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  1. #21
    Veteran Member
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    Western Connecticut
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    2003 Kubota L3430

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    I have zero experience cutting down trees in the circumstances or in the manner you describe. But a thought occurs to me that I will offer up.

    Why not use the trenching idea (and/or the notching idea), but using Brutus to pull the tree from a distance rather than push the tree from right underneath. In other words, dig the root ball trench. Then attach high strength chains to Brutus that are longer than the tree height. Then pull in the desired direction. If the tree falls, it will fall in the desired direction but Brutus is out of reach because of the chain length. If it doesn't fall, you could leave some directional tension on the chain (like the truck or mule) and go back and notch the tree. Then go back to Brutus and increase the pull.

    Again, never done this, and I'm sure I haven't thought through all the danger possibilities.

    Glenn


  2. #22
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Knoxville, TN
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    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Hayden: Believe me when I say I “feel the fear”. I’m looking for suggestions on what I COULD do given that:

    1. Loggers who bought timber won’t take these trees
    2. Trees are dying/dead pines from the beetle bug (not the Volkswagen [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img])
    3. Trees are within hitting distance of house

    I’m not doing this for an adrenalin rush but rather to try to keep trees from falling on their own onto my house, car or even head. Yes, (true story) I was driving home several months ago in my Miata (Chalkley RAM MASHER), and noticed tree leaning over country road. It was at a curve and I BARELY stopped in time to keep from going under it. I sat there and looked at it, wondering what to do. I can’t go “other way” as this is only road home. I sat for maybe 5 minutes watching and thinking with blinkers on to try to warn other drivers. None showed. Tree looked like it was just leaning and “stable” otherwise, so I thought “well, it COULD have been there for 30 seconds or 7 HOURS prior to me coming home from work” So I decided to go ahead and cautiously bolt under it (it was EASILY 10 feet (probably 20) or so over top of my RAGTOP [img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img] You guessed it...PANTS CLEANOUT TIME...right as I was under it, it let go. In all seriousness, the ONLY thing that kept it from hitting my head through the ragtop was LUCK and roughly .06 seconds. The ONLY thing that kept it from smashing the trunk of my car, was my car is so dang small and short that as the tree reached the height of say a truck bed, or Cadillac trunk, MY trunk was still another 12 to 18 inches SHORTER hence, it missed me completely but NOT before putting the fear of Almighty into me. I parked car in middle of street and commenced to clean up/move the now broken up tree. As I moved the parts I discovered it was almost like balsa wood. These pines (mine included) have died and are brittle/dry as anything. They have lost essentially ALL of their sap/moisture and I can now (after felling one) carry say.. 3 times the amount of wood in my arms that I used to when I had a “fresh kill” tree that was healthy.

    Point of the above is if I don’t take them out in SOME form of controlled fashion, they will ultimately fall on their own, possibly in a very detrimental way.

    Glenn, I like your idea, and in fact have already mentally pursued it in my mind as my first choice. I don’t think it will work in my situation because I have other woods to contend with (manuvering Brutus), house to contend with AND the reality that some of these trees are so brittle, I don’t think I could climb them that high to tie off rope. (can’t throw too high as these pines are TALL and rope/other would just fall to ground. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    I’m having “emotional” problems trying to balance the danger of what I’m doing, with the danger of NOT doing it, especially again, since the loggers are washing their hands of these trees that they have already paid for. That might give you a clue as to the condition of the trees as I’m sure the loggers would take them in a moment if they were sellable. Since they are not (evidently) these guys have no interest in the liability should something happen so they have walked from these trees. What a quandary...



  3. #23
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    West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle)
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    '78 Kubota B6100DT

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Richard:

    Two ideas:
    1) Perhaps a call to the county arborist or state extension service might yield some information on companies that WILL do this. If this is a widespread problem (the pine tree beetle) then they probably have dealt with similar situations before. Might cost some $ for you to have it done but...
    2) A call to your insurance company's loss control department might also lead to someone who will do this. Yes, they'll tell you that they're not responsible for the damage if a known hazard falls, but they will usually be responsible for any incidental damage (e.g. the tree breaks a water line as it crashes through your wall. They don't pay for the wall but they do pay for the water damage...). Again, it would cost you to have it done but it might be worth it in the medical bills you might save from if you try it yourself.

    Just thoughts.




  4. #24
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Bill...you got me thinking...

    Now THOSE are two ideas of something I CAN look into doing instead of ideas of what I should NOT be doing..'cause I have to do SOMETHING

    I think I'll make that a research project for tomorrow, I usually leave work RIGHT at 4:00 and I have to get some work done now [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]...(clip clop clip clop...boss walking down hallway, into the distance...whew...danger over) [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]



  5. #25

    Join Date
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    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
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    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Richard -

    Not sure if this relates to your situation, but I just witnessed the removal of a large and dangerous "leaner" pine tree a few houses down the street, right here in suburbia.

