I need to trim off some broken limbs 8-10 inches in diameter that broke
off from the wind last week. I can handle the lower ones with my
reciprocating saw. What's the best way to attack the ones 8-10 feet
off the ground? I want to stay away from pole saws and chain saws.
I'm thinking about fastening my recip saw to a piece of 2x2 aluminum
angle aluminum. I'm a metal fab guy, and by I mean bolted and
supported properly with metal brackets, not fastened with duct tape.
But I would rather have something specifically made for occasional
homeowner use on limbs.
Anyway, any other ideas besides these that you have used for occasional
On 2/4/2016 3:21 PM, Snuffy "Hub Cap" McKinney wrote:
There are basically three "remote" options:
- manual pole saw (i.e., a regular saw on the end of a long pole)
- a small (typ electric) motorized saw on the end of a long pole
- a remotely driven (motor at the user end of the pole) chain saw
All suffer from the "remoteness" aspect -- you're trying to position
and control a cutting element many feet distant from your "actuators"
All also suffer from a typical naivite of operation that typically
leads to "torn" limbs or "collateral damage" (from the saw's continued,
but undesired, action after the limb has been severed).
The "motorized saw on pole" is often unwieldy -- too much mass on too
long of a lever arm. I suspect your sawzall-on-a-pole would suffer
a similar fate. Your arms get REALLY tired, REALLY fast when working
above your head/shoulders.
For small limbs, I like a manual pole saw as I can be much more
precise in the amount of "damage" I do to the living tree in the
For large limbs, an OVERLY LONG motorized trimmer (so I can hold the
bulk of the weight down at waist level instead of overhead).
For really high limbs, I hire a monkey to do the work for me. (there are
other, safer, ways I can save money than climbing a large tree just to
lop off a branch!)
I had a whole tree like that a couple summers ago. It was still
attached at the ground, but 25 feet of trunk went over my back yard,
about 8 to 9 feet high.
Well sure. I only owned a small electric chain saw because one was
for sale at a yard sale, but I've used it a lot. They're now
designed so both hands have to be where they are safe, and if you put
safe holding first, and safe climing the ladder a step or two second,
I don't think you'll have more trouble than I did.
I spent quite some time deciding where to cut first, so when cut one
half of the trunk wouldn't spring up out of my reach, and the other
half wouldn't fall down on my bushes.
I have an aluminum 6' step ladder and only had to go up two steps if I
also held the saw above my head. 4 steps, I could have held the saw
straight out, but the first choice seemed better. If I had someone to
hold the ladder, maybe it woudl have been the second choice. .
The saw I happened to buy is one size larger than the one that comes
with a pole attachment. In fact the handles are the same and I could
attach this one to a pole, but I don't own the pole and it would
really be too heavy as Don writes below. I did borrow it once from
the friend of a friend, so that's how I know.
Not only that, but I woudlnt' be surprised if the blade stops in the
wood and the rest of the saw goes back and forth instead.
Since a chain saw goes only in one direction, pulling the saw away
from you, you just have to hold it back and it cuts.
On Thu, 4 Feb 2016 14:21:40 -0800, "Snuffy \"Hub Cap\" McKinney"
The electric pole mounted chain saw I bought from Princess Auto for
$70 a number of years back was one of the best tool purchaces I ever
A ricip on the end of a 2X2 aluminum angle is just an accident
impatient to happen. They jump around enough when held close to the
body with 2 hands.
On 2/4/2016 3:14 PM, email@example.com wrote:
I have an aluminum logger's gaff about 20 feet long. I duct taped a
trimming saw onto the end
and used it to trim some high branches. That was three years ago
and my shoulder still hurts. The joints apparently didn't like
the angle of the force.
I got an electric trimming chainsaw on the end of a pole.
It's extremely unwieldy because the motor is on the end of the pole.
You need to cut the branch from the top side. But you can't do that
with a typical pole saw. When you cut from the side, the chain binds
up as the branch bends.
I'd recommend one with the motor on the close end of the pole and
a shaft that runs the saw on the far end.
You can buy a chain with a rope on each end. You throw it over the
branch and pull on the ends to saw the limb. I figgered it wouldn't
work, but I found one at a garage sale and tried it. I was
right. It's impossible to make the chain saw. All you do is pull
on the limb and it flexes down. You can have mine for free if
you climb the tree and get it unstuck from the tree.
If you can climb up the tree...and have all the safety gear to do so,
you can cut limbs from above. My problem was that all the ones that
needed trimming would have to be cut from below. I wouldn't risk that.
Then there are the limbs that would crash on the house if you cut
at the trunk. You'd need to climb out on the limb and cut it
into multiple chunks. I decided it was better to risk a limb falling
on the house than me falling on the ground.
I did one stupid thing. I leaned my longest extension ladder against a limb
and proceeded to cut off the far end. When the branch fell, the limb
flexed up and off the end of the ladder. I was extremely lucky that
there was another limb close enough to catch the ladder.
I'd thought about the problem beforehand, but seriously underestimated
how far the limb would flex.
I guess, in your case, it depends on how far from the trunk you need
to cut and how big is the piece that falls off.
10 feet isn't very high. You can do that with a stepladder and a rope
thrown over a higher limb to stabilize you. Or lash your ladder to the
tree on the side opposite the cut.
BEST alternative is to call a tree service.
I accosted one doing some work in the neighborhood.
He said, that tree in that location ain't gonna be a problem.
But He'd trim it for $400 if I wanted, plus another fee
to haul away the wood.
I'm not gonna climb a 60' tree.
I'm not gonna spend $400 to trim a tree that the expert says
ain't gonna be a problem. Fingers crossed...
On Fri, 5 Feb 2016 09:23:46 -0800, "Snuffy \"Hub Cap\" McKinney"
I dont have it handy to look at the amps it uses. It's a Remington
brand. If you got one from HF, it's good you returned it. It would
probably be in the garbage by now. HF electrical stuff is pure trash!
(Just my opinion, based on past purchases of the crap).
On 2/4/2016 4:21 PM, Snuffy "Hub Cap" McKinney wrote:
I don't know what's best, just want to mention safety:
If you do end up using a chain saw, new ever work from below it, or put
yourself in a position where the saw could hit you in case of a "kick back".
I heard of someone killing themselves.
I was not clear. I said I had my arms over my head, but they were
also in front of me. Maybe philo woudln't like that either. with a
ten-foot ladder, I definitely would have climbed higher and held the
saw straight out.
The OP doesn't need a pole saw if they are only 8 to 10 feet high,
unless he has no ladder at all.
I took down a 40' fichus tree in pieces because there was no room to
just drop it. I got a big articulated man lift and cut from the top
down. It was really pretty easy and I never felt like I was in any
I filled a 30 yard dumpster
On 2/4/2016 11:04 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Probably no comparison, but years ago we moved into our current house
and it had a row of 4 foot holly bushes that we hated in front of the
porch. All I had was a pair of rose clippers, and I took down the
entire row of holly bushes one branch at a time with those rose
clippers. It took me several days to do it all, though.
It is a distinction without a difference. The trunks can be 8" in
diameter but they tend to lean over and grow into a tangled mess.
They will shade out everything below them and take over.
Birds eat the berries, carry the seeds in their gut and drop them
everywhere in a pile of fertilizer. It is the perfect storm of
invasive exotic plants.
The only good thing is Garlon kills them easily. (residential version
is Ortho "Brush B Gone") You still have to cut them up and haul them
away. They aren't even good firewood.
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