What are the reasons for your concerns? Has the tree thrown branches or
does it have a lean? In general you really shouldn't worry much about the
tree and at 70 feet it sounds a little less than middle aged. One thing to
remember *not* to have done to the tree is to have it topped. This
will only create a problem tree that will throw branches. If you really
feel that the tree has isses with wind throw and wish to have it thinned,
then have it "windowed". This is when some of the branches are thinned out
of the tree as to let wind to pass through more easily. Other than that,
leave the tree well alone or have it completly removed (in my humble
Trees are like children, train them right when their young.....
or spend a lifetime trying to correct them.
The circumstances of the this kind of tree matter. "Planted" douglas firs in
a yard will develop independent storm sturdy root systems. Douglas firs in
northwestern forests are almost always part of dense stands with
interlocking root systems. It has been common in many of the newer housing
developments, to clear cut douglas fir forests, leaving only a few specimens
here and there for "interest". These trees are VERY susceptible to blowing
over in storms, which they do with great regularity every winter. Ultimately
they will all fall, leaving a lot of people with damaged homes and yards and
higher home insurance rates. In that circumstance, I'd probably opt to have
the douglas fir removed, rather than try to prune it.
Unless you are trained for this type of tree work with all the necessary
equipment, the only resource you need is the phone number of a certified
arborist. One does NOT prune or window a 70' Doug fir without having a great
deal of tree pruning experience under one's belt - translate: do this for a
living. To even consider doing this on your own is foolhardy in the extreme.
BTW, a certified arborist can give you a hazard assessment first - this will
determine whether or not your tree even needs thinning or windowing to
reduce wind damage.
pam - gardengal
I just did a more accurate measurement by photographing the tree alongside
with a 12-ft long 4x2 as reference:
The estimated tree height is at least 92 feet. The tree drops a brance or
two everytime there is a wind storm. These branches are 3 inches in
diameter. Some dented the gutter, one punched a small hole on the siding,
some fell on the roof and made a big bang. That is the motivation for
A few years ago I did hire an arborist to prune the trees (I have three such
trees). It cost me $900. That was the motivation to do it myself. But I
think I'm too chicken to climb the tree myself afterall, so I may have to
find a cheaper arborist...
It's not just a matter of whether you're brave enough to climb the tree.
You need to know what to do, and have the equipment to do it once you
get up there. As you've pointed out, those branches could do a lot of
damage. Not to mention the damage that could happen to you if something
went wrong while you were up there. And how would you know *which*
branches (beyond deadwood) to trim?
There are reasons why it cost you $900. It wasn't just x-many hours of
work. And it wasn't price gouging. It had a lot to do with the training,
experience, and equipment used. The job is more complex than trimming
off a little extra growth from a shrub.
Being chicken to climb the tree should be the least of your reasons for
hiring a professional.
There was a sad story in the local paper yesterday about a employee of a
tree-trimming firm who died on the job. He was cutting a tree; the tree
fell and hit a stump, and the bottom of the tree "kicked up" and struck him
in the head. There's an investigation underway, but it looks like it was
just a terrible accident, not negligence.
Tree trimming is dangerous business. Add to the costs of training,
equipment, etc, the cost of liability insurance, and the rates of a
reputable firm don't seem all that outrageous.
Zone 6, South-central PA
All I know is what I read in the papers......You might be right, I don't
know the details, and I don't know enough about felling trees to extrapolate
what really happened.
My point was, trimming and felling tall trees is dangerous work, even for
the people who are getting paid to do it, and amateurs should think twice.
Zone 6, South-central PA
Please allow how an "accident" is something other than an unplanned for
It comes down to a matter of "how likely" -- as in how likely was it for
the falling tree to hit the stump squarely in order to cause the butt end to
flip? How likely was it for the man to be standing in the correct position
to be hit by the butt-end of the tree?
Of course he could have been more careful. He could have stood several feet
to the side and in so doing he *could* have been hit by a meteor -- much
less likely though.
Cheap accidents are when we do things like pick up a wet glass and it slips
out of our hand and breaks. Fatal accidents are tragic events where we do
not get the chance to say "boy! that was stupid of me!".
You say a tree hitting a stump means a tree faller is not professional.
That is a strange conclusion. First, tree fallers don't claim to be
professionals. Second, as skilled tradesmen, they can never be sure how
a tree is going to react when it comes down. Tons of force are at play
with a large amount of uncertainty. Sometimes their escape path becomes
blocked before they can reach safety. Sometimes there is internal rot
that weakens the holding wood they were counting on to direct the fall.
Sometimes a gust of wind changes all of their plans. It is by no means
an exact science.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.