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Discussion Starter #1
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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Do you intend to have the pine trees topped, and to leave the trunks standing?:unknown:
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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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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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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.

Treefarmer
 

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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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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you everyone for your time to reply.

The main reason I would want to top vs drop is money and lower the fall down risks. If the tree guy feels this can be done and save me $ than that's what I will have him do.

I really think that after I see him next week its going to be cut them down. I hope to work it out that they put them on the ground and chip the small stuff and than I can cut them up in 4 foot lengths and my neighbor will take any that are good for the fireplace. The rest I will dump in the woods.

The bad part of our property cut out from the forest is how many tress are close to the house. The good part is our property was cut out from the forest!

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Kevin
 

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I live in the Big Woods in NW Pa. It is a constant battle to keep the forest back from taking over. I have around 3 acres of lawn around my house that I keep open but still have many trees in that area. I deal with large limbs and fallen trees all the time.

If you have the opportunity to get some trees cut down and away from the house, do it. As I said earlier - it will likely be cheaper to drop the trees than to top them.
 

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I'dda dropped them. Toss a rope up over the branch then ran the rope to a tie-off. Tree, truck, garden tractor, and suck up the slack. start cutting and snug on the rope.
Anyone knowledgeable with a saw, offer them a couple Benjamins, and odds are you'd get it done :thumbup1gif:
Any local saw shop or small engine repair place would be worth inquiring for the need.
 

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Watch Kenny's tree cutting fails then think about what you want to do!
I would have them cut down, period, no topping at all. Lots of people like to build in the woods and just leave an open area for the house until mother nature takes control,,, then it costs money and sometimes lots of it! Get rid of them, you will be much happier.
When we built new custom homes I always suggested to cut away from the house area while we were cutting the lot and maybe leave a couple here and there,, good ones not 80 footers and still got the NO we love trees and shade!! OK,, then you get the calls a few years later; do you know any good arborists!!!!! It always happened..
One thing I did see that blew my mind was a chinese restaurant topped all the smaller birch trees on their property and it was the weirdest thing I ever saw when the branches thickened. like topping your tomato plants.. The trees today are all gone.. it didn't work out to well... To much damage to the tree and they did it in June to boot..
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did see the tree fail video and I would much rather pay a tree guy for this work than my deductible! I know I can deal with the trees when they are on the ground.

I like trees and I do not want to cut every tree that might reach the house if it fell but I need to have some middle ground and remove the high risk trees.

Kevin
 

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Watch Kenny's tree cutting fails then think about what you want to do!
I would have them cut down, period, no topping at all. Lots of people like to build in the woods and just leave an open area for the house until mother nature takes control,,, then it costs money and sometimes lots of it! Get rid of them, you will be much happier.
When we built new custom homes I always suggested to cut away from the house area while we were cutting the lot and maybe leave a couple here and there,, good ones not 80 footers and still got the NO we love trees and shade!! OK,, then you get the calls a few years later; do you know any good arborists!!!!! It always happened..
One thing I did see that blew my mind was a chinese restaurant topped all the smaller birch trees on their property and it was the weirdest thing I ever saw when the branches thickened. like topping your tomato plants.. The trees today are all gone.. it didn't work out to well... To much damage to the tree and they did it in June to boot..
This happened with our current home. They cut out enough for the house and a small yard, then the homeowner never kept up with the woods, and let things grow where they shouldnt.
My neighbor, and theirs before we were here, used to do all the cutting for them. He of course is a tree lover, and while there is nothing necessarily wrong with that, it become an issue when the trees he doesnt want to cut end up on a house. Just because a tree starts up somewhere doesnt mean it needs to keep growing there.
One tree in particular that should have gone when the house was built is a huge Sycamore. 115' if its an inch. Its probably taller than that, but no accurate way to measure it until its on the ground, which is hopefully not too far in the future, as its pushing the deck into the house. Another year and Im going to have to disassemble part of the deck to stop it.
Luckily, I know a guy who will drop the ones I am unwilling to due to proximity/lean fairly cheap.
Im actually clearing anything within 40' of my house. Ive had one too many hit the house already.
 

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Some trees will stand topping

Watch Kenny's tree cutting fails then think about what you want to do!
I would have them cut down, period, no topping at all. Lots of people like to build in the woods and just leave an open area for the house until mother nature takes control,,, then it costs money and sometimes lots of it! Get rid of them, you will be much happier.
When we built new custom homes I always suggested to cut away from the house area while we were cutting the lot and maybe leave a couple here and there,, good ones not 80 footers and still got the NO we love trees and shade!! OK,, then you get the calls a few years later; do you know any good arborists!!!!! It always happened..
One thing I did see that blew my mind was a chinese restaurant topped all the smaller birch trees on their property and it was the weirdest thing I ever saw when the branches thickened. like topping your tomato plants.. The trees today are all gone.. it didn't work out to well... To much damage to the tree and they did it in June to boot..
There are some trees that do ok with topping. A small example is a crepe myrtle which seems to take about any punishment. Beech seems to handle it because they will get bushy. Same with holly. Most others are dicey at best and the ones that grow tallest usually don't do well at all.

Treefarmer
 
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