At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

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likegarden
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by likegarden »

Don't do it yourself when you are older than 70. I did a 25 ft tall juniper and by trying to cut the roots I damaged one knee permanently, though it was good exercise, and "I should have been able to do it". I definitely spent more than $200 at the doctors, and that $200 would have been the cost of an arborist doing it.
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Doom&Gloom wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:17 pm
Grt2bOutdoors wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:51 pm
tony5412 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:45 pm
ohai wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:37 pm How much would it cost to hire someone to chop those trees? I don't know if they are dangerous, unless they are near your house or structures that could be fallen on..
Not sure, haven't gotten any estimates. I'm guessing 400-500 for the smaller tree and have heard it can be quite expensive (1500+) the larger trees.
I had a 21 inch maple taken down last summer, it was about 40 feet tall and cost me $1,800. I have a quote of $1,200 to take down a 15-17 inch 30 foot or so high tree this spring. The costs go up the more climbing is involved. The maple had a much larger wingspan with large branches.
Climbing? I haven't had anyone climb a tree here in >15 years. The guys who do our trees have a handy-dandy remote controlled bucket lift with treads. It is fun to watch them work it, and it makes quick work of large trees. There are undoubtedly some tight areas they can't get to with it though.
My backyard abuts two other backyards where no bucket truck can go, hence the need to climb. They will be climbing again sometime later this spring, probably take them no more than an hour start to finish.
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Watty
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Watty »

miamivice wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:08 pm
Watty wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm If it damages something or hurts someone when it falls your insuance company will not pay the damages.
I don't believe this is a correct statement. If indeed they deny coverage for trees that are dead, please provide a link or citation.
A quick Google search found this.
However, homeowners insurance usually won't cover a loss caused by negligence or a maintenance-related issue. So if the tree was rotting and ready to fall down before the storm, homeowners insurance likely would not cover the damage the tree caused to your home.
https://www.allstate.com/tr/home-insura ... house.aspx
jharkin
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by jharkin »

dm200 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:37 pm
tony5412 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:42 pm
quantAndHold wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:22 pm I would get bids and have them both done at the same time. If you want it cut up for firewood, they can do that too. Not sure why you would want pine for firewood, though.
I hate to spend the money since there are other projects I need to spend on (including roof/gutts), but this is the first time I have needed to cut down trees since I bought the place so perhaps I have lucked out until this point. Pine doesn't make good firewood, eh?
Depending on the details and circumstances, sometimes folks with a chain saw (and who know how to use it safely) will cut down a tree for the firewood.
And then sue you when they hurt themselves.

NEVER do this. Somebody who doesn’t appreciate the risks and is willing to do this free is a huge risk to you. I partially heat with wood and hang out on a wood burning forum and none of the people seriously into this would take such risks on other people’s property without full liability coverage etc.. Tree companies charge the prices they do for a reason, those kids in the bucket truck are not getting rich.
whomever
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by whomever »

Just a comment: saying '50 ft tall' or '6 inch dia' doesn't give all that much information about the risk. A tall skinny pine on level ground, vertical and symmetrical, will be a lot easier to steer where you want than a similar height oak that's much bigger in diameter and asymmetric. Some species are more likely to have twisted grain and mot fall straight, etc, etc.

Similarly, a tree that is on flat open ground is safer to fell than the same tree on a steep slope or in a thicket, because it's easier to make tracks when it starts to go over. And it matters whether the worst case property damage scenario is that it hits nothing, that it hits a fence you can repair, or it takes out your living room.

As to the risk, I don't think any of us can decide that for anyone else. Is it too risky to arrange your own financial affairs, or should you leave it to the professionals? Is it too risky to commute via bicycle, or should you only go to work in an SUV driven by a trained professional driver? We can only each decide what we're comfortable with.

I've done alpine mountaineering, and had a motorcycle for years. There are trees I'll cut, and trees I won't, and things I'll do on a ladder, and things I won't, and ... You can't avoid making decisions about your personal risks.
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JoeRetire
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by JoeRetire »

tony5412 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:29 pmWhat would a boglehead do?
This "not really a boglehead" no longer cuts down trees.

