Advice on how to approach the job. Need to drop a tree

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
903
CT
I have some experience with dropping trees, but this one got me scratching my head. It's dead standing tree in a friends front yard. The problem is that trunks start to split at around 5 feet high. See pics. Not sure if I need to use a stepladder or do first cut normal way and try to grind into back, kinda digging into it.
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into it .
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If that were mine, I would pay a professional to do it.

Mind you, I have only a single season of cutting and know much less than you do. I may be over cautious.

If I needed to take that down but couldn’t afford a pro, I would throw a light line as high around only one trunk, then pull a long rope around that trunk. Then, I’d attach it to a truck that is farther away than the tree is tall and pull it down.

If that worked, I would repeat for each of the other three, then cut the now shorter stumps.

I would not think of felling that as is.

Again, I have little experience and this may be very bad advice.
 
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CincyBurner

Minister of Fire
Mar 10, 2015
510
SW Ohio
It looks like an ash that has succumbed to EAB, and that has been dead for some time , and probably starting to rot on the stump.
Typically for multi-stem situations consideration is given to fell one lead at a time.​
That said, and concurring with Sean, not a good tree to fell unless you have knowledge & experience, and equipment to handle unforeseen problems. EAB infestation can cause rot to advance sooner that and to greater extent than one would anticipate.
EAB infested ash does not act predictably sometimes causing surprising barber-chairing. Even experienced arborists (personal communication) and fellers have been surprised.

Ladders (other than initial entry method into tree when climbing) and felling trees do not do together !
There are too many painful and tragic youtube videos of tree work fails by people using ladders.
It's not even your tree. Neighborly relations only goes so far. Recognize when to step back.
 
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NickW

Member
Oct 16, 2019
218
SE WI
Depends on what you have for room to work and equipment... Looks like a tough one. How close is the house and neighbors property?

Me, I have 3 30ft logging chains and 75' of 1/2" aircraft cable. If the base is as rotten as it looks, I'd consider just pulling the 2 towards the driveway with my 1 ton diesel after only notching, no back side cut (assuming there's room). Then you can get at the other 2 better...
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,548
Downeast Maine
I have a skidding winch and tractor and would hesitate. How high are those crotches? making a back cut would be challenging. Without a ton of rot to weaken the stems you won't pull them down with just a hing cut. Once the first stem comes down, the rest would be fairly simple to winch down, if you have one. Even with a winch and a good hinge, trees can be very predictable.

A few weeks ago a 10" tamarack with hidden rot fell in an unplanned manner and landed where my wife was standing, she was operating the skidding winch. We even had the winch hooked to a snatch block around a healthy 18" tree.
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
903
CT
If you have the room I would use something like this. Amazon productI used it to pull 4 down last year. Plenty of room to stay out of the way when pulling
Thank you for the link. great tool. Probably going to need it
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
903
CT
Thank you guys for your advice. The tree looks rotten but was standing trough hurricanes while other trees falling around. There is plenty of space around. Prolly need a power pool and some kind of bench next to it. Going to look again with all the advice in mind.

If I will decide to use a power pool without a back cut, Should I just cut a regular notch cut or there is a special technique to that?
 

RickVCM

New Member
Sep 9, 2020
7
NW Michigan
Of course you already know never to use a chain saw standing on a ladder, right? !!!
Maybe i missed it, but to notch each trunk in the direction that gravity wants to make it fall and then back cut it one at a time.
I can't tell if there are any obstructions that you do not want to damage or destroy would(lamp posts, well heads, property lines, asphalt drives, etc.) , but that is a major consideration.
Really take your time, and always listen for any unusual craving sounds while cutting.
Hardhat, chaps, work gloves, safety glasses are all a must.
I've been doing these for almost 50 years and still wouldn't hesitate to call in a company for a few quotes just to see how much I really would be saving by doing it myself.
Good day!
 
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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,135
Lackawaxen PA
I have a fair amount of self taught, armature experience dealing with various felling issues. But never delt with working off the ground. I understand all the concerns every one has. Particularly Cincy Burner had about the EAB trees and barber chairing. These trees, with there lean are prone to barber chairing.

