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  1. #1

    Default Tips for felling an old Oak tree

    I've cut down a dozen or so trees in the past few years, but nothing as big as the one I'm looking at now...

    I've exclusively used chainsaws in the past to cut down the trees, & always I had a saw with a blade longer than the diameter of the tree. But this Oak is pretty darned big, it used to be 40+ feet tall & at least 60 feet across with about 1/3 of the branches hanging over the house. We had a tree company come in & they cut it down to about 15 feet tall & left just 2 branches on the tree. One will be easy to remove, it's just 16" diameter & hangs directly over open space in the yard. I can easily rent a lift to get up behind the branch from the opposite side of the tree. The other branch might be a little more difficult as it hangs over the chain-link fence which I'll probably have to undo & roll back out of the way.

    The big thing on my mind is the remainder of the tree. It's rougly 54" in diameter (166.3" circumfrence as measured with a piece of rope) at waist height, considerably bigger than even a 42" chainsaw which is the longest bar/chain my saw (Husqvarna 395XPW) can handle. The largest I've cut down was 26" diameter oak with a 32" chainsaw. I'd like to cut the tree down & chop it up for woodworking lumber. Can I tackle this monster with a 42" or do I really need a 60"? Or should I just chop off the branches & have the tree company come back & fell the tree & handle the rest from there?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Tips for felling an old Oak tree

    I would have a tree company come in. Might as well have them grind the stump while they are there

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Tips for felling an old Oak tree

    Call the tree company. Keep in mind that this is a pretty easy job -- you don't need a full service firm, just a couple strong guys with the right equipment who have done this before.

    I'm sorry you had to fell such a nice big oak. Was is diseased, dead, or did you just not want it so close to your home?
    The Weekend Arborist
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Tips for felling an old Oak tree

    Quote Originally Posted by Weekender View Post
    Call the tree company. Keep in mind that this is a pretty easy job -- you don't need a full service firm, just a couple strong guys with the right equipment who have done this before.

    I'm sorry you had to fell such a nice big oak. Was is diseased, dead, or did you just not want it so close to your home?
    This particular oak was just to close, sitting just 12 feet from the front of the house, one of the branches extended about 10 feet directly over the center of the roof & was large enough that the weight was making it bow towards the ground. If lightning ever hit it right, it could have crushed half of the house.

    By my calc's it should yield between 600 & 800 board feet of finished lumber! From which I hope to make a nice bedroom set, & some other furniture from it in a couple of years.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Tips for felling an old Oak tree

    I can understand your situation. We once had a beautiful Sugar Maple within 10 feet of our house. Sugars are pretty sturdy, but you never know when the wrong storm comes through and hits it just right.

    Fortunately, we moved from that house and didn't have to make the tough decision on what to do with it. Last I checked, it was still standing.

    I love the idea that you're using the wood for something productive. I wish more would do that with a nice, specimen tree.
    The Weekend Arborist
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Tips for felling an old Oak tree

    Back to your question...yes, you can cut it down, but it's a bit tricky. You basically have to cut to the center from both sides of the tree. The tricky part is making the cuts meet in the middle. Cut some beefy wooden wedges, and drive them in the cut when you get halfway through. If you get the bar pinched, it'll be tough to get it loose from a tree this size.

    'Course you could also go low-tech & use a 2-man crosscut saw. After cutting through a 54-inch oak, you can probably skip the gym for the day.
    HTH

    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Fayette County, Ohio
    Posts
    5,555

    Default Re: Tips for felling an old Oak tree

    As Dave said it's not that difficult to fell. The big problem is making sure you fell it in the right direction. A tree that size, once it start to go you can't push it in another direction. If you use a tree service make sure they are insured and bonded not just some husky guys.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

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