When I did, I assessed them for safety first. If I thought I could do it safely, then I did it. Otherwise I hired someone to do it for me.
I was mostly right, I think. One tree early on did bounce off the house though. In retrospect, I assessed that one poorly. It's something you learn with age.
It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | It's the end of the world as we know it. | And I feel fine.
skiguy18
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by skiguy18 »

Please do not use a ladder to cut branches from a tree!!! Just take a quick youtube tour on this topic and you will see why. When branches are cut this way they often end up knocking the person who is on the ladder down. Also, dead trees are much more dangerous to cut because they are unpredictable.
I have done a lot of chainsaw work. A good general rule of thumb for chainsaw work is that if you even consider needing help, then get help! Good luck.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by The Wizard »

miamivice wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:21 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:11 pm Buy a cheap chainsaw and a polesaw. Tie it off with rope so it falls the way you want it to.
I am curious how many 15" diameter trees you successfully made fall the direction you wanted by tying a rope to it?
This is what I do at times on my GF's 10-acre lot.
But I use a steel cable on the tree itself, along with one or two 50-foot ropes.
The end of the rope(s) goes on the hitch ball on my F150 which I use to put a little tension on the line.
But each tree is different depending on location and lean.
These trees, mostly oak, are used for firewood.

Main goal of influencing the fall direction of the tree is to get what I call a Clean Drop, where the cut tree doesn't get hung up in a neighboring tree. But there are limits on how accurately this can be done...
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

I think I'll go ahead and hire someone. I had no intention on cutting the 50 footer but thought maybe I'd try to tackle the smaller one. When I have the bigger one cut, I might as well have them take care of the smaller one as it probably would not add too much to the total cost.

Went out today and notice a SECOND pine that looks to be on its last legs. Either that or it is one of those trees that loses its needles in the fall but I don't think it is. It is not as tall but close. Strangely this tree trunk splits into 5-6 separate trunks. That might actually make it easier to cut down since the diameters are not all that wide.

Is it generally less expensive to have them cut up a tree to use as firewood or to haul the wood away? Not that the wood would be all that valuable as firewood anyway. The smaller tree is wrapped up in vines and the larger tree is pine.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

tony5412 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:16 pm I think I'll go ahead and hire someone. I had no intention on cutting the 50 footer but thought maybe I'd try to tackle the smaller one. When I have the bigger one cut, I might as well have them take care of the smaller one as it probably would not add too much to the total cost.

Went out today and notice a SECOND pine that looks to be on its last legs. Either that or it is one of those trees that loses its needles in the fall but I don't think it is. It is not as tall but close. Strangely this tree trunk splits into 5-6 separate trunks. That might actually make it easier to cut down since the diameters are not all that wide.

Is it generally less expensive to have them cut up a tree to use as firewood or to haul the wood away? Not that the wood would be all that valuable as firewood anyway. The smaller tree is wrapped up in vines and the larger tree is pine.
My experience has been they give you no break on price if they take it as firewood or leave it/discard it.
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boomer_techie
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by boomer_techie »

tony5412 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:29 pm Also have another tree, a pine tree, that is good 50 feet tall. It's been dead for a year or so. I would definitely hire someone to do this one. Any harm in leaving a dead tree for awhile?
If you leave it dead too long, then it will no longer be safely climbable. At that point, special equipment will be needed: A bucket truck if the tree is along a road or driveway. A crane if it isn't accessible by a bucket truck. TLDR: It will be a lot more expensive to get it taken down.
tim1999
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tim1999 »

I have no easy way to get rid of the wood and debris from even a small tree, so to me it is worth it to hire a pro even for minor trimming and let them chip it up and haul it away. Bulk trash/yard waste removal by the municipality is only quarterly here, and I don't want to leave that stuff laying in a heap in my yard until then. Cutting it into tiny pieces and bagging it for the regular trash doesn't help, because all our bagged trash has to fit inside a bin for weekly pickup, and it would take months to get rid of it all that way.

