Author Topic: tricky removal of high tree branches  (Read 20874 times)

Offline surfivor

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tricky removal of high tree branches
« on: December 14, 2010, 03:12:47 PM »

 There are some small branches way up in the air above my yurt .. It's funny how I didn't really realize they could be a problem until I started to think about ice accumulation and that the roof of the yurt is fabric. These are not huge branches, but they are big enough and maybe 40 feet up or so. I am not sure how I could cut them and get them off without them falling on the yurt .. Cutting them would be a challenge in itself.

I wonder what someone might charge, how they would do it, or if I stand any chance of doing it myself. I'd need a 35 foot ladder or something .. Are there ladders that cling to the tree ? At some point I may decide to remove the whole tree as well, but even then I think the branches would need to go first  ..


Offline excaliber

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2010, 04:07:57 PM »
a bucket truck would be best, you can rent small limb trimmers, (a small chainsaw on the end of a 10 ft poll,)

  I use to do some low budget tree trimming, I would do this.

throw a rope up the tree, (you make several small loops and wrap the rope around the loop 3-4 times), toss it up over a big limb, then the "knot" will untie and drop down, then whip the rope until you get both ends down to the ground,

tie one end to something solid, another lower limb or truck bumper, know you have a rope to help you climp up the tree,

you may have to toss another rope up even higher once you get up, and repeat process,

and once you get up, tie yourself off, with just enough slack to move around a bit,

make sure you and YOUR ROPE are clear and cut the limb off,,, either slide out on it a bit to leave some of the limb or, just cut it off against the trunk.

or just cut the hole tree down, cut a notch in the side facing the direction you want to fall the tree, then you can get a rope 20 feet in the tree, tie to a truck bumper, and drive the truck the direction you want the tree to fall, and just get the rope tight with some pressure on it, (it helps if you got a cutter and a driver)

cut a bit on the opposite side of where you want the tree to fall, just cut a bit then ease the truck up a bit, and repeat. oh, and make sure your rope is long enough so the tree doesnt fall on the truck, if you do this right you can cut, and stop and hear the tree "crack" then ease the truck up just enough to maintain pressure on the rope, and repeat.

  then when the  "commits" and you know it is going down, gun the truck to get it to fall in the area you want.

we would most of the time use 2 or 3 big guys on the end of the rope instead of a truck, it is amazing how much even 1 guy can pull a tree with a rope tied near the top, as it is falling,,, it's a leverage thing.


granted it might just be better to pay someone to do this, lots of danger doing this, limbs falling on you, tree trunks rolling or kicking back when you cut them, other limbs getting bent down and kicking back, etc.

my grandpa and uncle were tree trimmers so I learned helping them, but everything was low budget, a truck, a couple saws, a throwing and climbing rope a saddle and a pair of spurs.


other options in falling the hole tree, if you are lucky and can tell if cut where it will fall, ( my grandpa could look at a tree and tell within 3 foot of where it would fall) lots of practice,

notch the tree, then use some wedges to insure it goes where you want, cut a bit, drive the wedges, and repeat.

but if you have never messed with a chainsaw or cut much, I would leave it to someone else.

we trimmed trees and cut and hauled over 300 rick of wood a year. to make ends meet.

Offline archer

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2010, 09:33:39 PM »
a friend who is a professional arborist has these suggestions:

The simple answer is you would secure the branch with another rope (not the one you are climbing with!) before you cut it. This is not something I recommend an amateur do, there are many factors to consider in the simplest job. It seems the cheapest until you drop a branch through your structure or crush your hand when the cut does not fall the way you plan.

Also, tree climbing is the most deadly profession in this country. More professionals die by the percentages then any other profession, even more then coal-miners. So you can imagine the chances of a do-it-yourself-er.

The bigger the branch, the bigger the rope and equipment to handle it. Other factors affecting cost are access and disposal. Does the arborist have to drive an hour on backroads to get there, hope a fence and carry his equipment half a mile up a ridge?  Do you want the branches hauled away or would you be happy to throw them on your evening fire?

So ballpark prices (as an arborist in the San Francisco Bay Area), small branches on a 40ft climb, maybe a spare rope to secure the branches, and no disposal - $150.  To the other extreme, long drive, difficult access, 12"+ diameter limb requiring a Hobes Device (big, expensive, wench-like piece of equipment) and an extra man, and disposal of wood - $1500 if not more, I would probably pass on a job with that many issues.

Offline LdMorgan

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2011, 11:32:05 AM »

....tie one end to something solid, another lower limb or truck bumper, know you have a rope to help you climp up the tree,....

....or just cut the hole tree down, cut a notch in the side facing the direction you want to fall the tree, then you can get a rope 20 feet in the tree, tie to a truck bumper, and drive the truck the direction you want the tree to fall, and

then when the  "commits" and you know it is going down, gun the truck to get it to fall in the area you want.

we would most of the time use 2 or 3 big guys on the end of the rope instead of a truck, it is amazing how much even 1 guy can pull a tree with a rope tied near the top, as it is falling,,, it's a leverage thing.


granted it might just be better to pay someone to do this, lots of danger doing this, limbs falling on you, tree trunks rolling or kicking back when you cut them, other limbs getting bent down and kicking back, etc.....

(my italics)


The italics say it all.

Unless they are at least half chimpanzee and closely related to Tarzan of the Apes, ain't nobody going to just casually climb hand over hand up forty feet of free rope.

Even if they could, getting from just under the limb to on top of the limb would be a real adventure.

Watch a few YouTube  clips before you start doing that kind of tree trimming--and before you even think about pulling one down with your truck.

Yes--it can be done, but there is a learning curve involved.

I've personally topped off and dropped several good sized trees (inevitably over houses!). Some had horizontal branches thirty feet long. I started off being as careful as possible, and I almost wasn't careful enough.

If you can't do the job with 100% safety, hire it out. Pay what it costs, and just chalk it up to the cost of continuing to breathe.

Life is too short to make it any shorter.

Offline KiaMarkham101

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 08:14:42 AM »
This can help those who have the same problems, but it'll take a little more time than usual.
First, follow these steps to prepare for the removal.
Second, get yourself a cordage, and make sure that it's strong enough to handle the braches.
You'll need to start cutting from the head of the branches. Tie one head of the cordage to the top of the branches and one head in the middle of it. Cut the top off, the cordage will keep it from falling onto your yurt. Keep doing this repeatedly with other parts of the branches and other branches.

Offline Carl

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2017, 09:34:51 AM »
  Hang a large cargo net above the yurt during winter or storm season (you can make one from paracord) or even while a pro trims the tree for you.
 I have used a net and throw line to pull and break out such widow makers during winter ,while trees are easier to break. A weight on a throw line is often the way our local weekend arborists will take down unwanted branches while keeping both feet on the ground.Your best option is to pay a professional to do the job for you but the above is how I have cleaned the area around a long term camp for safety.

Offline machinisttx

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2017, 05:22:53 PM »
Bucket truck and a zipline.

Offline Stwood

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 06:45:17 PM »
I've done a lot of logging, tree felling, but I'm not a climber/trimmer.
I suggest to hire it done.

Offline lan99

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Re: tricky removal of high tree branches
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2018, 02:37:03 PM »
We discovered a trick last year that we used on 4 or 5 branches that were between 20 and 30 feet high.  It involves using a pocket chainsaw and kind of throwing the saw up into the tree.   That's a pretty lousy description.  Here's a post the describes it a little better.    It cost me about $20 for the saw and takes about 10 minutes or so per branch.

https://www.amateurdiy.com/landscape/cutting-down-30-foot-high-tree-branches-without-climbing/