the Downed Tree

A fierce thunderstorm blew through our neighborhood this past Sunday and broke apart a tall tree right next too our house.  It was a decent size branch that broke from the main trunk and landed on the roof.  I’ve had to deal with this sort of thing before so I knew I was up to the challenge to safely remove this from the house.

NOTE: Whenever you’re dealing with tree maintenance, safety is the most important factor to consider.  Trees are HEAVY!  This branch at the base where it broke from the tree might have been about six to eight inches in diameter and possibly twenty feet to the tip of the top branches, but I bet it’s weight was easily over a thousand pounds.  Fresh cut wood is referred to as “green” wood.  And green wood has a huge percentage of its weight in water.  Unless you know what your doing, I strongly recommend hiring a professional (like Treeo Tree Service) to do this type of project.

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Branch on the roof!

To remove this safely I needed a tall 24 foot extension ladder, (electric) chain saw and my rock climbing gear (I’m thinking very few people have rock climbing gear and if you don’t, hire this job out).

I placed the ladder on the opposite side from where the tree split.  After donning my climbing harness and using gathered climbing gear, I climbed up the ladder and used what’s called a climbing runner and/or daisy chain to tie the ladder to the tree – this will prevent the ladder from moving .  I then set up another runner around the tree and through the ladder’s top rug.  The ladder was now secure to the tree and the second runner was ready for me to attach my hardness into.  I then examined my plan of attack on the limb.  This limb was still attached to the main trunk, that would need to be cut away.  In order to control this as much as possible, I used some old retired PMI rock climbing rope to tie off the end of the broken branch just above the split and then run that rope up and over a higher branch on the tree.  The other end of that rope is tied off to a ground level trunk of a large tree nearby.  You make this rope as tight as possible so when you cut through the broken branch, the now free branch doesn’t go flying who nos where!  I didn’t want the branch  just dropping from where it was hung up on the roof because the air conditioner was near where it would have fallen and I’m taking no chances in crushing my A/C.

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the Maven up in the tree developing his plan of attack.

In the next trip up the ladder I ‘ll be taking my chain saw.  Being a small 16 inch electric, it’s compact and easy to handle.  You’ve got the extension cord to deal with but that beats a running gas engine or one to start up on a ladder.  The saw cut through the branch in a about 5 seconds and then the branch only dropped about 3 inches before the climbing rope went to full tension and prevented the free branch from falling.  Just as planned!

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Here the limb is hanging by the rope that’s up and over a taller branch and tied off a larger nearby tree.

I return to the ground and carefully loosened the tied off rope and slowly lowered the limb to the ground before cutting it up into firewood and such.  I’ve done this exact thing on another tree on the opposite side of the house, so I had some experience at this.  It took about 2 hours but don’t rush this sort of project, take your time and plan for safety.  If your not 100 percent sure what will happen after each of your moves, then as I said.  Hire a pro and let them take the risk.

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