When I was a kid, we lived on a lot surrounded by woods on 3 sides where you could just drag the branches and logs from a downed tree in the lawn into the woods and leave it to rot.
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Nestegg_User
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Nestegg_User »

The Wizard wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:42 pm
miamivice wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:21 pm
pdavi21 wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:11 pm Buy a cheap chainsaw and a polesaw. Tie it off with rope so it falls the way you want it to.
I am curious how many 15" diameter trees you successfully made fall the direction you wanted by tying a rope to it?
This is what I do at times on my GF's 10-acre lot.
But I use a steel cable on the tree itself, along with one or two 50-foot ropes.
The end of the rope(s) goes on the hitch ball on my F150 which I use to put a little tension on the line.
But each tree is different depending on location and lean.
These trees, mostly oak, are used for firewood.

Main goal of influencing the fall direction of the tree is to get what I call a Clean Drop, where the cut tree doesn't get hung up in a neighboring tree. But there are limits on how accurately this can be done...

back when I fell large trees (16- ~20") I had large 1 1/2 " steel bars with 1" rope, people holding tension on the lines, with flaggers watching for potential traffic, and usually dropped them within a few inches. (sometimes the trees would land across the street and partway into the neighbors yard -- you then have to quickly cut it up and remove the obstacle).... but it takes practice and a reasonably healthy tree ... if it's in bad shape it's more unpredictable and things can go wrong quickly...not a good place to be, especially if you're not experienced. So, I'd definitely say hire out for the larger.... depends on your experience for the smaller.

BTW, nowadays I don't do that stuff anymore, just smaller pruning and smaller trees (tough junipers, they really kill chain saw blades, have to get mine replaced often)
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by CurlyDave »

miamivice wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:08 pm
Watty wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm If it damages something or hurts someone when it falls your insuance company will not pay the damages.
I don't believe this is a correct statement. If indeed they deny coverage for trees that are dead, please provide a link or citation.
I know for sure when a large branch fell from a tree over my driveway and hit someone else's car my insurance company denied coverage, but her insurance company covered it. Something about it being an act of God.

They asked if it happened often and I said "no". If I had said: "You know that very branch fell just last week and I got a ladder and nailed it back up." then they would have covered it.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by CurlyDave »

I live in the country right now I own 3 ordinary chain saws and a pole saw.

I will not even start one up without putting on the safety equipment, which includes the special chaps that stop the saw if you try to cut your leg.

Do not try this on you own, especially on a ladder.
kilkoyne
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by kilkoyne »

The real labor and cost comes from bucking and clearing all of the small branches. If you're willing to do that part you'd likely save yourself a lot money.

No harm having someone stop by for an estimate.
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Wildebeest
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Wildebeest »

If you post this question on Bogle heads you should hire somebody; I have cut down many a tree including trees I should have not. I have been very fortunate not to be maimed.

Posted this in 2016 on Bogleheads.

"We had a tree, which might fall on our house. We had asked the previous gardening service who to use? They had a inexpensive guy but when he showed up to cut some trees, he brought his 3 and 6 year old children when he was cutting down our trees, he stated he was going a divorce and did not have day care . This seemed so wrong.What if his kids got hurt, who would be sued?.

We used this guy anyway ( my only excuse is that I am an idiot) and then made the mistake to pre pay $ 1000 to cut down this tree, and he took our money and cashed the check and we asked him, when he was going cut the tree, after tracking him down and cornering him: he stated: "sue me".

I have a chain saw and I cut down many a tree and I cut this tree down myself without getting hurt, but it hurts anyway to be taken for a fool and be taken for $ 1000."

In 2018 we had our property logged because our stand of White Ash trees going to be killed off by Emerald Ash borer . There were 7 very large White Ash trees near home. I could not convince the forester and the logging company to take down these trees.

I have not learnt *. I paid one of the loggers $1000 to take down the 7 Ash trees and took down myself 4 sections of fencing to create room for where the Ash trees were supposed to go. In 1 hour 7 trees were down by the two loggers and their humongous tractor/ tree trunk grabber. At least nobody was hurt but many sections of fencing which I had not taken down were obliterated. However I found out that loggers did not clean up.

Our yard looked like a tornado had gone through ( and a very large monster truck leaving a trail in the lawn) and I spent three weekends cutting down the trees, burning branches before I gave up and hired two guys with a bobcat and chainsaws and another guy to fix the fence. All this because I did not want to pay a tree service.

