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Removal Of 60ft Poplar - Click HERE for Original Thread

BrknFngrs
We're looking to cut down a large poplar on my mothers property. It's about 60ft tall and about 3-4 feet in diameter at the base.

My mother wants to hire a crew to come in and cut it down, chip up the pieces, mulch the stump and haul everything away. I'd really like to cut down the tree myself as I don't think it would be particularly difficult (just time consuming) and I would imagine that most of the cost for the project would be having the crew cut down the tree branch by branch.

I've got harnesses and belay devices that would be used (sport climbing), and I've worked with chain saws in the past. I don't think that they would use a bucket truck since it's one tree on a residential property so I would imagine they would just be climbing up as well and cutting branches off.

Has anyone done anything like this on their own that could chime in? Is this a reasonable home-owner project or is this something you should leave to the pro's? What would a person expect to pay for something like this?
BokCh0y
Seeing that your fingers are broken...not sure how'd you cut the tree down :D

My Aunt had a hugeass pine tree in her backyard - very similar spec's to your Mom's poplar but i'd say it was about 40 ft tall.

Anyways I talked to a few peeps about doing it myself. The general consensus from everyone was to hire a pro. The pros have a crew that handle the cutting down and disposable, if you were to do it yourself it would take a considerable amount of time. Not to mention a tree that tall needs to be cut down in pieces....i can just see your next post....

"I cut down my Mom's tree, it fell and crushed her and the neighbors house, plus i broke all my fingers. I need a lawyer - HELP!!!" Hahaha.

The cost to cut down and dispose of my Aunt's pine tree was $450 all in. I can get you the contact info if you like. Let me know.
Davetronz
I think it would probably be much better to hire an arborist...
A 60ft tree is going to be a bit heavier and more difficult to handle than you might think.

A crew was taking down a tree behind my fiance's parents in Lake Bonavista. They were working on it for nearly a week and had 2-3 guys. There's definitely a process to follow if you want to do it safely and properly.
Graham_A_M
Probably about $400-500 if the pros do it.

What you need to do is assess the surrounding area and what the tree COULD fall onto. Its easy to say the tree can and SHOULD fall someway, but in my experience that doesn't always happen, as downing trees can be almost unpredictable at times.

Take a look at the proper cuts needed to make the tree fall in a certain position (use youtube & Google it), but also use ropes (and vehicles to pull on the said ropes) towards guiding the tree, where you want it to fall. With both then 95% of the time they'll go smoothly. The key is to use enough rope that the vehicles are a safe distance, and they know when the tree is about to break, whereas they need to drive off at just the right moment (when its teetering/about to break loose I mean). Tie a wieght on the end of the rope and from there toss it around some strong limbs, and thus secure it so the ropes are properly tied, and very secure. The higher the better obviously as you'll have more leverage.

From there it'll fall on the road or wherever you want it to go. Just buck up the limbs into small pieces and haul them away. Then (be VERY careful as quite a significant amount of accidents happen while bucking) slowly and VERY methodically cut the tree into small chunks that are also movable. Its extremely important you think things through as if you make the wrong cut while bucking the main tree (or even large load bearing limbs) that the tree can shift and move unexpectantly. With a chainsaw at hand this can and has led to some serious accidents, or crushings.

I also mean: keep in mind that the tree will want to pinch the sawblade/bar as its weight puts pressure on certain points. Keep this in mind, as its sometimes a frickin' gongshow trying to get a pinched chainsaw bar out.... trust me on that. :banghead:
So like I say, plan out the whole process very well, and know exactly what you're doing well before you even think about firing up that chainsaw to begin with.
Alterac
Its not that hard, back a number of years ago my parents cut the two massive poplar trees down themselfs in our backyard.

Harness, Climb up, Set ropes, etc.. And use extra rope to tie onto the peice your cutting off, (use the branch under it for a pully branch, cut, and lower.

Slow and steady, dont cut too much down at once, rinse repeat.

Get beer, have Fire, drink beer. :D
spikers
well, if you decide to do it yourself, I will help with the disposal costs as I need some firewood. willing to help with the rest of it too.
BrknFngrs
Originally posted by BokCh0y
I can just see your next post....
"I cut down my Mom's tree, it fell and crushed her and the neighbors house, plus i broke all my fingers. I need a lawyer - HELP!!!" Hahaha.



Haha this is what I'm trying to avoid.

Originally posted by Davetronz
A crew was taking down a tree behind my fiance's parents in Lake Bonavista. They were working on it for nearly a week and had 2-3 guys. There's definitely a process to follow if you want to do it safely and properly.



