1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

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

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. jcims

    jcims Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    Midwest
    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

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,343
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
    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.
  3. jcims

    jcims Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    Midwest
    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. :)
  4. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    Messages:
    7,343
    Loc:
    NW Ontario
  5. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Messages:
    15,972
    Loc:
    Anderson, Indiana
    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
  6. Brian VT

    Brian VT Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Messages:
    807
    Loc:
    Southern VT
    Wear a helmet. Try thumping the trunk with a maul or sledge. Try to throw a line over it and pull it down.
  7. mayhem

    mayhem Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,938
    Loc:
    Peru, MA
    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.
  8. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    27,964
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    .30-06 + hollow points + good scope. :coolgrin:
  9. karri0n

    karri0n New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    1,148
    Loc:
    Eastern CT

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

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    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.
  11. joshlaugh

    joshlaugh New Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    330
    Loc:
    Granville, Ohio
    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.
  12. jcims

    jcims Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    Midwest
    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.
  13. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    1,847
    Loc:
    Massachusetts
    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
  14. Jamess67

    Jamess67 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2007
    Messages:
    343
    Loc:
    Central Illinois
    +1
  15. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,473
    Loc:
    Arrow Bridge,NY
    TNT and baler twine !!!!!!!!!!! :bug:
  16. Tedsokol

    Tedsokol New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    NE PA
    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

    Burn Responsibly
    www.woodhomeheating.com
  17. jcims

    jcims Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    Midwest
    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 -

  18. Tony H

    Tony H New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,156
    Loc:
    N Illinois
    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.
  19. jcims

    jcims Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    Midwest
    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.
  20. backpack09

    backpack09 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Messages:
    551
    Loc:
    Whitman, Mass
    How much? I have a monster oak that needs to come down, I might go at it this way...
  21. jcims

    jcims Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    Loc:
    Midwest
    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.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page