Cutting Down Trees Close to the House
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    Cutting Down Trees Close to the House

    I have trees close to the house that are in an area that gets very wet in the spring. Some are ugly pines that I want to cut down to get rid of them anyway. I had one large pine fall in last winters storm and somehow missed the house, shed and my Durango. See pics.

    Does anyone see an issue with cutting off the top 1/3 or 1/2 of a tree? My thought is much less snow weight up high and less tree for high winds.

    I will be hiring out the cutting down / trimming work. Way too close to the house.

    Thanks

    Kevin

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    RetiredDoc's Avatar
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    Do you intend to have the pine trees topped, and to leave the trunks standing?
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    A good tree service will have a professional look at your trees and your request - will tell you if it is possible or not.

    I am guessing that topping them will cost about the same as dropping them if that is the issue. Might even cost more if the trees can be dropped without climbing.
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    Here's some pics of trees in question.

    Stan, I will meet with the tree guy next week. He has a boom lift on tracks that may help save money on the trimming vs cut down. Also with the trees close to the house not sure if they will "try" to drop them.

    I'll have them put the trees on the ground and than I can cut up and carry off with 1025 and forks!

    Kevin

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    Last edited by TractorDude; 08-29-2018 at 04:08 PM.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    I see more what you are talking about with the better pics.

    If you try to top those couple tall trees to the same height of the rest around them you will kill them - then they will still be a hazard.
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    One thing to run by the tree company... Around here we have a few different very reputable tree service companies that will charge by the day rather than by the tree. So instead of them giving you a price per tree, the crew shows up and you point to the first tree you want taken down, and then the second and so on. Pretty surprising what a good crew can get done in a day. I've done that twice at my place so far and it's worked out great.

    Also, the first time I had the crew out I ended up using my grapple on my bucket to grab the limbs that the cutters were dropping and I'd take them over to the chipper truck for that guy. That saved the chipper guy the trouble of walking across the yard, dragging limbs, etc. By the end of the day the chipper guy hated me!! I kept him working all day!! The crew told me that with the tractor they ended up taking down 3 or 4 more trees than they could have without my "help". I worked 'em hard that day, but I also grilled up burgers and brats for them for lunch!
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    Don't top it, drop it (them)
    Topping them may seem like a fix, but it's really not.
    A tree has a destination. UP!!
    As soon as you top it, the branches will become the tops.
    The outcome will not be what you expected, long term.

    Drop them. Be done with it.
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    Cutting Down Trees Close to the House

    I had 5 walnut trees and 2 hackberry trees within 12-18’ of the House when we bought this place. The walnuts pounded the roof like crazy for a week straight. Previous owners were foolish to allow those trees to grow directly behind the house. Unfortunately, they had screwed several hooks into the trunks and the mill in St. Joseph wanted nothing to do with the trunks. My three bids by professional arborists were roughly 5k+. Two recommended trimming them and not removing any. Sounds like job security to me. The $1,800 4 man crew was hard to beat, they all are contractors for the local utility company that take on side jobs.

    Had a blast watching the climber. That guy has serious skills.








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    Drop them

    Like others have said, I'd have them put on the ground. From the pictures, it appears they could just be dropped, possibly using a rope to pull, possibly not even needing that.

    I couldn't tell the species, some respond better to topping than others but unless you really want to keep a tree in place for some reason it's usually better to drop them and replace with some more suitable species. You will want to treat the stumps as well, as soon after the cut as possible or you could get sprouting.

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    I would drop them too. I had trees that were left to grow by ptevious owner and they were dying or branches falling off and I had them cut down. The ones we could do we did and then I had a professional come in and he had a tracked chipper with a boom on it and he would put the boom against the tree and then cut it down. He would drop a bunch then change saws and tactics, he would limb them and cut them to length and when finished get in his chipper and clean up. I spent hours sitting out watching him. It amazed me what he would get done by himself.

    Good luck!
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