Off Topic - garden care - massive tree.


I apologize for the off topic but I know we have many gardeners here who may have some insight into this personal topic of concern.

I have an ancient Silver Maple that has five trunks, one trunk is precariously over my neighbors house and is directly above her bedroom.

I have scheduled with a professional tree firm to have the tree taken down and all the debris left for our family and some friends to pitch in for clean up.

I am scared for the removal because of the precariousness of the limb which appears to be about 28" in diameter. The trunk of the tree itself is approximately 3 1/2 feet.

Any experience in this area? Any suggestions?

The professional tree service is seeking frozen ground, low winds and warm air - that is asking allot from Mother Nature.

I have been waiting patiently and holding my breath - very fearful of this garden need.

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I expect someone's already pointed this out, but what will make life a lot easier is getting this done before the tree comes into leaf. When is the 'surgery' scheduled?

Thank you all very much! Fantastic advice and great tips. I have some more work to do! :) Will keep you posted. Wish me luck!


CWillie's described the process well.

The 28" inch diameter trunk might be cut in sections, i.e., the bottom 1/2, then the top 1/2" - it depends on the best way to control the limb.

If the crew can get a cherry picker close up, the hydraulic lift will be raised with a man in the bucket. He'll probably rope off the overhanging limbsin sections, also lowering them in sections to the men on the ground maneuvering the ropes, creating tension to prevent the limb from free falling after cut.

If a cherry picker can't get in, a climber with spikes on his shoes, like mountain climbers use, will climb the tree, rope it in sections, and those sections will be cut and lowered using tension on the ropes provided by the guys on the ground.

Watch how the guys create that tension, maneuver the limb and safely lower it to the ground.

It's a fascinating process to watch. I've seen some really top notch guys take down dangerous trees, and do so very safely.

The owner of one of the services I hired told me he paid for his workers to go to tree cutting classes/school to learn advanced techniques.

What they also might enjoy is some refreshments. I bought 3 pizzas and some pop for them, although this was in the summertime.

If it is windy, though, they'll likely reschedule. Some trees are too unsafe to work on during winds, especially high winds.

Make sure you watch the show - it'll relieve you as you see pros in action.

First time I had trees cut, I saved the limbs, cut them in half and laid them out to create different beds. Those old logs are valuable to gardenaholics!

You could also pay them to chip up the logs, if you want to chips for mulch. It's not agreed by gardeners whether putting fresh wood mulch on the garden depletes nitrogen. For me it did; perennials and plant leaves turned yellow.
I think it's best to let the chips decompose for several months before using as mulch, unless you want to get rid of weeds.

you could try what i did . many years ago we asked the power company to drop some trees for us . they took a look and said those trees were more our problem than theirs . i asked the wife to call back and tell them her ridiculous , drunk husband was out in the garage sharpening up his saws . it worked . i was gonna make it their problem ..
he . god bless idiots -- we rock ..

I've got a couple of walnut trees on my property that needed pruning. They couldn't be accessed with the cherry picker lift because the houses are too close together, so they sent two men who climbed right up into the tree tops. They roped the branches and lowered them to the ground while dangling from their own climbing harnesses, it was really cool to see!

the tree hoppers know what theyre doing . just make em send you a proof of liability insurance certificate . they rope the limbs , sever them and lower them to the ground . its almost a science ..

This past fall I had two tall dead trees removed and it was fascinating watching these guys work. Now a days, depending on the tree, they no longer climb up a tree but shoot up weights on heavy cords to wrap around the limbs and use some type of saw device on long poles to cut the limbs.

Now with HomeCareWI's tree they might need to climb to cut due to the large size, but will be able to direct the limb away from the house. Wish I could be there to watch !!

The tree service will know what to do so everyone is safe. Last summer I had three huge pines taken down. They were close to the house, made i dark and I feared they'd come down on us if hit by lightning (which often happens out here in the country). The crew did a great job, chipped everything and piled the chips at the back of the property to use as mulch.

Hi FreqFlyer,

Thank you for your empathy - needed that one!

Yes, the tree care company was carefully chosen and yet, I will be so thankful when it is safely down. I can handle debris but the dangerous process is fought with too many risks - both to the home and to the safety of the workers.

If the tree weren't such as nuisance, I would most certainly try to save this 80 year old friend of the neighborhood but alas the tree is overgrown for the area and poses a danger with its five trunks within 10 feet of my neighbors 2 story home.

I wish the tree was planted 10 feet further away and I would not have this dilemma and massive expense.

I love my garden, love trees but silver maples are messy, yes, they do grow quickly and 90% of the year are just fine.

I won't miss the thousands of seedlings in my garden but I will miss the priceless shade.

Whew, I can fully understand your fear that this limb might come down, I've been through that a few times with some of my trees.

As long as your are using a well-known professional tree service that is licensed, bonded, and insured, the crew will know what to do.

In fact, they might be able to trim the tree after removal of that huge limb to balance it out thus no need to have the whole tree removed. But if you feel safer with that tree totally gone, I can understand.

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