Any way to get widowmakers down from 30+ feet up?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jcims, May 18, 2009.

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  1. jcims

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    Just moved to a new house out in the woods and want to clear a few widowmakers out of frequently traveled areas. My running assumption is that i'm going to have to hire someone that can climb the three (many are closer to 50' up), but just wondering if there are any other methods folks have used.

    Thanks in advance
     
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  2. LLigetfa

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    Generally speaking, if you go in right after a windstorm, whatever is still standing probably isn't so precarious as to kill you while you work to fell it. There is still the risk of a dead limb snapping back at you as it falls.

    Caveat: If in doubt, hire a professional.
     
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  3. jcims

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    Thanks for the info! We actually just had a good rustling (50+mph gusts) a week or so ago. I neglected to mention that a few of these are on trees i want to leave up. :)
     
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  4. LLigetfa

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  5. smokinj

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    climber! and its fun to watch. Had one working yesterday but was only 20 ft in a large stand of river birch between to houses
     
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  6. Brian VT

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    Wear a helmet. Try thumping the trunk with a maul or sledge. Try to throw a line over it and pull it down.
     
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  7. mayhem

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    Throw a line up there and pull it. Use a nearby tree as a pivot so your puller can be well out of the felling zone.

    As mentioned before though, if you're not positive you cna do it safely, hire a pro. Your life is worth more than the couple hunred bucks it'll cost to drop it.
     
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  8. BrotherBart

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    .30-06 + hollow points + good scope. :coolgrin:
     
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  9. karri0n

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    Definitely the most unique and fun method posted so far.
     
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  10. Backwoods Savage

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    Depending on the tree, perhaps you know someone who deer hunts. Borrow a tree climber from one. For safety, learn how to make a prussic knot....make one and use it. Otherwise you need someone in there with a cherry picker. However, the 30.06 would be lots of fun too.
     
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  11. joshlaugh

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    I have used several methods to remove widow makers. The first thing I try is a weight tied on to para cord. I will thrown it over the limb, run a stronger rope back up and try to pull the limb down by hand, tractor or truck. I have also used a sling shot to get the weight over the limb to remove it. If all else fails and it is really hazardous, I cut the whole tree down.
     
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  12. jcims

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    Thanks for the replies folks. I think i'm going to try the rope & tug method on a few of them (getting plenty of distance of course).

    With ammo prices these days, i think hiring it out might be cheaper than the .30-06, lol.
     
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  13. daveswoodhauler

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    I have used the rope method, and it works pretty well, except that sometimes its hard to get a line up that high.
    I guess you could use a fishing line with a weight, and cast the line over the limb...weight comes down, and you can tie the rope to the line.
    Haven't tried this, but I guess it could work if you don't have a knarly area you are working in
     
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  14. Jamess67

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    +1
     
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  15. JustWood

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    TNT and baler twine !!!!!!!!!!! :bug:
     
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  16. Tedsokol

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    While I've never tried it, I would think a Bow and Arrow setup with a fishing line kit (the type used to fish for shad) and strong cord should do the trick. It's a bit more accurate than trying to throw a rock 50 feet up. I used to be pretty good to 30 yards with one of those....(horizontally!)

    Ted

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  17. jcims

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    I survived!

    [​IMG]

    Rented a lift over the weekend to accomplish three things:

    - Install a new chimney and chase for our new stove.
    - Clean gutters and fix some siding on the house
    - Cut the aforementioned dead limbs.

    A 60' lift isn't cheap, but I'm sure I would have spend just as much to have a pro do the cutting for me. If you plan your weekend right, you can get a LOT out of it. Unfortunately the first lift i rented was a 2WD that got massively stuck (note axles in above photo), so they exchanged it for a 4WD model the next weekend...HUGE difference (although it still destroys your yard, plan accordingly). Couple of vids for no reason:

    - Cleaning Gutters -




    - Dropping limbs from 55' and 45' respectively -






    - Playing around -

     
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  18. Tony H

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    I will give you 3 methods given to me by my two buddies and brother in law all whom supposedly like me and want me to live.
    My one buddy uses his skid steer takes the bucket up high and bangs it gently against the tree if that doesn't work he bangs less gently if that doesn't work he pushes the tree over. For the record he does have a full overhead cage and he clamps on a big piece of flat stock to the top of that.

    My other buddy uses his 12 gauge with various ammo to knock it down or tear it up. He also knocks down all the squirrel nests in the area while he's at it just a bit of prevention he says.

    My BIL ties a string on the end of a big combo wrench 1 1/2 or larger and throws it up in the tree over the hanger then pulls up a heavier rope if needed or a rope saw and takes it down that way.

    I like all the ideas but don't have a skid steer and do have a shot gun so I will have to try the 12 ga , I have used the wrench one but you better get out of the way that thing comes down hard and puts a pretty good dent in the ground would not want that to be your head.

    In any case invite over some of the gang and have a little dead mans hanger game this afternoon.
     
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  19. jcims

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    I put probably 10-15 shots into one hanger with the target loads i had on hand, and it didn't budge. You probably need buckshot or slugs or a tight choke for it to be effective, preferably using the main trunk as a backstop so you don't see a newspaper article about mysterious holes in houses a mile away...haha.
     
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  20. backpack09

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    How much? I have a monster oak that needs to come down, I might go at it this way...
     
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  21. jcims

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    Sunbelt rental lent me one of theirs for $300 a day, BUT, you have to let them deliver it because it weighs 25,000 lbs. Round trip delivery charge was another $150 for me. On the upside, Sunbelt is closed during the weekend this time of year, so you can keep it all weekend for $0 as long as you don't put more than 8 hrs on the meter. Given that the engine only needs to run when you're moving, you can get a good deal more out of it than that. Also, be SURE you get the four wheel drive version.

    One other thing i will mention is that 60' doesn't get you very far. In the top pic, i have the thing extended all the way, and there is a whole lot more tree above that. You can get 120' lifts, but that's a whole 'nother ball game.

    Also, a heavy branch landing on the boom could topple the works, so pay attention to the order in which things are going to come down.

    Good luck if you go this route.
     
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