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Am I stupid? Cut down large tree myself with bucket?

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by unclemoustache, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. unclemoustache

    unclemoustache My 'stache is bigger than yours.

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    A friend has a beautiful Pecan tree he wants to get rid of. It's about 50' tall, and not in a place where it can be felled. I thought I might rent a lift or bucket of some kind and chop it down to size until it's short enough to fell. I really doubt he'll spend the money to have the local pros cut it down. All I want is the firewood, and a hundred bucks for the effort couldn't hurt either.

    Is there a bucket or lift that could get up to 45' or 50' that wouldn't be too expensive to rent? Am I foolish to try and attempt such a thing on my own? I've no wish to have my wife and six kids bury me before my time.

    Thanks,
     
  2. valekbrothers

    valekbrothers AboristSite Guru

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    Check with your local rental place. Some of the have a towable lift that with reach those heights.........

    Good luck and be safe.......
     
  3. STLfirewood

    STLfirewood Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Where in Il are you. I just bought a 50ft towable boom. It's a Genie tz50/30
     
  4. unclemoustache

    unclemoustache My 'stache is bigger than yours.

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    I'm in Mascoutah - about 23 miles from StL. Wanna try out your new rig? Maybe we can split the wood or work a deal.
     
  5. danrclem

    danrclem Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
  6. Mike PA

    Mike PA AboristSite Guru

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    In my opinion, yes, you are stupid to try it. I say that because I did that not too long ago and did not enjoy one minute of it. We had a bunch of trees to clear along a road to put in a power line. Some of the trees we could not safely drop, so a buddy had the bright idea to rent a lift and cut what we could. We were careful and took our time and everything went fine, but we both agreed that we would not do that again for somebody else. Rented a 65 foot lift, which was barely enough.

    BTW - we did it for someone else, too. They paid for the rental, but we took no money for the job, as it didn't feel right. We had no insurance in case something went wrong, and it didn't seem right to charge a fee, not being professional and offering the assurance that a pro would. I would not do it alone, either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009
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  7. avalancher

    avalancher Arboristsite Raconteur

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    If you are new to taking trees down, then leave something that big to someone that has a little more experience.
    Sure, a bucket is great to get you up in the tree, but it isnt going to help matters at all when things go wrong.In fact, it can be MORE dangerous at times.
    Limbs will not always drop straight to the ground like you want, and a limb coming back at you in a bucket is a good way to a burial plot.A quick search on Youtube will give you plenty of videos of guys getting smashed while in a bucket.
    If I were you, get someone with some experience to at least give you hand. Personally, I have never felt as safe in a bucket as I did on a rope.I tried it only twice, and from what I gathered from the pros, they resort to a bucket truck to speed the operation up, not make it safer.
    Someone will come along with a lot more experience than me and disagree, and thats fine.But, with the experience that I do have, a bucket is not the answer if you are new to the tree felling arena.
     
  8. Raymond

    Raymond Addicted to ArboristSite

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    OK here's what you do.
    :computer: You let your buddy hire a pro to do the tree but have them leave the wood behind. It'll save him some money for sure. Then you go and get the wood already piled up (ON THE GROUND) and take it home.

    You can thank me later. :)
     
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  9. wkpoor

    wkpoor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I've thought about it myself. Just rent a Genie or JLG ( had them both over at my place in the past) and take it down small limb at a time. Just cutting off 16" pieces at a time. Seems like that ought to make it safer. Not cutting loose whole limbs just firewood sized stuff until it down.
     
  10. mga

    mga Tree Freak

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    it would sure beat climbing.

    a bucket is the ticket for high jobs, just be sure you aren't afraid of heights...lol...they get pretty freaky up there when they sway around.

    and, as wkpoor suggested, cut small sections at a time. you don't want a huge branch knocking you over or ripping any hydraulic lines (if any)

    if near a house or structure, tie the branches and have your ground people lower them.

    have fun up there and work safe!!!
     
  11. savageactor7

    savageactor7 AboristSite Guru

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    I wouldn't recommend you do that unclemoustache it's a whole different very unforgiving world up there.
     
  12. Labman

    Labman AboristSite Guru

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    I have survived 2 lift rental projects without any scares. The more experience you have working from the ground, the safer. Of course if that experience has included many hasty retreats, you run out of running room quite quickly in a bucket.

    Do you have much experience tying off stuff and lowering it?
     
  13. danrclem

    danrclem Addicted to ArboristSite

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    When I used a bucket it wasn't that bad for me. It did feel weird at first but I got used to it pretty fast. I think that common sense and not being paranoid are the two main things when using a bucket. I think that dropping a huge tree from the ground is more dangerous than what I did from a bucket. If you feel as though you'll be very scared when you're up in a bucket then I'd say don't do it.

    If I did it again I'd rent a bucket that would go higher. I had to take a long section out of the top of each tree. Like some of the others have said, drop small pieces. I definately wouldn't use a bucket around power lines.

    If you decide to go for it just take plenty of time to think each cut out.
     
  14. Mike Van

    Mike Van Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Did you price the rental yet? With delivery & pickup fees, they aren't cheap - Get a rental price & one from a treeman, then see if you think it's worth it -
     
  15. wkpoor

    wkpoor Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The tow behinds are way way cheaper than having a tree taken down. Even a 50 footer will only run you about 250.00. I rented a 34' JLG last year and it was 194.00 everything out the door and back. When you factor no tree man will show for anything less than 500.00 but maybe more like 1000.00 the rental lift is certainly cheaper if your up to using one. Depending on the tree you could save thousands.
    Of course there is always situations for a bonded tree company. I probably wouldn't use this method unless I were doing it for myself and was willing to take the risk.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2009

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