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Thread: How do you remove dead trees?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Dirtman2007's Avatar
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    How do you remove dead trees?

    I've got several dead trees to take down tomorrow with little room for error on the way they fall.

    So my question is how do you like to take down large dead trees using an excavator. trees are around 24" in diameter and probably 75' tall.

    I like to have my laboror cut a notch in the tree the way it should fall, then I put the bucket up about 20' on the tree and gently push the tree, then he cuts on the backsode of the notch to fall the tree and I use the excavator to guide it down.

    I don't like just pushing over the trees without cutting them because the top of the tree can break out and fall back on the machine.


    Give me some advice/ tips...
    Chris

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  2. #2
    Member Alan Mesmer's Avatar
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    On a big dead one I try to get a long 1/2" cable or two about 2/3 the way up if possible and put light pressure (come along pressure). If the tree is solid I cut a 90 deg. open face notch and use your backcut as normal leaving a 1" + hinge to guide the tree down. Felling dead trees is not like felling live trees because the hinge on a dead tree may not function as the hinge on the live one does. If the tree is unsafe then I pull it over with cable or push it with bucket only if the top does not look like it might snap out. If the top looks bad then I pull it off with the cable instead of having it break out on its own with you underneath it then I push the rest of the tree over if it doesn't go over when you pull out the top.
    The way you do it will work too but I don't like to get under a dead tree with a machine pushing on it. A 2" limb falling from 50' will put a hurt on you for sure if it does not kill you. I have had more than one tree impolde after nudging it with the bucket because the entire inside is rotten or hollowed out(thats why I try to cable them first). If you would try to put a face cut into this type of tree it would be on top of you! I look for the telltale signs of rot: fungus growing on side of tree, holes, animal burrows, etc.
    Also I take a 3 lb. hammer and listen for a hollow sound.
    These are opinions only and every tree is different so use your best judgement from case to case. There are some that just are widowmakers plain and simple waiting to put the hurt on you.
    If I had my rathers I think that I would rather have a top hitting the cab than my head.
    If what you are doing works then use your own judgement and be careful!
    Good Luck.
    Last edited by Alan Mesmer; 01-27-2008 at 07:44 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dirtman2007's Avatar
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    Thanks alan, I found the best way when your just clearing and don't have to worry about the dead tree falling on something is to just push another live tree in the directon of the dead one. That way the top of the live tree will knock the dead one over. Plus there is no way it can hit the machine!
    Chris

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    http://www.youtube.com/user/letsdig18

  4. #4
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    The easiest way to take down a tree safely with a hoe would include taking the root ball with it. Dig around 2/3 of the root in the general direction you want th tree to fall, walk to the backside and push. It will take some trys to rock it free and pushin at different heights to leverage it to the ground. Utilitys, space limits and job specs may exclude this method but if possible will be more productive.

  5. #5
    Senior Member John H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Mesmer View Post
    On a big dead one I try to get a long 1/2" cable or two about 2/3 the way up if possible and put light pressure (come along pressure). If the tree is solid I cut a 90 deg. open face notch and use your backcut as normal leaving a 1" + hinge to guide the tree down. Felling dead trees is not like felling live trees because the hinge on a dead tree may not function as the hinge on the live one does. If the tree is unsafe then I pull it over with cable or push it with bucket only if the top does not look like it might snap out. If the top looks bad then I pull it off with the cable instead of having it break out on its own with you underneath it then I push the rest of the tree over if it doesn't go over when you pull out the top.
    The way you do it will work too but I don't like to get under a dead tree with a machine pushing on it. A 2" limb falling from 50' will put a hurt on you for sure if it does not kill you. I have had more than one tree impolde after nudging it with the bucket because the entire inside is rotten or hollowed out(thats why I try to cable them first). If you would try to put a face cut into this type of tree it would be on top of you! I look for the telltale signs of rot: fungus growing on side of tree, holes, animal burrows, etc.
    Also I take a 3 lb. hammer and listen for a hollow sound.
    These are opinions only and every tree is different so use your best judgement from case to case. There are some that just are widowmakers plain and simple waiting to put the hurt on you.
    If I had my rathers I think that I would rather have a top hitting the cab than my head.
    If what you are doing works then use your own judgement and be careful!
    Good Luck.
    I agree and also if you don't have over head protection on you'r EX a big limb can crash through you'r top window. When I have a guy cutting and I am pushing with a skidder or an EX I have him make the cut. Then have him get out of the way then I push the tree over. If anything goes wrong hes not in the way.
    John

