DIM (Do-it-myself) Tree Removal

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Old 05-28-15, 08:18 AM
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DIM (Do-it-myself) Tree Removal

I have about a 40' tree in my backyard that I'd like to remove. Being the DIM kind of person, I'd like to save some money and cut it down myself. My main concern is that the tree is leaning towards my deck and house. However, there is plenty of room for the tree to fall elsewhere. Problem is getting it to fall in the direction I want. I was thinking of securing a chain about half way up the tree and attaching the other end to a much more substantial tree about 30' behind it and to the right. That way when it falls, it will be diverted away from the house. Am I foolish for attempting this myself? I really don't want to pay upwards of $1,000 to have it removed and other than the deck, there isn't anything else within 50 feet of the tree. Seems like if I tie a chain to the opposite side towards which it is leaning and make my cut on the side where I generally want it to fall, that I should be okay. I realize things don't always go as planned though. If I decide to DIM, I'll be sure to get it on tape
 
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Old 05-28-15, 08:59 AM
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Rather then attaching it to another tree, I would attach the chain to the trailer hitch of a truck and have somebody pull it while cutting. Unless you don't care if the other tree gets wrecked by the chain damaging the bark. The higher you can get the rope/chain the easier it will be to guide the tree where you want it to go. I would DIY this for sure.
 
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Old 05-28-15, 08:59 AM
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That is a plan and since we cannot see the tree you're dealing with it will be up to your judgement. I will caution that I have broken cables and winches when forcing trees to fall against their lean. Some trees go perfect and easily while I've had others break 2'000 lb cable.

When forcing a tree I attach the cable or chain as high as possible in the tree coming down. Then I take slight tension on the chain so it cannot fall in the bad direction. Then make my notch cut and take as much tension on the chain as possible. Sometimes that's enough to get the tree to snap at the notch and fall. If not then I carefully make the back cut. Since it's under tension you'll see the cut open and eventually pop and hopefully fall in the direction you're pulling. In no case do I cut completely through the trunk. I always leave several inches of wood as a hinge to prevent the bottom of the trunk from kicking in the wrong direction.
 
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Old 05-28-15, 09:03 AM
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Thanks for the tips. I think it's worth a shot.
 
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Old 05-28-15, 05:30 PM
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I agree with Dane, the proper use of notches, and even wedges, can make a bad tree fall in the correct direction. I also agree with making a hinge. There are many videos on youtube on how the correctly drop a tree.
 
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