How to prune the top of a 30 foot oak tree so it's a 20 foot tall oak tree

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I've a 30-foot tall oak tree blocking my view from my bedroom window that I wish to prune the top of.
I have a 28 foot ladder and an 18 inch Stihl chainsaw.
Is there a good technique for topping such a tree? I'm worried that the result will look clipped but I also don't like the tree blocking the view.
Is there an easy way to lop off the top ten feet or so, or will it kill the tree?
These oaks are year round green. They drop leaves, but always grow new ones, so, they're always green. I think it's called a California live oak.
Any topping suggestions? It's about a foot and a half in diameter at eye level and about 30 feet tall. I want it to be about 20 feet tall.
Ideas appreciated.
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I am not a tree expert, but I have read from several sources that topping trees is bad for the tree.
My first suggestion is talk to a tree expert, perhaps your county has a department or office for these sort of things. In Texas, we call them county agents.
Second, I suggest that you forgo your view from upstairs, and perhaps start exploring your area for other impressive views that you can visit to satisfy your view hunger.
Bob-tx
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You're wasting your time. Cut it down and plant a tree that doesn't get over 20 ft. OR live with it.
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On Tue, 05 Jul 2011 04:39:22 -0700, jamesgangnc wrote:

Or raise your house by 10 feet :-)
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On Tue, 05 Jul 2011 15:19:15 +0000, Red Green wrote:

No, the Darwin approach would be to excavate under the tree and lower it by the required amount :-)
Nobody's mentioned a periscope yet, either.
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On 7/5/2011 1:08 AM, arkland wrote:

just call a tree service and have them top it out. It won't hurt it.
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Steve Barker
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On 7/5/2011 9:37 AM, Steve Barker wrote:

Exactly, they know what they are doing and have the proper equipment and will be done in no time. My neighbor had some large trees topped last year like that. He made a deal with a tree company that they could do it whenever they were in the area. The trees are filling out nicely.
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The NEW GROWTH will be very weak, tend to grow straight and look wierd, the remaing top may rot.
Sadly he will be creating a long term hazard.
Some selective pruning to open up a view is a better choice, cost less and avoid future hazards
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Agreed, topping just results in rot that will weaken the tree. It's a tree that will try to grow to a height of 75 to 100 feet. If a 20 tree is what you want you need to cut it down and plant a more appropriate tree.
Our neighbors up the street cleared the "natural" area in the front corner of their lot. Presumably because they didn't want large trees in front of the house. The they planted a maple tree where they cleared. I just don't get why people plant these trees that get huge and then complain when they get huge. There are lots of nice trees that don't get oevr 20 or 30 feet tall that are suitable to be close to a house.
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On 7/5/2011 9:43 AM, jamesgangnc wrote:
...

...
...
Dang! Haller said something I fully agree with--what's the odds on that!!!! :)
What they (both) said...
--
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On Tue, 05 Jul 2011 09:28:05 -0700, Smitty Two wrote:

On my own property?
What do they do? They have tree counters running around counting the oak trees on your property and, if, you happen to be missing one, they ticket you?
PS: I'll look that law up; but it's already too late, from the standpoint of the tree, if California truly has such a tree-hugging law. Anyway, if they did, I'll argue it was, ummmm... it fell down ... yeah. That's it. It was a hazard to life and limb. It was going to fall and hit the dog or something like that. But let me look up the law first before I come up with the rationale.
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Around here the properties are smaller, and there's not much in the way of logging, so the trees are viewed as a community resource, and as such they are treated much like a shared aquifer, or the prohibition against burning leaves. What you do can fuck up your neighbor. Because of people saying "hey, the tree fell down" and clear-cutting their property, to the great detriment of their neighbors' property values, we now need to get permits to take down a tree above a certain size.
This is from Princeton, NJ: "Q: What are the penalties for cutting down a tree without a permit? A: Each tree removed is considered a separate violation. For each tree removed, the violator is subject to a fine of not more than one thousand dollars per tree, and shall replace each tree destroyed or removed with another tree approved by the enforcement officer. Replacement trees shall be planted near the location of the damaged or destroyed trees."
And in Pound Ridge, NY: http://www.nypost.com/p/pagesix/tree_killer_gere_riles_locals_YVueje8dzdUwXEyRVEpAjN
And in your (now slightly less vegetative) native state: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/02/27/1500672/san-luis-obispo-property-owners.html
What you don't know can fuck you up, too.
BTW, don't post the same question twice, and particularly don't start a new thread to do so.
R
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On Fri, 08 Jul 2011 15:28:08 -0700, RicodJour wrote:

