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Safely taking down a 28" ash

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Andrew Clarke, Jun 13, 2017.

  1. Andrew Clarke

    Andrew Clarke ArboristSite Lurker

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    Hi there. I have a fairly large ash tree I want to take down before it's destroyed by emerald ash borers. It sucks but if I'm lucky I can still use the lumber for a floor.

    I've been using chainsaws for a couple decades but I've never taken down a tree this big on my own. I have a Husqvarna 545 with a 15" bar, since most of my cutting is a lot smaller than this. The internet tells me the largest bar recommended for my saw is 20".

    So, what's the safest way for me to do this myself? It's fairly straight but of course is a large tree with lots of branches going in every direction. I've read that ash has a tendency to barber and I want to avoid that both for my own safety and due to the fact that I want the lumber. I've read about plunge cutting technique and watched videos on it but I've never tried it.

    Right now my plans is:
    - Ask here for ideas
    - Maybe/probably get a 20" bar and chain for my saw
    - Strap the tree to help keep it from barber chairing
    - Use some sort of plunge cut technique to cut it down.

    If anyone has any pointers for me, I'd very much appreciate them. Thanks!
     
  2. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    FYI eab does not ruin the logs for use as lumber.... so if u like your tree and it's alive you can keep it until it shows signs of eab.

    Do you have a pic of the tree? We can give you all kinds of advice but it all may be poor advice if we have no idea what we are working with...

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
     
  3. Andrew Clarke

    Andrew Clarke ArboristSite Lurker

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    Thanks. I'd been told it would ruin the lumber and just took that at face value. I've been reading today that it only destroys the outside under the bark, confirming what you've said. Next time I'm out I'll take a photo of the tree. It's in a bush so it's not particularly photogenic.
     
    chipper1 likes this.
  4. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    1) If it is a pretty straight forward drop, you can probably hire somebody to just fell the tree for about the same money as a new bar and chain. That is asking a lot our of a 45cc saw. It will do it...but not a lot of fun.

    2) A proper plunge cut for directional felling prevents barber chair...but you probably don't want your first time on that to be a tree larger than your bar. Practice on a bunch of smaller trees first.

    3) While EAB does stay outside of the wood, the standing trees QUICKLY degrade once killed. If the bark is loose, it is pretty useless for lumber. It is not necessarily the bark being loose, but rather that is an indicator the tree has been dead for about 2 years which is about the amount of time it takes. Secondary pests (mostly powderpost beetles, some ambrosia beetles) get in there and they do go deeper. Also, the wood splits quite a bit once it is sawn if the tree has been dead for a couple of years. Many sawmills around here figured that out the hard way. If you want the lumber, it is wise to cut it before it does. However, if you want the tree, treatment is not that difficult or expensive (relatively speaking....depending how much you value the tree!)
     
    Jed1124 likes this.
  5. Andrew Clarke

    Andrew Clarke ArboristSite Lurker

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    I was apparently looking at the wrong ash tree. I went out with my wife to look at it and take some photos, and she showed me the one I was supposed to be looking at. A quick measurement puts that diameter at around 39", well beyond what I'm going to attempt with my saw. Probably both trees should come out, and I've called a couple local companies. Estimates for just the 28" tree were about $200-300 before coming out to look.
     
  6. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Did you tell them younkust wanted or felled with a single cut?

    Try calling logging companies too... a logger would probably donut on a rainy day when he can't be in the woods. If there is danger of causing damage, they may not have the right insurance though....
     
  7. Andrew Clarke

    Andrew Clarke ArboristSite Lurker

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    No, no danger of damage. Just want it cut. It lands in an alfalfa field, and I'm limbing it up from there and getting the lumber out myself. I called two places. One was $200 and one was $200-300. Keep in mind this is CAD so CAD200 == USD150
     
  8. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Sounds like a good deal to me

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
     
  9. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Just to stop out, drop a tree and be on my merry way...depending on how far from home, but I'd be closer to $50 plus travel...another 30-40 for the second one.
     
  10. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    If I go look at a job and it turns out to be an easy flopper they only want it put on the ground keeping everything I normally say somewhere between 50 and 100 bucks just cause I'm already there. And yes I always do estimates with a chainsaw in the vehicle. If it was a separate trip out I'd say 100 to 150 depending how easy it is.

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  11. md_tree_dood

    md_tree_dood ArboristSite Operative

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    Anyone who quotes you a price to remove a tree based on DBH without seeing it is an idiot. How can you give someone a price to remove a tree without knowing it's condition, targets, and access?

    Get some estimates for reputable tree companies in your area. If you want to know if they are reputable, ask them to give you a price before coming out, if they do, they aren't reputable.....
     
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  12. no tree to big

    no tree to big Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Dude if you read back you will see this is a no target flopper. So best case you notch and drop worst case you set a rope and your amigo pulls either way as long as it is truly a no target flop that's an easy price

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  13. Mustang71

    Mustang71 ArboristSite Guru

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    No danger and falling in a field I'd be all in on that one. Sounds like a fun time even with a smaller saw. I love dropping no risk trees especially big ones. They make a nice crash when they land.
     
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  14. Skeans

    Skeans Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Being in Canada that's going to be expensive to have a cutter come out being they have all the certification, for arborist I'm not sure they have to have it or not but that's some else that could drive price.

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  15. jefflovstrom

    jefflovstrom It was a beautiful day!

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    You were going to by a 20" bar and chain at first, so where were you going to buy it?, Go there and ask if they know 'a guy',,,,
    Jeff
     
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