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  1. #1
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    Of course we've had a number of threads and discussions about chainsaw safety equipment, hard hats, gloves, chaps, hearing protection, and eye protection, and no one has recommended doing it the way these guys do it. This is about a 60 foot tall cottonwood tree next door. A lot of big roots are above ground so there's some concern that it could fall on the house where a young couple with a 3 year old daughter and a 3 month old son live. There's also some concern that those huge roots might damage the house foundation and/or the sewer line from the house out to the street. And all that is in addition to the unbelievable amount of "cotton" that thing puts in the air and in our air-conditioners every Spring. So today it came down. A 4 man crew arrived before 9 a.m., but only one of them worked up in the tree and he was up there for over 9 hours with only 2 short breaks. Only one of the guys on the ground wore a hat and sunglasses. None of them used any of the safety items mentioned above; no hard hats, eye protection, gloves, hearing protection, or chaps. The guy in the tree did use a safety rope. See if you find him in the second picture. Incidentally, they had 4 or 5 Stihl chainsaws of different sizes.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree-60-cottonwood-jpg   Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree-treeclimber-jpg   Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree-treeclimber1-jpg   Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree-hangon-jpg  
    Bird

  2. #2
    Veteran Member joes_427_vette's Avatar
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    Midwest
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    New Holland TC 55 DA, 4110 John Deere, HT 20 Bolens, 1456 Bolens

    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    The last two days I removed 3 huge pine trees ( 2' x 60+ ' ) next to my storage building. Fortunately I had three paths for the trees to fall that would not cause damage to other trees and electrical fixtures. I crawled up as high as possible and used a combination of 80' of chains to put tension on the fall path. All of them fell exactly in their perspective location. It just makes you nervous when the 22" saw bar doesn't cut all the way through the tree. Of course waiting for the wind to die down helps also. One double to go !

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    I think these guys had thought they'd do the complete job today. They brought the stump grinder with them and plan to grind the stump and those big roots down below ground level. However, they've now been at it for 11 hours and they still don't have it all cut up, and loaded in the truck. The big pieces they load into the truck whole while the smaller ones go through a big chipper. So right now the stump is about 30" tall and is 27" in diameter at that height.
    Bird

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    One could make a few boards from that tree!
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
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    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon View Post
    One could make a few boards from that tree!
    I suppose so, Egon, although I don't think I've ever heard of anyone making lumber from a cottonwood tree. In fact, I don't know of any use for one except firewood, and of course, it's a softer wood that burns up fast, but I've used some cottonwood in the past for firewood when it was free except for me cutting and splitting it.
    Bird

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Mayberry RFD

    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    Tree guy stories just get crazier and crazier.

    I heard about a guy who routinely wore pink hip hugger bell bottoms who was a climber (spikes on his ankles, climbing saw in hand) and I guess he thought it was 30 years ago and he was still doing acid, but the dude could fell a tree. Not sure if he's still alive though.

  7. #7
    Elite Member ToadHill's Avatar
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    Catt county New York
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    Kioti DK35, Ford 8N, Oliver Cletrac

    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    Bird: You should have stripped off as much of the bark as you could. Woodcarvers love the thick bark to carve, you could have made enough to take the wife out for a very nice dinner.
    I can't control my day but I can control my attitude.

  8. #8
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota Grand L5030HSTC

    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    Bird, the real problem may not have been the tree, but rather the spring that MUST be somewhere in the immediate neighborhood... cottonwoods are notorious for always being near water.... those folks may have an interesting hydro structure under their slab. I have two huge cotton woods... springs are within 30 feet of each.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    Quote Originally Posted by texasjohn View Post
    Bird, the real problem may not have been the tree, but rather the spring that MUST be somewhere in the immediate neighborhood... cottonwoods are notorious for always being near water.... those folks may have an interesting hydro structure under their slab. I have two huge cotton woods... springs are within 30 feet of each.
    I have no doubt that there's a spring or two in the area. We're on fairly flat (very slight slope to the south) ground, but uphill to the north. We have asphalt streets with no curbs or sidewalks and in most of the area, pretty good sized borrow ditches. We're in one of the few spots that doesn't need a culvert under our driveways. And in next block south, on our street, is a bridge over a large drainage ditch that has a little water in it all the time, I think. I learned that, until a few years ago, this area periodically flooded. I'm pretty confident that the drainage has been designed such that we'll see no flooding in the future. However, even though mortgage companies do not consider this a flood plain or require flood insurance, I bought the flood insurance anyway.
    Bird

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Treemonkey1000's Avatar
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    Renton, Washington
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    Kubota L3750

    Default Re: Cutting Down a Big Cottonwood Tree

    I would have kicked some tookis if those guys were working for me without more Safety gear. That is a big heavy tree to fall and not damage the yard or house for the folks. That is what usually takes the most time trying not to leave big "divots" in nice yards. Like someone said that tree is getting water from someplace to be that big. Sewer lines are a favorite choice. If they had a big chipper that's where that tree would have gone.
    They grow cottonwood farms here in Washington to make toilet paper out of them. That's all that they are good for. The lumber and firewood value is pretty nill.
    Taking down a huge cottonwood in my back yard when I bought my house I had to lower big branches down to the roof over the house. When I finally got it all cut down there were cottonwood sprouts for about 3 years that came out of all of the roots still in the ground. I would just use the mower and shave them down.
    Being in the tree that long for the climber is pretty good. Been there and done that.
    1st Peter 1:6-9

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