Tractor assisted tree felling.

Captain Dirty

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I heartily endorse Terry Hale's YouTube series Weakened Woodsman that includes the video ericm979 included in post #25. Mr. Hale provides a lot of engineering data. The math may make your eyes glaze over, but the main takeaway is that the typical "fella" overestimates the forces he can apply and underestimates the forces the tree imposes. The half-knowledgable fella, knowing the low working strength of the line he could afford at the box store, doubles or quadruples the line, inadvertently exceeding the breaking strength of his blocks (pulleys). Mr. Hale also discusses the mechanics of the wood and the possible disasters that occur should the hinge wood fail, etc, etc, many things our average feller may not have considered.

Mr. Hale discusses what common tools available at local hardware stores cost vs. the more appropriate, professional arborist tools from a specialist, and shows how much better suited the pro stuff is. Last fall my sister had two, >2' diameter x >50' tall trees taken down, and my neighbor had six 2' diameter x .50' pines taken down. The going rate was $1000 - $1200 per tree. On one job the contractor used a crane to take each tree in 3 or 4 lifts; on the other he used a 40' boom truck to take the trees down in 2' - 8' sections. The cost of a 100' boom crane or a 40' boom truck aside, hundreds of dollars in tackle, pullers, and accessories plus the assurance of insurance (do not be bashful about asking to see an insurance certificate) often makes the professional tree service attractive.

But it is satisfying to personally fell a big tree just where you wanted it.
 

TractorGuy

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I have only used a tractor for felling a tree a few times and they weren't high risk. On those I tied a 5/8" braided cord as high as I could reach and routed it around the base of another tree that was in line with where I wanted the tree to fall. I pulled at 90* so there was no chance of it falling on the tractor.

I have dug and pushed quite a few down with my backhoe. That works pretty good also but sounds like your working area is too confined for either method.
 
  
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Bullwinkle123

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Yeah, I think I've seen that Weekened Woodsman series and it is excellent, showing the difference between a $10 rope and a $300 rope, for example.

Meanwhile, this thread keeps going with lots of interesting information and creative ways to down trees (like a jack). However for my OP post, and as replied earlier, you've all convinced me to leave the big trees to the pros in this case. That said, I've conluded I can remove most of the small trees safely because of their leans and the fact that they're mostly under 5" in diameter, leaving mostly some big heavy birches that are definitely leaning towards the shed. I should be able to clear _most_ of the area before calling for expensive help.
 

crazyal

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What you need is a 12 pack, a chainsaw, and a friend to hold your beer. Just kidding. It shouldn't be too hard to find a tree service. Several up here just bring a truck with a chipper in tow. The truck has a man lift on it and they just prune the tree safely lowering each branch to the ground. It's going to cost but unless you plan on cutting lots of trees there's no point getting an education on how to do it. Besides even the best training in the world requires some practice. There's a big difference between cutting a tree with an instructor close by and doing it for the first time alone on a tree that's going to do damage if you get it wrong.
 

EddieWalker

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I'm doing something similar at my place. I have a few pines that have died that are going to be a problem if they fall on their own. Because of what's around them, I don't have a good location to drop them. Every spot that it will fall, will damage something.

Next week I will rent a towable lift. In order to get the lift next to the trees that I want to remove, I will take out about a dozen trees this weekend. The lift is great for pruning branches too high up to get to safely with a ladder, and also great for topping a tree and working your way down, cutting it into small pieces.

I'll pick it up on a Saturday morning and return it Monday morning, so I will also have plenty of time to trim everything along my driveway.


Depending on how far those trees are leaning over your shed, I think this might be a good option if you can find a way to cut the trees into small enough pieces that you can hold onto and not let them fall on the tree.
 

m7040

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I have rented a manlift a few times to take down branches and remove tall trees by topping them. I rented the big type of 4 wheel drive and 4 wheel steer type of lift and they are easy to operate and very safe. I bunched a lot of the tree trimming/removal together and rented for a weekend like Eddie was doing. Lots of money saved compared to hiring it out.
 

Captain Dirty

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. . . I tied a 5/8" braided cord as high as I could reach and routed it around the base of another tree that was in line with where I wanted the tree to fall. I pulled at 90* so there was no chance of it falling on the tractor. . .
Once, I threw a line over a limb, tied off one end, and pulled on the other using the limb as a block or pulley to double the force. The rope chaffed on the limb and parted. Now I will put a block on the line and tie the two ends together to form a continuous loop. When I pull on the block the block can move on the bight till the strain on each leg is equalized and there is no impetus to chafe the line against the bark.
 

Captain Dirty

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449
Location
Eastern Mass
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Goldoni 600, Kubota L45
Bullwinkle123 -- Many threads, especially those with high common interest, like this one, take on a life of their own and run long after the OP's issue is resolved.
 

the viking

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state of Jefferson
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Deere 2320
Tree slaughterhouse! Cut 2 more pines for the mill yesterday using plastic wedges to direct the fall. 45 years of falling and milling with a timber fallers license per state regulations. I encourage people to have professionals do the work when in doubt.
 

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Bullwinkle123

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I'm doing something similar at my place. I have a few pines that have died that are going to be a problem if they fall on their own. Because of what's around them, I don't have a good location to drop them. Every spot that it will fall, will damage something.

Next week I will rent a towable lift. In order to get the lift next to the trees that I want to remove, I will take out about a dozen trees this weekend. The lift is great for pruning branches too high up to get to safely with a ladder, and also great for topping a tree and working your way down, cutting it into small pieces.

I'll pick it up on a Saturday morning and return it Monday morning, so I will also have plenty of time to trim everything along my driveway.


Depending on how far those trees are leaning over your shed, I think this might be a good option if you can find a way to cut the trees into small enough pieces that you can hold onto and not let them fall on the tree.
Well, I don't know about that towable lift, but I have in the past considered buying some kind of used cherry picker (for lack of a better word) for a completely different problem, which is maintaining a very tall (and largely useless) building I have that is nothing but a drain on my bank. Time to add tree maintenance to my list of reasons to reconsider the search for estensible bucket type devices. Last time I had painters out to reach the high places it cost me $300 a day to rent one, plus time to pay people to work with it, including driving it the last mile to the house because they wouldn't deliver there due to road quality and truck size.
 
 
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