I didn't realize it was such a long process, I assumed that a pro could take it down in a day or an amateur in a weekend.

Originally posted by Graham_A_M
Probably about $400-500 if the pros do it.



See at this price, I don't think I could be bothered to do it myself. Based on the fact that BokChoy was saying a spruce cost this much I figured a big poplar would be significantly more.

What you're saying makes sense though, I think the key is plan the cuts so you don't end up overweighting on side of the tree or having a limb take an ackward fall onto something.

Originally posted by Alterac
Its not that hard, back a number of years ago my parents cut the two massive poplar trees down themselfs in our backyard.

Harness, Climb up, Set ropes, etc.. And use extra rope to tie onto the peice your cutting off, (use the branch under it for a pully branch, cut, and lower.

Slow and steady, dont cut too much down at once, rinse repeat.

Get beer, have Fire, drink beer. :D



Haha this is exactly how I was planning on doing it I never thought of the pulley though, definitely a better idea the bigger pieces just fall.

Originally posted by spikers
well, if you decide to do it yourself, I will help with the disposal costs as I need some firewood. willing to help with the rest of it too.



Thanks for the offer, I'll definitely let you know what we end up doing. Regardless of how it comes down I suspect we'll have a bunch of wood available :thumbsup:

cancer man
Hire a Pro you'll live longer,I did it once and never again.
You need the proper gear and make sure you have a wack of insurance.
topmade
Check with the City first, I don't know the bylaws, but I know if it's in the front you'll need to get approval from like 10 or so neighbors. If you don't and they find out, you'll get a hefty fine. This happened to one of my uncles that lives in Hawkwood. I think one of the neighbors ratted him out haha. I think if it's in the back they don't care.

Either way, the size of your gramda's tree pretty big and a lot of work, I would hire a crew to do it if it were me.
ExtraSlow
If this is within 100 feet of any houses, overhead wires, or parked cars, I'd hire a pro just for liability reasons. Pretty much any city lot will have one of hese nearby. If this is in the country somewhere, I'd have no problem doing it yourself.

Sure any jerk with a chainsaw can fall a tree, but to do it safely and without damage to property you're better off bringing in the pros.

If money is really tight, you could ask if you'll get a deal for cutting it up and hauling it away yourself.
core_upt
Found this info on the city website:
http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server...lar+Removal.htm

Also, she will have to deal with the suckers for a few years.
BrknFngrs
Thanks for all the replies.

I wasn't aware that people in the neighborhood had to give you the "ok" to take it down, definitely glad that came up. Based on the link it seems like the first step is to put in for approval with the city regardless of whether or not I hire a pro or tackle it myself. It seems like it would be a fairly fun project but I suppose the potential liability is pretty huge as well.
ExtraSlow
I thought it was only on the city owned boulevards that you had to get everyone's OK to take down trees. Can someone provide some backup for this?
spikers
like i said, i will help with the disposal, and a chipper should not be much to rent for an afternoon to freshen up her flower beds :)

I will take as much wood as becomes available, at no cost, and help where i can
BrknFngrs
I reread the link and it does seem to refer to public spaces and roadways, but Topmades post makes me wonder if it extends to front yards as well. I'll have to try and reach someone at the city to find out.

Originally posted by spikers
like i said, i will help with the disposal, and a chipper should not be much to rent for an afternoon to freshen up her flower beds :)

I will take as much wood as becomes available, at no cost, and help where i can



I will definitily let you know when we decide to do it because there is no sense putting the wood to waste.

topmade
Like I said, I have no idea what the rules are, I just know that my uncle got a big fine, like $5k when he did this himself. The tree was right beside the car in the driveway, about 2 meters back from the road and the branches were scratching up his cars from getting in and out from the driveway.

Here's a pic of where he lives for reference.
sputnik
Originally posted by topmade
Like I said, I have no idea what the rules are, I just know that my uncle got a big fine, like $5k when he did this himself. The tree was right beside the car in the driveway, about 2 meters back from the road and the branches were scratching up his cars from getting in and out from the driveway.



Sounds like he cut down the boulevard tree planted on the city right of way.

ryaraines
If you find out that it is ok to remove the trees, we used Arbourcare a couple years ago to remove 2 big half dead spruce trees in our back yard. It was about $500 plus extra for the stump removal. It was done and cleaned up in under 2 or 3 hours from what I remember. You can call them and they can come out and do an estimate for you.
blueToy
Cutting down a 60 foot poplar is not something to be tried by someone with no experience , period . One small error and not only can you cause tens-of- thousands of dollars of damages , but you can easily get killed doing it . There is a reason why its very expensive , cause its got lots of liability . One limb could weight thousands of pounds , are you prepared to either know exacty how to cut each limb to drop it exactly where you want it , or even how to tie it off to the tree and lower it down safetly ?? Do you have the proper gear , etc ?

