful when working in the woods. Have a helper nearby just in case.
Then you will have someone to share a beer with after the job is safely
want simple? drill a hole in one side of the tree, stick a funnel and
fill with waste oil, as it soaks in, add more, check every hour.
then light a match.
lot more fun than a chainsaw :)
other poster: some people dont like chainsaws. if it was me and I
couldnt burn it, I'd ask someone if they want free firewood, if that
fails, i'd use a winch to pull the tree gently in one direction, and
start diggin roots, maybe flood with water depending on soil
I got some 50ft pines i will eventually get rid of, if no one claims
firewood out of them, I might have to try this.
If you join your local Freecycle group www.freecycle.org or post the
wood on Craigslist for free, believe me, people will come running for
it, especially now before winter hits. Your free wood will be even
more popular if you can cut down the tree into more manageable
lengths, but I'm sure that could be a point of negotiation. Good
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