Tree removal requires a very different skill set than tree trimming. Many companies specialize in tree removal, but not tree trimming, and vice-versa. There are few companies out there who have employees with the skills necessary to do both scientific pruning to ISA standards and also the ability to safely and effectively remove tricky and potentially dangerous trees in the urban environment.
Required tree removal skills: rigging knowledge
Typically, certain “rigging” knowledge is necessary to safely cut and lower large heavy scaffold limbs high in a trees canopy using rope, knots, and various devices such as pulleys, false crotches and pricey lowering tools.
Step 1: In almost all cases in the urban setting, the limbs are stripped from the main trunk and lowered safely to the ground.
Step 2: Next, specialized spiked metal attachments called “tree spikes” are strapped onto the climbers’ boots. These tree spikes allow the tree removal specialist to move up and down the tree trunk safely without the use of scaffold limbs and the remainder of the tree trunk is sectioned off in “cookies” or small manageable sections and either dropped or lowered safely to the ground.
Tree removal estimates can vary tremendously
Estimates for tree removals can vary tremendously. Large and especially difficult removals can cost many thousands of dollars. Factors such as size, location and species all impact the effort and cost of the removal.
For example, a large live oak in the backyard over a house can take several days to safely remove and dispose of the brush and debris. Live oak wood takes a long time to cut through due to its density, and large back yard trees have to be brought to the front yard to be chipped and the wood loaded once on the ground. Live oak wood is also extremely heavy and has to be cut into small enough sizes to load onto the wood truck.
Quick and easy tree removal
Conversely, a medium sized cottonwood tree or Chinese tallow in the front yard close to the street with nothing but lawn below it is a quick and easy removal. The wood on these species is soft, easy to cut through, and typically light weight. Also, when close to the street, the wood truck can park next to the tree and the limbs can be immediately loaded. The distance is also minimized for loading up the wood.
Dead Tree Removal
Dead tree removals are especially dangerous. Most dead tree removals require an aerial lift or “bucket”. When a tree has been standing dead for some time, it becomes unsafe to climb. The tree can no longer support itself safely and certainly cannot safely support the weight of a man. The bucket allows the tree removal specialist to carefully rig down the limbs without compromising his own safety.
Importance of removal for inaccessible dead backyard trees
For this reason, inaccessible backyard trees must be removed in a timely manner after they die. If left too long, they will become unsafe to climb and a bucket cannot reach them. If these trees are large and over structures, a dangerous situation can arise over time. Storms can also be a huge factor in these situations. Many times I have had to decline homeowners’ back yard tree removals where old standing and unsafe aerial lift inaccessible dead trees are involved.
Hire only highly trained tree removal experts
In summary, tree removals should be done by highly trained tree removal experts with a good reputation and proper insurance. Not all tree care companies have employees with the skill sets and experience necessary to safely and efficiently remove large and difficult trees around structures. The cheapest estimate may not always be the wisest choice. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Always ask for insurance and references.
Many municipalities require permits for tree removals. These are usually based on trunk diameter at 4.5 feet from grade, and some are also based on species. When in doubt, call your local municipality to discuss these requirements in detail before proceeding. You may be required to fill out forms or the city arborist may need to come out and meet with you. Dead trees can always be removed without a permit.
If you have a question about the health of a tree, or need an estimate for a tree removal, please contact us for a free quote at 205-531-2067