    The key to the operation was the use of a truck-mounted crane. After limbing the tree, they hoisted a tree harness to the top-most part of the tree (because of the lean, it was only about 50 feet above ground level). Then a youngish guy scampered up the tree, lumberjack style, attached the harness and then chainsawed off about a 10-foot section. The crane was applying upward pressure, so the cut section lifted gracefully away from the cutter and was then gently lowered to a small flatbed truck waiting below. This process was repeated until there was nothing but stump left.

    When I was leaving for the gym, they were just discussing how to approach this tree. When I returned 2 hours later, half the tree was gone and one section was swinging on a cable. By the time I got into the house, checked the election news, grabbed my digital camera and ran back outside, it was all over. No pictures!

    Don't know if you could get a crane close enough to use this technique, but that's tree-felling city-style. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]


  6. #26
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Harv, not sure that would work as my house was built right “IN” the woods, with the woods coming within feet of doors. In addition, we are on a hill that would probably preclude that kind of vehicle coming too close. It could probably get 1 or 3 by the driveway, but I have the needed clearance there to not worry so much about just cutting them down myself.

    I don’ have a fancy dancy digital camera (can I have..er... borrow YOURS maybe?) I PROMISE not to run over it with Brutus like I did my chain saw...[img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

    I could pull out my trusty Contax 85mm f 1.2 and take a couple of shots of

    A) Brutus (with Miata next to it to enhance size)...better yet, Miata inside BUCKET of Brutus...
    B) Photo of hills/trees and area where I set forest fire [img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img] I honestly wouldn’t mind an opinion of stupidity (or lack of) for taking kubota L-35 on this hill.
    C) Various other photos that I could then scan in that would TRULY make watching paint dry, suddenly seem VERY exciting [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]



  7. #27
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
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    Northwest Arkansas
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    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    I was luck removing a very large(about 24" base)Pine from my yard that had been hit by lighting. It was close to the house(like 15') and it had the incoming electric line just a few feet from it also. I called the electric company and told them that it had to come down and that I was afraid that if I did it that it would get the line. They can out with a bucket boom truck(?) and the guy would cut a section and lower it to the ground with a block and tackle. They did this until it was just a stump.
    JerryG


  8. #28

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    255
    Location
    Athens, Georgia
    Tractor
    B2410HSD

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    There was a big 60' high 2 1/2' wide dead oak on the lot next to ours that was leaning towards our lot. It took 2 people clearing the lot about 10 minutes to drop it away from us. The first guy put the bucket of his bulldozer about 8' up the tree and just nudged the tree a bit in the direction he wanted it to go. The second guy, who I expect will be collecting disability pay if he lives to 30, used his chain saw to cut about 1/3 of the way through the tree starting from the bulldozer side. He didn't notch the tree at all, and there was no chance the saw would get stuck since the bulldozer was pushing that side of the tree. Once he'd weakened the tree, the bulldozer just pushed it over, snapping the base in the process. Finally he dug out the stump.


  9. #29
    Veteran Member gordon's Avatar
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    Delaware
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    L4310hst-loader-hydraulic top link

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Richard no matter what if the tractor is not safety equipped for logging I can't say for you that this is a safe thing to do. Even if it had the proper safety cage and you didn't use the correct method at the correct time---bad news.

    I feel that I can comment on this because I've dropped one or two trees in my day!!![img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    The reason the loggers don't want to mess with them is two reasons.
    One--the trees aren't worth squat!!! Time is money.
    Two--Danger of trees dropping on house and even worse the trees aren't worth squat.---They would surely drop them if they were nice cheery-maple-oak---or even alive pines. Right now the mills are full and don't want to mess with any bettle rot or blue stain wood.

    You could chunk the tree down with the proper equipment or you could tension the tree with rope and drop it with the saw.

    Once again if you do use the tractor after what I have said above---good luck and please make sure your life insurance is paid up to date. I'm being serious about this.

    I've dropped enough difficult leans and there are quite a few methods to ensure a safe drop. Of course nothing is perfect and trees do go their own way but when tensioned with a rope it will surely help. Put on the climbing belt and spurs and chunk it down. Takes more time but is a safer way to go now if the tree is rotten at all then chunking is not a safe method

    Sometimes it's best to pay someone like me to drop the trees for you at a very reasonable price per tree. Or any other professional with the proper tools and the proper insurance.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    Gordon


  10. #30

    Join Date
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    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Brutus ... I mean, Richard -

    <font color=blue>I don’ have a fancy dancy digital camera (can I have..er... borrow YOURS maybe?)</font color=blue>

    Sure! I'll send it right ov...??? WAIT!!! You ran over your chain saw with Brutus? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    How 'bout this -- you sketch it for us and just scan that in. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/crazy.gif[/img]

    Too bad you can't get a crane close enough. It was really a slick operation.


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