* I had been considering taking the trees myself. Watching the loggers take down the trees and see how one of the rotten sections almost impaled one of the loggers, I was lucky not to try.
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hudson
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by hudson »

I was a logger in my youth and I have a National Forest chain saw license. I have a saw, chaps, and all of the safety equipment.
At my residence, I would hire out someone with insurance for probably any standing tree.
Hiring an insured company to fell trees is one of the best things that you can do for your health.

Trees are out to get you.
Chain saws are out to get you.
Do you want to see my scar?

There are downed trees that I won't touch.
Last edited by hudson on Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
Trism
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Trism »

If the tree is taller than I am, I hire someone.
ChrisC
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by ChrisC »

It would be helpful if the OP told us the type of 25 foot tree he has on his property. I had two 25 feet purple leaf plum trees near my driveway. One became diseased and rotted -- don't know why it happened to one but I suspect it might have been damaged by the lawn mowing crew we use. It was dead for two years -- the lawn crew wanted to remove it, which to them meant just cutting it down and not removing the stump. I decided to wait until I found a replacement -- went to a local nursery a few weeks ago for a replacement and found one -- of course not as mature as the one I was taking down.

But in talking to the tree people there, I decided to try taking down the purple leaf tree myself by just exerting my physical strength against this weakened and damaged tree. (I had done something similar a number of years ago with a 25 foot Bradford Pear Tree, as it has one long tap root.) So I went home, and rocked the tree and lifted it out -- it had some strong roots, but I was able to cut them with a hand saw. I planted the replacement tree and so far looks good.

Once the tree was down, I cut the branches and the rest of the tree (with a reciprocating saw -- don't have a chain saw anymore, but broke two blades in the process when cutting tree in half)), loaded in my pickup truck and disposed at the County dump.
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

ChrisC wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:27 am It would be helpful if the OP told us the type of 25 foot tree he has on his property. I had two 25 feet purple leaf plum trees near my driveway. One became diseased and rotted -- don't know why it happened to one but I suspect it might have been damaged by the lawn mowing crew we use. It was dead for two years -- the lawn crew wanted to remove it, which to them meant just cutting it down and not removing the stump. I decided to wait until I found a replacement -- went to a local nursery a few weeks ago for a replacement and found one -- of course not as mature as the one I was taking down.

But in talking to the tree people there, I decided to try taking down the purple leaf tree myself by just exerting my physical strength against this weakened and damaged tree. (I had done something similar a number of years ago with a 25 foot Bradford Pear Tree, as it has one long tap root.) So I went home, and rocked the tree and lifted it out -- it had some strong roots, but I was able to cut them with a hand saw. I planted the replacement tree and so far looks good.

Once the tree was down, I cut the branches and the rest of the tree (with a reciprocating saw -- don't have a chain saw anymore, but broke two blades in the process when cutting tree in half)), loaded in my pickup truck and disposed at the County dump.
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I don't think this one would be that easy although I wish! :)
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

kilkoyne wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:11 am The real labor and cost comes from bucking and clearing all of the small branches. If you're willing to do that part you'd likely save yourself a lot money.

No harm having someone stop by for an estimate.
Interesting. That was another thought I had, to have them cut the tree down and cut up into firewood (or take the trunks with) and then I'd take care of the rest.
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

boomer_techie wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:18 pm If you leave it dead too long, then it will no longer be safely climbable. At that point, special equipment will be needed: A bucket truck if the tree is along a road or driveway. A crane if it isn't accessible by a bucket truck. TLDR: It will be a lot more expensive to get it taken down.

So basically the sooner it gets done, the better. I was originally looking at leaving it a couple years but probably not a good idea.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by oldmotos »

We have 21 acres of trees around our house so I drop at least a dozen per year. When I have some that scare me I have a tree service come in and drop them but I do the clean-up which saves a lot. I recently had 8 large trees dropped at a cost of $2000. These were somewhat difficult but not near any buildings or wires. Sometimes I have someone that wants the wood do part of the clean-up.
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

oldmotos wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:21 am We have 21 acres of trees around our house so I drop at least a dozen per year. When I have some that scare me I have a tree service come in and drop them but I do the clean-up which saves a lot. I recently had 8 large trees dropped at a cost of $2000. These were somewhat difficult but not near any buildings or wires. Sometimes I have someone that wants the wood do part of the clean-up.

