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Cutting dead branches

Post in 'The Gear' started by houblon, May 10, 2006.

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  1. houblon

    houblon New Member

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    We have a huge oak in the backyard. 2 Years ago we paid $$$ to have the dead branches cut down professionally. Now there are again 3 or 4 of them, 3 to 6 in diameter.

    I thought about getting a string over the limb (using a crossbow, did that for the swing), then attaching something flexible that cuts, and sawing the thing off with two people on the ground pulling the string. Does this sound feasible? Any other ideas short of climbing up with a chainsaw (shudder)?

    B

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  2. Harley

    Harley Minister of Fire

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    I would definately stay off the ladder with the chain saw!!!! A pole saw might do it for you depending on the height.... They usually cut pretty quickly. I use an old cheapo one, and it serves the purpose. I've never used one, but I have seen what you may be referring to as a "rope saw" Its essentially a chain saw type blade with a rope attached to each end. You throw it over the branch and saw the branch by pulling on either end. I would think these would be readily available. But again.... not sure how well they work.
  3. mikedengineer

    mikedengineer New Member

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    I have one of those chain saws on a string things. This saw simply has a weight on one end to throw. It works fine. Just not the fastest thing in the world. You could probably make one with a chainsaw chain. One thing these saws have is a weight that keeps the cutting edge facing the wood. It's just a plate of steel about 1/15 x 1/2" x 2" attached to the chain in a manner so if you held the string tight the weight would be on the bottom as well as the cutting edge.

    Carful if you use that crossbow with this. I'd hate to have the chain hit you on the way up.

    Good luck.

    -Mike
  4. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    I have seen those rope chains too. Never used it but it seems that it would serve your purpose well. And a LOT cheaper than a pro with a bucket truck.

    Carpniels
  5. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    I would go with what Harley said. And DEFINITELY STAY OFF THE LADDER WITH A CHAINSAW! Try the rope saw and let us know how it works
    Good luck
  6. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    And wear a hardhat!
  7. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Brotherbart is right. What gets cut must come down.
  8. houblon

    houblon New Member

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    >Brotherbart is right. What gets cut must come down.

    I know, that's from "spinning wheel".
    So far my wood processing experience saw a lot of sweat, but no blood & tears.
    I'll keep you posted...

    I found this rope saw on the internet. It looks like a pice of chainsaw. Anybody knows where to find one locally?
    I had something else in mind, it's more like a flexible (stranded?) metal wire with a rough coating. It cuts through metal.
    I guess something like this would cut slower, but it might be less likely to get stuck than a chainsaw chain.


    B
  9. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    call a local logging/chainsaw store. They will be able to help you.

    Carpniels
  10. WarmGuy

    WarmGuy Feeling the Heat

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    We have exactly the same problem with a tall pine. There are six branches that are broken and hanging by a thread. I tried the rope cutting trick using a saw meant for sawing PVC pipe. That is, thick abrasive wire with rings on the end tied to ropes. That did NOT work, it simply got caught in the cut. I haven't found one that is more appropriate for cutting wood.

    It was tricky getting the rope over just the right branch, but given time, it's possible.

    I'm considering using a chainsaw chain -- I'd have to be able to get the right side against the branch.

    I rented an 80-foot ladder and went up with a handsaw, but that only got me to the lowest branches. I was tempted but unwilling to climb up higher.

    I hope you find a solution you can pass on.
  11. mailman

    mailman Member

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    An 80 foot ladder!? Are you serious?
  12. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    I was thinking the same thing. How tall IS that pine WG??? 80' to the lowest branches is pretty impressive.
  13. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    80 FEET!!! If you are going 80 feet on a ladder to cut limbs, you need to seriously make sure your life insurance policy is paid up, tell your family you love them and PRAY!!!! In the tree industry, a fall from 40' or higher is considered a terminal fall. 99.999% of the time if you fall from that height, you WILL die! The only safe and practical way to remove limbs from that high is to call a professional tree service. The cost of whatever it takes to get the job done is well worth the price unless, of course you have a death wish. Not to mention that if you have limbs that are hanging on by a thread the way you explained that high up, they could even fall while you're climbing up the ladder and kill you. If the limb doesn't kill you the fall will. A limb falling from that height could put you in the ICU. I know from experience and that was with a helmet. I would get those limbs down as soon as possible and rope the area off so that no one walks any where near them.

    Good luck! I hope this helps.
    John
  14. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Actually it's not the fall that kills you...it's that sudden stop!! lol
    In all seriousness warmguy...get a tree company in there to handle this for you. You may want to evaluate the other trees on your lot that may need pruning or thinning as you'll save some money on a larger job (if that makes sense). Get 5 or 6 companies in for estimates to take care of all the trees at one time. Just don't automatically go with the low bidder. I work for the gov't and I know how that goes...

    hth
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Maybe an 18' ladder? We have a couple 200 yr old firs on the property that are about 100ft to the top. Each major limb must be close to 8" in diameter and up to 30' in length. There's no way I would try to cut one from a ladder. The weight must be enormous.
  16. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    Anybody rented a cherrypicker? I have a couple large norway maples whit dead growth at the edge of the canopy, so ladder isn't really an option. And the limbs in question are probably 25-35 ft up.

    Had a guy come in for an estimate and he wanted $700 for the job, which seemed excessive. Sure he's got the bucket, but the workcould be done iwth a hand saw in an hr or twp, let alone a chainsaw.

    Steve
  17. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    hi Steve,

    Taylor rental in town has all kind of buckets and cherry pickers. I would rent one if I were you. Even at $200 for a day, that is $500 in your pocket.

    And use a hand saw. I would feel safer than a chainsaw is such a small bucket.

    CarpNiels
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    And make sure to stay clear of overhead electric wires.
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