oops a lesson to all

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Mudly, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    called out to remove a very large very old dead oak from the front yard of a very old house. The tree was not tall but very thick maybe 6 ft in diameter and one large branch maybe 50- 60 ft that was the only living thing on the entire tree streched over a road. I could not fell the tree outright even though it was only about 30 ft high. powerlines north and south and other trees to the west. The only option was drop it east east north. however the large branch was weighted to the south and other dead almost trivial branches were faced west and the entire tree was leaning south west. No biggy. I climbed and bucked the trivial branches and used a throw rope to tie off the big long branch. my plan was to cut and hindge the limb back over the yard which was not unplausible. With the limb tied off to a truck and set and a truck in the road I started cutting a 1/4 way deep through the limb. I radioed to the driver to pull a little bit, with No movement I started to cut a little deeper as in 2 inches. More then half the limb was uncut, no crackle no sway I blinked and the branch droped like a anvil landing in the road blocking traffic both ways. my help jumped out of his truck and grabed a saw as I climbed down to help clear the road. It took about a hour to clear the road and thankfully no traffic was around when it fell. We rerouted traffic as it came. As we were cutting, however we figured out why the branch fell like it did, even though the branch seemed healthy from the outside you could see how rotted the inside of the limb was. Even through I had cut less then 1/2 the branch more then half the branch was rotted.
    Lesson to be learned
    Even though a branch seems healthy or looks healthy does not mean that it is, especially when it is connected to a oak that looks like it has be dead for 20 years. I know the lesson seems dumbfounding or obvious but stuff happens and things get overlooked.
    anyways the rest of the drop went as planed.
  2. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    It would of seemed easier to go to the end of that exra long branch and cut off 4' length at a time working your way back towards the trunk.

    Every time that branch was made shorter that job became safer.
  4. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    thats a great suggestion but if read the post carfully you will come to the conclusion that this wasn't possible. At least with the gear I have. I had nothing to tie the cuts off to and they would still be droping in the street.
  5. Thanksman

    Thanksman LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,695

  6. RussellB

    RussellB LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,400

    I had a large maple tree I wanted removed at my house. I debated just cutting it down and letting it drop in the culdesac but decided against that and hired a tree service to get rid of it. To my surprise when I got home he simply cut it and let it drop right where I was going to. Lol. Could have saved myself a bunch of money just doing it myself. Glad you didn't drop that limb on a car. You need to invest in or rent a cherry picker. Insurance rates will be lower and you can pass the extra fees off to the customer.
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  7. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    those are neat but not in the budget. I don't do many tree jobs a year. and only a few are in odd situations like this. Tree insurace is a whole new beast, totaly different then the full coverage I have now. my insurance considers tree drops incidental on my policy and only covers 5 drops a year.
  8. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    You seemed concern that too much fell and blocked the road.

    Dropping cuts down to 2' sections would allowed them to be picked up quickly by a ground man without the road ever being blocked.

    Two foot sections probly would do no damage when they fell.
  9. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    your right. I was trying to stray from letting anything drop In the road, shows what i know lol.
  10. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Whenever I am called to fell a tree I always bore a hole in several areas of the tree checking for rot/structural problems.
    Last year this time a laborer and I felled a dead 80' tall Cottonwood tree with-in five feet of a residence and with-in twenty feet of power lines and a street. At first I thought I would be able to repel up the tree to section specific areas until I ran a bore hole. The tree was completely hollow from maybe 20' up.
    Ended up renting a 58' reach tow-able bucket lift and with a weighted throw rope and a pole saw I got the tree down in under an hour. No damage to the house or power lines nor limbs crashing into the street.
    I netted over a grand on that job in a total of four hours.

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