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Dropping the big Kahuna

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Mar 31, 2006.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    I've got this massive oak in my back yard that could hit house/pool, neighbor's shead/woodpile, or generally destroy her trees...I've cut a lot of large limbs off it already, but now, when I go up into it via ladder, even with climbing gear properly attached, I get very nervous. (cliffs don't break in funny ways, so rock climbing doesn't scare me) I'm thinking of having a pro just get it on the ground. What's a fair price for that?

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  2. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Warren,

    Don't you live in downstate NY? If so, prepare for big bucks. Even up here where things are cheaper, you would expect 1000-1500 to drop a large tree.

    How high is it now? How thick is the diameter? Can you just cut slices of the top and drop it 16 inches at a time?

    If you want to do it yourself, I could come over and help. It might also be nice to rent a scaffold to stand on when you cut the slices.

    Carpniels
  3. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    I paid $1,000 last summer to get a big hard maple on the ground, get the slash chipped up and the stump ground down. I'm in a suburb of Utica where the economy sucks and things are probably cheaper than in more prosperous areas. It pays to shop around. Sometimes tree service employees will moonlight this kind of job--something fun to do on a weekend for cash. Obviously, there's no insurance involved in that scenario.
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Warrren you already realized the most important point. that is, felling the tree is beyond your skills and risk factors. Is there a clear path it can be dropped? How accesible is to a cherry picker? is a crane needed to control the pieces cut? knowing the size and other info and risk factors figure into a setting a price. a picture might help
  5. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Elk, I've posted before on this tree, I've been looking at it for 2 years now. The pic is here:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/56/

    That ladder is a 35' extension fully out.
  6. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Warren if you are not 100% sure you can do it safely, have a pro put it on the ground for you. It's not worth getting hurt doing.Also a pro should have insurance.in case something goes wrong. About 2 or 3 years ago I had finsh a tree the home owner died tried to take down him self. And a ladder was involved. Be careful and good luck. The price depends on acces to the treeand hazards like house, pool, shed, wires.
    John
  7. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Kind of hard to tell by the pic. but the tree does not look all that huge. and by the picture it looks like a straight fall. I say TIMBER!!!!
  8. jabush

    jabush Feeling the Heat

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    Ya.....if you are not comfortable have a pro do it Warren. As far as cost, I'm further south than you, but I had a bunch (17) of trees taken down last year. The company I finally hired claimed they "missed" the gigantic multi stemmed Silver maple in the back. Of course I had already signed the contract/estimate so they were stuck. The maple had four stems in the 15-18"dbh range and was approx 45" across at the base. Height was around 70 feet. The guy told me if he hadn't missed the tree he would have tacked on another $700.00 to my estimate. The tree was about 20 feet from my house. So......if it was just that tree, I'm guessing I would have been charged between $800 -$1,000. I would recommend you have 5-6 companies give you estimates and go from there. I had 12 companies look at my tree job before I decided who to hire, and I had estimates from a low of $2,500 (from an unlicensed, uninsured goon) to a high of $14,000. I got the work done for just under five grand by a licensed, insured company. I kept all the wood chips for my landscape beds and had the guys chunk the hardwoods into 18" lengths for my stove. They came back a week later to grind the stumps.

    Just a tidbit for any Marylanders out there.......The State of MD has a Licensed Tree Expert Law in place. This means that anyone performing tree work for compensation must be licensed by the State. The State administers a test and requires proof of insurance prior to issuing a Tree Expert License. This protects the consumer as well as the legit pros in the business. I think all states should do this.


    Anyway....hth...

    joel
  9. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

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    Hi,

    I would go Eric's route. Get an insured company to put it on the ground for you and chip the brush up to 4-5" diameter.
    Then you can saw up the rest of the wood yourself. Don't have the tree company saw it up into firewood if you can do it yourself as it adds time and money to the job.

    And in the future please no tree work off a ladder it is how most homeowners get injured doing tree work.

    Craig
  10. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Warren,

    WOW, that is a tall and big tree. Too much for any but the bravest (or stupidest) homeowner.

    I agree with the rest. Get many quotes from many different firms and go with your gut feeling about who is best. I have seen tree guys around here come with ladder trucks to cut the high branches off and then fell the tree. Also, ask for references about similar jobs and call them. This questions will weed out the bad/uninsured/fly-by-night types real quick.

    Good Luck

    Carpniels

    PS> I am jealous though that you have such good wood so close by the house. I am getting really tired of constantly hauling wood.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Actually if I had a guy with a bucket truck take the big branches off the top, I'd be o.k. with dropping the trunk. I just don't want to hit the house.
  12. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Warren while the guy is there with the bucket truck remove the top 25+ feet give your self a safe margin from your home.
    If still un certaint of your abilities,, have him drop it. Me or if you lived close by, it would be on the ground by now and all cut up. My backhoe usually places them where I push them.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    the JD500c rubber tires about 10.5 tons. the Cat 335 guessing 30+ tons

    If you have strong rope and can attach it above the ladder and above that major intersection, I would attach it to a comelong
    and crank it up to exert quite some pressure. I would make a cuts in the tree get behind it with the backhoe and use the backhoe to force it in the direction of the comealong. I would cut a wedge out in the direction of the fall and cut above the wedge 1/3 or the way and let the bachoe do the rest. If he gets resistance than cut a little more. Remember let the backhoe exert pressure and influence the fall. A 9 ton machine should accomplish this. After down ask him to lift it up to place logs or blocks under it to make cutting easier
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hmm, push? Pull? what does your backhoe weigh? I have a guy coming over in a couple days to remove some stumps...with a backhoe. I was thinking of a come along, a huge rope, and directing the tree with that and a few wedges, but that all seems like a hope and a prayer. But 18000 lbs of backhoe seems like it might help things a bit. :)
  15. skypager

    skypager New Member

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    Just this weekend my brother had someone bring down a few trees. He shopped around and most prices were in the $800 - 1000 per tree range for trees aprox 18" in dia and 50' tall. He found a 1 man landscaping company that had the right equipment. The landscaper was willing to do it for $800 for a 8 hr day as long as my brother helped. No problem. Not sure if they got it all done but they were planning on bringing down 3 or 4 trees and chipping a good amount of the wood. To someone in good physical condition thats a good deal. This all went down in the Allentown, PA area.
  16. wahoowad

    wahoowad Minister of Fire

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    A very naive question, but do insurance companies ever help cover the cost of dropping trees that present a hazard? I have a large double-stem tulip poplar 15 feet from my house that has a lean in it. Seems like a decent hurricane could send it onto my house. It would split my house in two. I have avoided doing anything because it seems very healthy, although I'd still love to have it taken down anyway. It drops this sticky substance that discolors my deck that someone said came from either these tree mites, or is from the tree fighting the tree mites. No clear path to drop it and I wouldn't consider doing it myself at all.
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