I had a 65-70 foot poplar cut down about 11 years ago . Two experienced people ( and me ) took two days to get it down , plus another day for bucking of the larger stuff , clean up , etc . Can't remember exactly how much , but I got four quotes and chose the guy I trusted the most , I think he was second cheapest ?

Anyway , call city hall and look into all the legal stuff first . As mentioned , cutting the wrong tree , even if it's on your property , can get you into some big fines . Good luck .
bignerd
Here's the most important part: Professionals are bonded and insured. This means if the tree falls on the neighbors house, your house, your car-it is all covered.

If you do it and fuck it up, you have to pay for any damage. With a tree that big I would just go all pro. To many "if's".
Supa Dexta
500$ isn't bad at all really. Hell my chainsaw cost quite a bit more then that.. But I've heard numbers in the 1500-2k range before for taking down large trees close to homes... I don't see how a crew of 2-3 guys could work a week for 500$...:nut:
richardchan2002
If you start from the top and chop it down in small enough pieces, you probably won't have to worry about damaging property.

You'll just have to think about if it's worth the time and take risk of injury into account.
dr_jared88
I had some trees appraised just recently. Keep in mind this is in Regina so I have no idea how similar prices are but if they can get to it with a bucket truck you are looking at about $400-$500. If they can't and have to do it manually you're probably looking at about $1000. We ended up doing our two by ourselves. Time consuming and a pain but did save $2000.
bituerbo
About 1-2 months ago we just had a 100ft poplar come down in our back yard. I believe it was $900 to remove it and haul away the debris. Red line shows the shadow from that tree, compare to the shadow cast by the houses for an idea of how big this thing was. There were many houses/driveways/garages that this could have hit had a limb come down in an unexpected manner.

Property damage/potential for injury or death are serious concerns if this tree is near anything of value.

510-Trevor
The City only cares about trees that are on their right of way, I believe that the right of way extends about 10 feet from the road or sidewalk. If in doubt, call the city, they have a register of all the trees they consider as their property. I went through this when I bought my house.

I did get a willow cut down that was closer to the house, it was about 40ft tall, cost $400 to cut down to fire wood, and grind the stump. They relocated the fire wood to my back yard as part of the cost, but would have taken it away for no extra charge. It only took about 4hrs.
BrknFngrs
Lots of good feedback in this thread. We confirmed with the city that they don't care about this tree as it's on my mothers property. My mom found a few companies that use bucket trucks which makes it a fairly cheap process so I suspect that's the best alternative.
sputnik
I suggest you just cut it down yourself. How hard could it be? Its just a tree made of wood and leaves. Why waste the money getting a "pro" when you just need a saw or axe.

Make sure you post before and after pictures and maybe a video of it falling on YouTube.

Good luck!
spikers
well, I will still offer to take away as much firewood as you will offer in an attempt to cut down disposal costs.
BrknFngrs
Well the tree was downed on the weekend and it was a pretty painless process. The guys from Pro-Trim brought it down in about 3 hours total.

spikers check your pm
civic roller
Originally posted by topmade
Like I said, I have no idea what the rules are, I just know that my uncle got a big fine, like $5k when he did this himself. The tree was right beside the car in the driveway, about 2 meters back from the road and the branches were scratching up his cars from getting in and out from the driveway.

Here's a pic of where he lives for reference.




My Parents live on the same steet. The Poplar tress are a nightmare.

They live on a corner lot so they have a Poplar Tree on the front lawn and then about 5 of them running along the side.

The roots on those trees are SO bad, my parents pretty much have no grass left in the front yard (because the roots have taken over) also the roots have started to lift the cement up on the walkway to the house

We have called the City a thousand times, and they will not let us remove the tree

core_upt
Spring pruning time....

BrknFngrs: was the Poplar in the front or backyard??

I am trying to have a birch tree removed from my front lawn and just want to make sure I'm not chopping down a city tree - apparently they own anything within 6m of a roadway? The city is coming out to do an assesment but it could be over 15 days and I have a crew coming to prune a large tree in the back this week.
BrknFngrs
The tree we had downed was in the front yard and was definitely within 6 meters of the roadway; though I didn't come across this "6 meters from the roadway" rule when I was researching and speaking to the city. Have you tried calling them or did you read that somewhere?
ExtraSlow
Check your real property report to determine where the city owned land is. It's different on each street, and it's much less than 6m on many.
If the tree is on city land, you can submit a request for pruning through the 311 website.



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