8 trees for 2K? Sounds like a good deal.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by HomeStretch »

Hire a reputable insured professional to remove the trees. Well seasoned pine firewood is ok for outdoor fires. I don’t use it for indoor fireplaces as pine is a softwood and the high sap content can lead to creosote buildup in chimneys.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Sandtrap »

If you already have a Stihl and/or a Husqvarna with a 30 inch bar or larger then you have the skills to do it safetly and have fun. If not, hire. :D
Ive done both for trees up to 60-100 feet. OTOH if you can afford to hire do so and save your back :shock:
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Creditcardguy
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Creditcardguy »

I wouldn’t try the pine tree myself, so while the tree guy is there get an estimate for both. Making it fall in the right direction isn’t as easy as it looks.

Get 3 estimates, tree company prices are all over the place. Include stump grinding if possible. Make sure they are insured. Ask for the best cash price, might help.

Last month I had a 40 ft maple, 30 ft maple, and eight 50 ft gum trees (they drop those dreaded “spikey balls) cut down, stumps ground and debris removed for $2000.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by kilkoyne »

The pine has vines around it......I would be worried about that one.
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

kilkoyne wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:49 am The pine has vines around it......I would be worried about that one.
It's the small tree that has the vines around it.
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

Creditcardguy wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:45 am I wouldn’t try the pine tree myself, so while the tree guy is there get an estimate for both. Making it fall in the right direction isn’t as easy as it looks.

Get 3 estimates, tree company prices are all over the place. Include stump grinding if possible. Make sure they are insured. Ask for the best cash price, might help.

Last month I had a 40 ft maple, 30 ft maple, and eight 50 ft gum trees (they drop those dreaded “spikey balls) cut down, stumps ground and debris removed for $2000.
That was another thing I was thinking about, whether to do stump grinding or just leave the trunk. That doesn't sound like a bad price for 10 trees. I've seen people post that they spent 1500+ just to take down one 50 foot tree.
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

HomeStretch wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:33 am Hire a reputable insured professional to remove the trees. Well seasoned pine firewood is ok for outdoor fires. I don’t use it for indoor fireplaces as pine is a softwood and the high sap content can lead to creosote buildup in chimneys.
Interesting, good to know.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by miamivice »

CurlyDave wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 2:19 am
miamivice wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:08 pm
Watty wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm If it damages something or hurts someone when it falls your insuance company will not pay the damages.
I don't believe this is a correct statement. If indeed they deny coverage for trees that are dead, please provide a link or citation.
I know for sure when a large branch fell from a tree over my driveway and hit someone else's car my insurance company denied coverage, but her insurance company covered it. Something about it being an act of God.

They asked if it happened often and I said "no". If I had said: "You know that very branch fell just last week and I got a ladder and nailed it back up." then they would have covered it.
I am assuming that the car was parked on neighboring property, not your own. That is correct for your insurance to deny coverage. Damage on other people's property caused by your trees are their responsibility generally. Seems a little backwards but that is how it is .
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by miamivice »

Watty wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:27 pm
miamivice wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:08 pm
Watty wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:03 pm If it damages something or hurts someone when it falls your insuance company will not pay the damages.
I don't believe this is a correct statement. If indeed they deny coverage for trees that are dead, please provide a link or citation.
A quick Google search found this.
However, homeowners insurance usually won't cover a loss caused by negligence or a maintenance-related issue. So if the tree was rotting and ready to fall down before the storm, homeowners insurance likely would not cover the damage the tree caused to your home.
https://www.allstate.com/tr/home-insura ... house.aspx
I guess the question about insurance coverage really depends on context. Yes, I agree that if I allow a rotting and poor condition tree to fall on my house, insurance should deny coverage. That was my lack of caring that led to it and it's my responsibilty to protect my house.

