Cutting down a Silver Maple

orchid_elaineDecember 18, 2008

My husband plans to get the chainsaw out and cut down or 20 year old Silver Maple in our front lawn. Is there anything we should know before he begins? What is the best way to remove the stump and surface roots? Will it send shoots up in the yard after we cut it down?

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Assuming he knows how to cut a 20' tree down safely with a chain saw the only issue left will be the problem of the sprouting stump. Maybe leave the stump high enough to put a chain around it and pull it out with a vehicle, if possible. Otherwise it will have to be dug out or destroyed with stump killer. Or maybe you should arrange to have it pulverized using a stump grinder.

How thick is the trunk of the tree?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 5:41PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

So it's not 20' tall, it's 20 years old and probably much bigger than 20'. If there is any question about your husband being able to cut this one down safely maybe you should put him in an arm lock or hide the saw and get some estimates from some tree services.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 5:43PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

"...Is there anything we should know before he begins?..."

Knowing how to fell it where you want it to go would seem a priority. Knowing what it will hit as it falls is another. I agree with bboy. If you need to ask, perhaps an estimate is in order.


    Bookmark   December 18, 2008 at 9:28PM
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If your husband will not hire this to be done, he needs to have other men out there with him as this work is being done.

Hope he knows to first cut branches off before trying to cut down the trunk or trunks.

The branches also need to have ropes tied to them, and someone on the ground directing each branch to fall into clear areas that will not be damaged by any of the falling branches.

Then once all the branches are removed the top of the trunks can be cut in manageable sections, but they also need ropes tied to them, which will keep them from falling into anything beneath that will be damaged.

Lots of tree trimmers who do not use a bucket truck will use spiked shoes and harness ropes to first climb trees, but once up as high as needed in the tree to make the above described cuts, the spikes make moving around, to get best angle access for doing the cutting, difficult.

Lots of times, if hiring a company to cut down such a large old tree, it can cost upwards towards a couple thousand dollars. The cost for this can be decreased some, if the professionals are hired to only cut down the tree, and your husband agrees, along with some of his friends, to cut it up and remove it from your front yard.

A couple thousand dollars may seem like a lot of money to spend for having the tree removed by professionals, but it is a lot less than the medical bills which would be incurred if your husband or one of his friends get seriously injured. It could also cost a lot more if valuable property beneath the tree's canopy spread are damaged by falling limbs or trunks.

I have heard reported that professional tree trimmer crews have one of the highest percentages of severe injury and even deaths happening to workers compared with most other jobs.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 12:32AM
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OA, from everything about your post, I highly advise getting this done by pros.....and highly doubt you will;^(

Katrina is correct-tree work is right at the top for severe injuries, up to and including death.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 4:12AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Anyone who is not an experienced arborist and climber has no business being up a tree with a chainsaw in their hands. Period.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 1:11PM
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terrene(5b MA)

I've had dozens of Norway maples cut down in my yard ranging from 1 inch to 32 inch diameter. Two friends who have chain saws have helped remove the smaller trees up to about 8 inches diameter. These guys are relatively experienced with using chain saws, however they will not climb nor go up on a ladder to do any cuts. They will only cut the trees (and occasionally limbs) from the ground and drop the whole thing. When it came to anything larger, or trees that cannot be dropped freely and safely, I hired a tree service.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 8:23PM
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That is your best advice, stay on the ground or have someone else do it.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2008 at 10:36PM
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