  6. #6
    Senior Member EZ TRBO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtman2007 View Post
    Thanks alan, I found the best way when your just clearing and don't have to worry about the dead tree falling on something is to just push another live tree in the directon of the dead one. That way the top of the live tree will knock the dead one over. Plus there is no way it can hit the machine!
    Thats always a nice way to handle dead trees, if space is there, use the live tree with good top to help shield the dead branches and keep everything going away from you.

    As far as dead trees alone, I've never found much trouble with the dead ones that don't have a hollow trunk, they go the way its notched and the top is already going that way smoothly before anything on top really lets loose. By then its already in the direction you want it to go. The hollow ones, like Alan said with any of them are widowmakers no matter which way you go about them and somtimes its just pure luck that you get them down in a safe manner.

    Good luck, and of course, let us know how it turns out.
    Trbo
    Doing what I can with what I got!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Dirtman2007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EZ TRBO View Post

    Good luck, and of course, let us know how it turns out.
    Trbo

    only worried about one tree, 24" pine with a top full of dead branches all the way around. it's atleast 90' tall. only one way for it to fall and it's still gonna have to fall in the fellows pond. I'll try to take a picture or video of it.
    Chris

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  8. #8
    Senior Member EZ TRBO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtman2007 View Post
    only worried about one tree, 24" pine with a top full of dead branches all the way around. it's atleast 90' tall. only one way for it to fall and it's still gonna have to fall in the fellows pond. I'll try to take a picture or video of it.
    Cool, and thanks. We always like pics and never know sometime one of us might have a tree much like the one your dealing with and can see how you go about it and wether it works or doesn't and your input on how it went as well. Thanks
    Trbo
    Doing what I can with what I got!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dirtman2007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EZ TRBO View Post
    Cool, and thanks. We always like pics and never know sometime one of us might have a tree much like the one your dealing with and can see how you go about it and wether it works or doesn't and your input on how it went as well. Thanks
    Trbo
    Doesn't isn't and option, one way or another were going timber by 7:15 am in the morning
    Chris

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  10. #10
    Senior Member tonka's Avatar
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    Put a notch in the tree where you want it to fall, then on the other side do a straight cut about 10-12" above the notch. Push the tree away from you and let her fall, cut tree up and haul away!

  11. #11
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    Is there a reason your guy with the saw needs you to push? All the others have good sugestions for this. No one has added this one. Depending on location you may need to watch out for the family of raccons that are going to be looking for a new home

  12. #12
    Senior Member Dirtman2007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Turbo21835 View Post
    Is there a reason your guy with the saw needs you to push? All the others have good sugestions for this. No one has added this one. Depending on location you may need to watch out for the family of raccons that are going to be looking for a new home
    Well the tree is leaning the way that it does not need to go, plus having the machine there to push is my way of making sure the tree does go where wanted. (hopefully) some do get off course though...
    Chris

    To see our equipment in action:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/letsdig18

  13. #13
    Senior Member EZ TRBO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtman2007 View Post
    Doesn't isn't and option, one way or another were going timber by 7:15 am in the morning
    Good deal, what I ment though is when it comes down if it works out the way you plan. Either way, good or bad, we want to know bout it.(according to the clock right now it should have been down for about 2 hours or so.)
    Trbo
    Doing what I can with what I got!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Wolf's Avatar
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    Pushing Dead Trees Over

    Chris:

    I like your strategy of just pushing another live tree in the directon of the dead one. That way the top of the live tree will knock the dead one over. That makes a lot of sense.

    Tell us how did the push go over for the dead ones. Got any pictures of the trees coming down? You always have such great pictures and videos to post.

    You got the technology thing down pretty good too. Later, man.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rino1494's Avatar
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    I dig around the stump alot to break up the roots. Then gently push on the top of it as high as I can. Yes, another thing to do, is to drop another tree onto it.

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