However, we own a lot of timberland. There are a number of trees that could fall down. If someone is walking around the woods and a dead tree falls and kils them, I expect my insurance to cover any lawsuit that results. I can't predict which trees will fall and don't have the time to monitor and maintain every tree on the expansive amount of land we have.

So I guess it really depends on context.
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tony5412
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by tony5412 »

BTW how far do you all go when it comes to having them prove they are licensed and insured? Would an ad in the phone book be sufficient?
I was talking to an aquaintence about this and he said that they often get upset when he has had them verify this by showing their policy card or giving him their policy number.
Last edited by tony5412 on Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
HomeStretch
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by HomeStretch »

tony5412 wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:01 pm BTW how far do you all go when it comes to having them prove they are licensed and insured? Would an add in the phone book be sufficient?
I was talking to an aquaintence about this and he said that they often get upset when he has had them verify this by showing their policy card or giving him their policy number.
I request a Certificate of Insurance directly from the insurance agent that shows coverage in force (type, limit, etc.) from any contractor potentially doing work on my property. I check for liability coverage and workers comp coverage. No license and/or proof-of-insurance, no working on my property. Any contractor who gets “upset” by a request for license info and proof-of-insurance is unprofessional IMO.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by CurlyDave »

miamivice wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:14 am
I am assuming that the car was parked on neighboring property, not your own. That is correct for your insurance to deny coverage. Damage on other people's property caused by your trees are their responsibility generally. Seems a little backwards but that is how it is .
Nope, the car was parked in my driveway and the branch was from my tree.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by CurlyDave »

tony5412 wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:01 pm BTW how far do you all go when it comes to having them prove they are licensed and insured? Would an ad in the phone book be sufficient?
I was talking to an aquaintence about this and he said that they often get upset when he has had them verify this by showing their policy card or giving him their policy number.
They only get upset if they don't have insurance.

If they do have it they are usually very proud of it and will show you the proof, sometimes even without asking. Their price reflects this.
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dm200
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by dm200 »

Even if you have excellent health insurance, there are significant financial and other downsides if you are injured doing this yourself.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Uniballer »

Great book on this topic: To Fell A Tree

I have cut a lot of trees this year near my house, barn and septic system; mostly Ash due to EAB. At least 25 were over 12" in diameter. I think all of those were more than 60' tall.

I know a professional arborist that I will call if I'm not sure I can handle it safely. I have used him at my workplace several times.
Last edited by Uniballer on Sun Nov 24, 2019 11:26 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by MathWizard »

20 feet and close to the house.

I've cut down trees even near the house at up to 20 feet tall, one of them last year.

I've had two threes 25 to 30 feet tall, and my wife refused to consider me taking the tree down.

At that height, I would have to climb into the tree with my (electric) chainsaw.
My wife figured I'd come rolling out of the tree chainsaw and all. I have an electric polesaw that
I have used to take the branches, then I can fell the tree truck using backcuts so that it falls
away from the house, no ropes needed.

I have felled trees which were taller in fields before I got married. I never had one fall the wrong way.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by squirm »

I cut down trees all the time, but they're in our forest so if it falls the wrong way, no big deal.
Learn how to cut, it's not safe if you don't know how to.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by 22twain »

Just last week, "America's Funniest Videos" showed a spectacular tree-cutting "fail." It didn't affect property but could have really done a number on the tree-cutter himself.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Billionaire »

TnGuy wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:59 pm TREE CUTTING FAILS. EPIC COMPILATION - [4:29]


David
That's great. Well, maybe not. I was just about to tell everybody about a former co-worker who lost his hearing after a tree he was cutting down hit him in the head.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

tony5412 wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:25 am
oldmotos wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:21 am We have 21 acres of trees around our house so I drop at least a dozen per year. When I have some that scare me I have a tree service come in and drop them but I do the clean-up which saves a lot. I recently had 8 large trees dropped at a cost of $2000. These were somewhat difficult but not near any buildings or wires. Sometimes I have someone that wants the wood do part of the clean-up.
8 trees for 2K? Sounds like a good deal.
Man, that sounds like the deal of the century.

We have had to take down 10 trees in the past year. 2 of them the tree services didn’t want to touch, as they were intertwined with power lines; I eventually had the power company fell them (and take the great red oak firewood).

