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Thread: Removal Of 60ft Poplar

  1. #1
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    Default Removal Of 60ft Poplar

    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?

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    Seeing that your fingers are broken...not sure how'd you cut the tree down

    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.
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    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.

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    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.
    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.
    Last edited by Graham_A_M; 08-10-2009 at 11:01 PM.
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    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.

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    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.
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    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.
    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

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    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.
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    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.

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    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.
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  11. #11
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    Found this info on the city website:
    http://www.calgary.ca/portal/server....ar+Removal.htm

    Also, she will have to deal with the suckers for a few years.

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    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.

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    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?
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    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
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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 .

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    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".

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