That said, individually if these trees were at ground level there's not many issues. No problem dropping them in the direction there leaning. But I agree with all the comments, It might be a job for a pro.

Curious how they will do the job.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,122
07462
We have one rule at work, never, ever climb a dead ash tree. If the truck is starting to split out, you can take rope and strapping to bind it in place, then cut the leaders coming out on top of the binder, I would take the saw first and plunge cut the smallest outside leader to see if the wood is rotted / spalled through, that way you dont get and surprises when cutting.
If your uncomfortable with any of that, advise your friend that a tree contractor is needed, its never worth going into a dangerous situation without the proper tools or knowledge.
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,013
Eastern Ontario
All the advice that has been given has been sound.
I want so much to give my opinion but I have not seen
a ground-level picture showing the base coming out of the ground.
not seeing the whole picture means that all the advice except using a pro
means nothing it is all speculation.
if the leaders don't start until they are 4 /6 /8 ft. off the ground then
a tension cable pulling in the direction of fall is all that is needed
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,743
Marshall NC
Yes, joheh, we got a lot of pictures, but we didn't get a single good picture.
The photos are too close up. We need a photo from further away with a 6 foot guy standing next to the tree to give a point of reference.
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
903
CT
Here are more pictures. The trunks separated at 5 feet
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Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,743
Marshall NC
Yikes! Good pictures! Trunks separate at 5 feet. I have cut down a lot of big trees.
That is one dangerous project not sure what I would do.
 

Dmitry

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2014
903
CT
Here is another tree on a property that needs to go down. Separates at about 6 feet as well
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ben94122

Burning Hunk
Sep 4, 2017
119
California
Another vote for hiring a pro for both those trees. they will almost certainly bring in a bucket truck and take them down in pieces. They will need a huge saw to get through the stump. The other advantage of hiring a pro is they can grind the stump so your neighbor doesn't have it sticking out of the ground right next to his road. If you are asking the internet for advice, you are not skilled enough to not have the first tree barber chair and kill you and not drop the second tree on his house... pros are bonded and insured just in case something bad happens, because everybody makes mistakes
 

ben94122

Burning Hunk
Sep 4, 2017
119
California
A few weeks ago a 10" tamarack with hidden rot fell in an unplanned manner and landed where my wife was standing, she was operating the skidding winch. We even had the winch hooked to a snatch block around a healthy 18" tree.
Glad Mrs. SpaceBus was paying attention and is ok! Things can happen so quickly.
 
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hockeypuck

Feeling the Heat
Sep 6, 2009
341
south central NH
Step away from that. Some of the branches at the top are called widow makers... Not a good job for a novice. You do not want to be anywhere near that thing when the hinge cracks.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
4,548
Downeast Maine
Glad Mrs. SpaceBus was paying attention and is ok! Things can happen so quickly.
Thankfully the tree fell fairly slowly and she was able to move out of the way.
 

BIGChrisNH

Minister of Fire
Dec 16, 2015
527
New Hampshire
I have felled probably 50 or so trees at this point and consider myself decent at it. That said I would not touch either of those, it’s good to know when to step back. I had two huge hemlocks taken down this spring, each a bit over 100 feet. They looked pretty straightforward, but about 60 feet up they turned out to have beaches that had grown around each other. Luckily I didn’t try it myself or who knows what would have happened. Point being, it’s fine to back off a job if it looks dicey.
 
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Zack R

Feeling the Heat
Sep 27, 2017
410
Sisters, OR
flic.kr
Looks like a barber chair waiting to happen. I'd hire that one out to a pro.
 

Corey

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
2,490
Midwest
Having taken down a 5-trunked hedge tree, that part doesn't bother me... just cut each one as its own individual tree...but probably I'm just too dumb to know better. The big concern to me is all those dead branches way up in the air. A tiny bump or twist as you cut ...or even worse if any happen to be interlaced and one trunk moves while the other stays...could send a large chunk straight down. No way to outrun that!