help.....cutting down 40' tree


Old 11-09-06, 07:00 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: cheverly, MD
Posts: 83
help.....cutting down 40' tree

I have a tree that was damaged a fews years back during a storm. The top half of the tree was struck by lightning and the previous owner of my house had the top 1/2 removed. What's left is a 35-40' trunk (no branches), the trunk is about 4' to 5' in diameter.

there is a fence on one side and i'm sure i would be able to cut the tree down and have it fall into my yard where i want it, but i'm having trouble finding (rental) a chain saw large enough to do the job safely (w/one pass). can i cut the tree down using a smaller saw starting on one side on the trunk the going to the oposite side and matching the cut
i have never cut a tree down and this one looks relatively easy, but it is very large and this a normal practice to cut one side at a time on large trees

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Old 11-09-06, 08:00 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
Posts: 1,716
Having answered many a question on several arborists forums, and read the horror stories about homeowners and things gone wrong, I STRONGLY suggest you call a pro. What you are considering can be more costly then paying a professional to do it. Check their references and insurance in case something goes wrong and that fence jumps up at the tree!

Old 11-09-06, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: united states
Posts: 98
safty first

Newts' recommendation that you hire a professional for the job you described is spot on. With all due respect the fact you are asking the type questions you are is proof certain that you are not qualified to handle this project safely.

The tree you describe weighs thousands of pounds and is capable of enormous damage if things go a little wrong not to mention the chain saw danger alone.

This is one project that the money you might save by doing this yourself is no where near worth the potential risk.

In the blink of an eye a chain saw can do horrific damage, without professional training and sufficent experience chain saws should be left alone.

safty first, 39 years in the business and still learning...Greensboro_man
Old 12-08-06, 06:56 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Williamsport
Posts: 713
I have cut many tree's down for firewood, some smaller than yours listed some larger. It is a fairly easy to cut a tree down you just need to make sure it goes where u want it to which is the hard part. Is the tree straight vertical, any curves that would weigh the tree in the opposite direction you want it to fall?? Also when you could tie a rope to the tree and have people pull in the direction you want it to fall. First cut would be to make a 45 - 55 degree angle cut down towards the base. Make the cut on the side in which you want the tree to fall. Since it is 4 - 5 ft. in diameter you would have to make one of the 45-55 degree cuts on one side then go to the other side and make the same cut. Once done w/ that cut horizontal to the base and connect that cut w/ the angle cut. Once that is done you'll be able to kick out a wedge piece of the tree. Don't cut much more than 1/2 the thickness of the tree when making those first two cuts. Now swing around to the back of the tree and make another angle cut towards your wedge you just cut out. Make sure you keep your eye's up and ears open for the loud cracking to follow and timber down it goes.

But yes If you haven't done it before I would recommend a pro!!! Either that or atleast make it fun when you are doing it for your first time and invite some friends to watch and open a case of beer!!!!

Old 12-08-06, 08:40 AM
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Location: north
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do not forget to videotape the entire ordeal.

Those are some of the funniesst videos on AFV. You could win up to $100,000 if it is really good. That sure would help pay for all the damage that is possible if something goes wrong.

a 4 to 5 foot diameter tree? That is one big and heavy chunk of wood.

ps. be sure your truck is close or maybe even tied to the tree. I just love the one where the tree lands on the guys truck.
Old 12-08-06, 08:51 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: usa
Posts: 117
"But yes If you haven't done it before I would recommend a pro!!! Either that or atleast make it fun when you are doing it for your first time and invite some friends to watch and open a case of beer!!!!"

Geesh let's see.....Chain saw.......big under

Kinda irresponsible post in my view...but thats just me.

Old 12-08-06, 11:34 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: somewhere down in texas
Posts: 506
call the pro. get three bids and take the one who seems most qualified. also, i bet you have not thought about how difficult it would be to load and haul off a piece of wood that size. you couldnt load it by hand. let the contractor worry about that for you, good luck. go ahead with the beer and buds, but let the contractor be the entertainment.
note: buds meaning buddies!
Old 12-08-06, 02:05 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Williamsport
Posts: 713
Yes I agree, those are the really funny ones on AFV!! My dad, bro, and I always cut wood in the fall for the winter months and some trees we really had a blast on. They would get hung up in other trees and one yr I was on our tractor(on old Oliver 60) pulling it w/ a chain and I remember I had to jump off and run b/c it fell the towards me. Was coming right at me and landed about 25ft from the tractor, that is why it was so funny!! Also was cutting down a tree and I was watching and about 5 flying squirrels came barreling at me now that was neat!! I never saw any until then. Well Good luck!!
Old 12-08-06, 03:52 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Manitoba
Posts: 9,693
I too have experience cutting trees on an amateur level and I can say the one you have would not be appropriate for learning on.
When you hire someone be sure they have insurance......and don't just ask them but ask who their insurer is and check to see if their policy is still valid.
If this tree is within striking distance of anything, especially a house, a miscalculation would destroy what it falls on.

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