OK. I looked it up and called the county tree hugger. Where I live, there is, apparently, no such thing as a protected species. ALL species of trees are protected, in these parts of California, above a certain size. Period.
Speficially: - All trees more than 1 foot in diameter at 4.5 feet height are "protected", regardless of species.
In addition: - Protected means you need a (free) permit to cut them down but not to 'prune' them. - Then you need a 'notification period' to allow the neighbors to block the process. - You can cut the tree down only after the notification period if the permit application is approved. - You need to take a picture of the trees to be cut, and describe the species and show what you will replant with (with a property outline showing the trees and the plans). - The species only matters because of something they call 'species value', which means an oak, for example, is 'worth more' than an eucalyptus to the environment - which they use in their replacement calculation. - In addition, any tree of any size is 'protected' if it's in the county right of way, which is anywhere from 4 to 12 feet inward from the road. Those 'county' trees all need permits from county roads and airports.
I asked about dead and dying trees, and the county engineer said that those trees do not need a permit; likewise with downed trees.
However, if someone complains after the tree has been cut down, then, he said, there could be what he called, 'a problem'.
Generally there is no replanting requirement nor a notification period for dead and dying & downed trees (for example, the myriad Monterey Pines or California Oaks which die suddenly out here).
He suggested, if the tree is dead or dying or down, then to, at the very least, snap a picture of the tree, in case someone objects. Otherwise, he said the safest route is to get an arborist's report which says so; and submit that report with the application for the permit to remove.
If the county agrees that the tree was dead or dying or down, then they will notify me that there will be no permitting requirement.
Interestingly, there is a spot on the form for who will do the work, but, there is no requirement it be done by an arborist.

I have no idea what you're talking about. The second thread is about how long it takes an oak to dry. This first thread is about how to top a tree. Two totally different topics (although it's the same tree). :)
PS: The tree was dead and/or dying. I swear.
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On 7/8/2011 6:43 PM, arkland wrote:

In that case tell them the tree was dying. You know this because you were planning on salting the sucker until it was dead, then were going to cut it with no need for a permit...

Yep, and it was on it's way out the minute you fired up the chainsaw.
--
Jack
Got Change: Supply and Demand ======> Command and Control!
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It would be dangerous to put the chainsaw on top of the ladder so you could reach the top. Remember - never stand on the top rung of a ladder or on a chainsaw.

Sue? http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576343763766328484.html
R
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On 7/5/2011 9:40 AM, RicodJour wrote:

Sounds similar to a situation my friend had. They have a lakefront cottage that had some really nice trees. The lake area used to be a sleepy little place until a second ring of properties were built. So it is basically nice little lakefront cottages ringed with giant McMansion "cottages". They went out to their cottage only to find the trees had been cut down at the direction of a McMansion cottage owner because they wanted to improve *their* view.
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Not like that would necessarily be a bad thing from a Darwin standpoint (g).
--
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Just take 10' off the bottom
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JB Kerney wrote the following:

Great answer.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Move your bedroom downstairs and enjoy the view. Before you know it you will be too old and feeble to make it up the stairs anyway. The consensus of opinion here is that topping the tree is a just not a good idea.
Joe
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