We miss those majestic oak trees. But, we had the tree service cut them to length, and then have another company split and stack them. Our woodshed (made larger since we removed the oil tanks) can’t hold more than 1/4 of the wood, but all in due time.

I didn’t even think of taking the trees down myself. I volunteer with a town firewood group that takes dead trees from the town forest, bucks them, splits them, and delivers to townspeople. My wife has seen, over the years, how clumsy I am. She also heard me describe how one of the not-as-clumsy volunteers lost a finger on the splitter. So, I just wheelbarrow, stack, and deliver. I even pay someone to split my own wood, although I might buy/share a splitter with a neighbor in return for wood.

It’s just not worth it to attempt things beyond one’s level of capability. In my experience, males are really bad judges of their own capabilities, but the problem isn’t really gender defined. I appreciate my wife wanting me to retain my limbs; one of the reasons I don’t have life insurance is to be worth more alive than dead.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by jpelder »

Billionaire wrote: Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:20 am
TnGuy wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:59 pm TREE CUTTING FAILS. EPIC COMPILATION - [4:29]


David
That's great. Well, maybe not. I was just about to tell everybody about a former co-worker who lost his hearing after a tree he was cutting down hit him in the head.
I laughed at the parts of the video where the trees hit dead-center on the sheds and cars. The ones where the cutter was hit or knocked down by the trees made me cringe. Some of those folks were likely severely injured. I think the OP should watch that video, especially the segment with the large hemlock or spruce that splintered rather than falling cleanly. That will be even more likely with long-dead trees.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by iamlucky13 »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:09 pm Pine is good kindling, and fine for outdoor fires, but it burns quickly and will leave a lot of creosote in your chimney. At best, you’ll need to have the chimney cleaned more often than normal. At worst, the creosote is a common source of chimney fires.
It does burn more quickly, but the creosote part is an old myth that originates in the hardwood regions of the US.

Creosote forms due to low combustion temperatures, regardless of the wood type. The myth likely originated from people burning improperly seasoned wood, and accumulating a large amount of creosote in their chimney. Then at some point they try some pine, and the more intense initial burn then ignites the creosote and they get a chimney fire, so they decide the pine was the problem, rather than just the trigger of a problem they've been creating for months or years.

All wood should be at less than 20% moisture content when burned. It is typically advised to give it two years with the top covered and good air flow to full season, although depending on the wood and other circumstance, 1 year may be enough. Unfortunately, most of what gets advertised as "seasoned" firewood is not.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 »

miamivice wrote: Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:56 pm The average chainsaw injury results in approximately 110 stitches. Being a financial forum, the best suggestion is to call a doctor's office and get a price quote on the cost to apply 110 stitches on a chainsaw wound. Then compare to a tree company and get a price quote from them.

(While what is written above is slightly tongue in cheek, I do think about the risk of injury and the cost to recover from an injury before I take on a particular manual labor task.)

Keep in mind that chainsaws cut wood by "tearing" rather than cutting. They tear away about 1/4" wide amount of material in whatever they are cutting.
I have done a fair amount of tree removal. I will say that once with a widow maker situation, which is where one tree is cut down and ends up leaning against another tree instead of falling to the ground we had an emergency room visit involving stitches to the leg which I had to pay around 2000 dollars since my insurance had a high deductible. Thankfully the leg injury healed completely with no long term disability.

I still do some tree removal but be careful if you do it.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by celia »

We had a branch of a tree, just a branch about 6" diameter, fall in the street in our neighborhood. I drove by and tried to move it to the side of the road but couldn't (so I called the city who came right out). With all the smaller branches coming off the larger branch, they can be quite heavy.
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Re: At what point would you hire someone vs. cut down a tree yourself?

Post by forgeblast »

I have cut a lot of trees, for firewood and to drop remove. Dead trees are the worse, your never sure whats in side. Even now if its a tree I have to worry about I call our pro. I had them drop 6 trees no removal no limbing etc and I think it was 450$. I have three more I need to call him about. Since we have a bandsaw mill we keep them big and saw up the lumber. When in doubt stop and call a pro.
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