Alternatives to taking a tree down

   / Alternatives to taking a tree down #11  


Super Star Member
Jan 8, 2009
From Vt, in Va, retiring to MS
Kubota's - B7610, M4700
I had a large (> 3' DBH) willow in my backyard that "rotted" while standing, on the fenceline of my 1/4 acre suburban lot.. I had a medium red maple (~2'DBH) on the fenceline of my 1/4 acre suburban lot. I took them both down.

IF you are comfortable with a chain saw when you are tied to a tree 50' above the ground it's not too bad to take down one limb at a time. But have a GOOD CHAINSAW!! I'm talking something powerful with a 14" or less bar that starts easily every tim you try. Iused my venerable Stihl 021. I took down a the red maple recently this way. Tie the limbs that are going to fall so they don't hit what they should not hit.

IF you are not comfortable with the above scenario do what I did with the willow IN COOL WEATHER. Climb up and take a GOOD bow saw and cut 1 limb at a time. Willow is about 570 on the Janka hardness scale, white oak 1333 and balsa 100. So willow is fairly soft. Then chainsaw for the rest.

It probably took me a week each piddlying around to get each of them down, but it was far less $$$ than the several $K that my neighbor was quoted for the red maple.

It's worth buying a Stihl 201 :)
   / Alternatives to taking a tree down #12  


Super Star Member
Sep 7, 2000
Triangle Of North Carolina
JD 4700
A neighbor in the city had every pine tree in his yard removed. He and we had a least a 10-20 pines in the 1/4 acre lots. Since the pines had value he got the job done for about $3,000 which included cutting down the trees, digging up the stumps, smoothing out the ground and debris removal. The service took four days to get it done.

This was a small lot especially compared to the size of the trees. The tree monkey, errr, tree service, :D climbed the trees, cut of the limbs, and then would rope off a section of truck and cut it. The roping was done so that the section would fall away from the houses or fence. The rope would be attached to another tree so that the cut section would swing to the other tree and away from the houses or fences.

Danged amazing to watch. :laughing:

The service had 3-4 men working, a couple medium duty trucks, a back hoe and skid steer. For the equipment, the number of men, and time to do the job I thought the price was a good one.

My FIL had a tree that was blown into a leaning position over his house during one of the hurricanes. That tree had to be cut down with the use of a crane. There was no way to trim the limbs or cut the trunk into sections without hitting the house unless a crane was used.

   / Alternatives to taking a tree down #13  

big lar

Silver Member
Apr 30, 2012
new holland and a ford
I used to work for a tree service here in Mass. (now retired) Sounds like you will need a crane. BUT if it is near electric wires, your local power co. may take all or most of it down. or at least to a "make safe" position (usually just below the elctric wires)

Not all private tree companies are qualified to work around electric wires, if you have any, so check on that. You say its backyard, but you may have back yard wires.

Another consideration (added costs) might be the need for police to direct traffic around the equipment parked on the street, if your blocking a traffic lane. Its a big factor working around here, police will shut you down (threaten to tow the vehicles ) if you don't hire a "detail" just saying.

Good luck.
   / Alternatives to taking a tree down #14  

Larry Caldwell

Elite Member
Jun 30, 2010
Myrtle Creek, Oregon
Kubota l3130
That idea actually passed thru my head at one point. A few .50BMG rounds thru it would probably easily take the branches off easily one at a time. I'm in a residential neighborhood - in a heavily populated area. And there are laws against discharging firearms within 200 feet of a dwelling - so (unfortunately) - that idea is a non starter.

It's also a non-starter because firing a .50 into the air is a dangerous thing to do.
   / Alternatives to taking a tree down #15  


Platinum Member
May 8, 2011
Trent Hills, ON
Kioti DK40SE HST
You could get some quotes just to take the tree down. You take care of disposal? Do you know some folks that burn wood? Or atleast have some land nearby to dump all the wood?
   / Alternatives to taking a tree down #16  


Veteran Member
Nov 20, 2004
JD 770, Yanmar 180D, JD 420 (not running), had a Kubota B6200
We had a large (42") bigleaf maple at our church with limbs over a powerline. A member worked for Asplundh and is a little wiry guy. He climbed the tree & started cutting. He had a number of ropes and now & then tied off a limb, ran the rope over a higher limb and down to 2 or 3 of us on the ground. He cut the limb & we lowered it to the ground. Got the tree down in about 3 hours & never touched the powerline. Someone with the skill may not need a crane and wouldn't cost any $3,000.

Here's something to keep in mind: When you need some work done, whether it's carpentry, car repair or maybe something like buying insurance, check with your local fire station. With their work schedule, many of the firefighters have an after hours job or business. When I was young, my parents bought insurance thru a fireman and now that I need some work done I found 2 carpenters our little small town fire department.