Written by Althea Tan in Gardening
Viewed by 65 readers since 01-27-2009
When your tree gets too old, gets an untreatable pest infestation, gets too close to the house, or becomes too tall and interferes with a nearby power line, perhaps it’s time to let it go. Although it has taken you years caring for your beloved tree, it would be worse for the tree if you let it suffer in its bad condition.
Once you’ve decided to get rid of the tree for good, you should be aware that its removal entails planning. You wouldn’t want to knock out windows or crush cars in the process. You should decide in which direction you want the tree to fall and make accurate measurements to ensure that it won’t fall into anything and cause damages you would have to pay for.
Next, you should climb up the tree. Near the top, tie two long ropes. You need to fasten the other end of these ropes on the opposite side of the area where you want your tree to fall. Using these ropes, you will be able to adjust the direction the tree is being lowered and prevent it from falling into anything it could destroy.
Wear protective gears for your eyes and face before you begin chopping off the tree. Wood chips may fly towards your eyes during the process, which can totally impair your vision. Hence, wear proper protection for any exposed parts of your body at all times whenever you operate a power tool.
After taking all the necessary precautions, you can now start chopping. It’s not a good idea to use an axe or a manually operated saw because chopping down a tree by hand will take you a long time. It is recommended that you use a chainsaw, as it is a lot more accurate than its manual counterpart. You can borrow from your neighbors or friends if you don’t have a chainsaw, or rent or buy one from your local home improvement store.
When cutting, though, don’t just cut a straight line into the tree. If you cut the tree this way, the tree will surely roll to one side or the other. Instead, cut a sideways “V” into the tree. This way, the tree will be able to fall in the direction where you want it to fall. Due to human error, it might be a few feet off during the cutting process. However, you can line it back up with the path you want it to take if you have some strong friends pull on the ropes you tied. The entire process usually takes around an hour.
Getting rid of your old tree doesn’t end there, though. You still need to get rid of the stump, which is slightly more challenging. You may rent out a stump chipper or you may opt to spend many hours digging it out. A stump chipper destroys the visible section of the stump completely, but digging out the stump is much more thorough. Having the kids help you with the digging is actually a good idea. But if your stump is larger than 1 foot in diameter, you might want to consider the first option.