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I have a large tree that has fallen on my property, and it is currently supported on opposite ends, like this:

enter image description here

The bulk of the tree that was beyond the fence, off to the right, was already removed by the county. IOW, you can see 99% of what remains in this picture.

For reference, the fence on the right is six feet high and the root structure on the left is about twelve feet high.

I'd like to use my chainsaw to remove this behemoth from my yard. Anyone have any tips do this safely and efficiently?

3 Answers 3

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I would get some heavy duty pipe jacks to support the trunk, placing them on a square piece of 1" plywood to distribute the weight. Prop the tree with 4x4 lumber to prevent rolling; one end in a hole in the turf, the other end nailed to the tree. Once stabilized, cut all extraneous non-supporting branches, limbs and roots including the portion that hangs over the fence.

Then use a trolley jack to lower the (cut off) tree top to the ground and re-stabilize with 4x4s; carefully chop up the bugger.

It may end up being easier to chop up if you don't let it rest on the ground but instead, land it on some wood cribbing.

Pipe jack

Trolley jack

wood cribbing

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    Why not just cut it? Seems like adding all these external forces are asking for trouble. Let gravity and center-of-mass do all the work. No chance of it rolling with that root base still attached. No chance of it falling downward although I would keep an eye on that just in case. The fence is inconsequential I would say in offering support.
    – Corey Alix
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 2:55
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This is an old question, but this is also why I own an axe. I know I probably wouldn't get through that in one go but 10-15 mins times 4-5 times (can't be getting blisters) and that thing is on the ground.

I would cut it about a foot to the left of the limb. And I would chop from both sides in a V pattern. Get about 2/3 of the way through it and it will buckle and snap.

Before it gets to the point of snapping I would use the axe to trim down that root section as much as I can. That can't be that big with dirt attached because once you chop middle it will tip back over... not the end of the world but much harder to deal with than it laying on its side.

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  • Lol...beats a gym membership.
    – Corey Alix
    Commented Apr 30, 2021 at 8:54
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You cut it from the top back toward the root ball taking off small portions at a time. It will eventually roll up to some extent. Start by getting the fence out of your way and then remove the "supporting" limb, which I doubt is offering much support. That will eliminate shear forces and give you an honest indication of the torque on the tree. Then you cut it closer to the root ball to drop it as you would any leaning tree. The root ball will likely roll away from you a bit further during the final cut. What did you do? I would say for this tree, if you have to ask you should not do it.

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  • How do you avoid having the saw bind as the weight of the tree is pulled down by gravity. diy.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Apr 25, 2021 at 19:14
  • Yeah, good question. I would say there will be no binding because you would cut from the top of the tree as if you were cutting up firewood. Keep the weight manageable. I think I would tackle that "supporting limb" first which could get you in a bind situation. In that case cut from below as needed.
    – Corey Alix
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 13:26
  • I was trying to get you to add important info to your answer. Keep the weight manageable or cut from below as needed is not safe or the proper way to do it. There must be no force pushing the two halves on either side of the chainsaw blade together pinching the blade between them. The section to be cut off should be free floating so it will fall the the ground when it is cut off. Supports must be used on the side that is not the cut off. Jimmy fix-it illustrates it in his answer.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 19:25
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    Chainsaws can also remove human limbs and cause death. You should make sure your answer does not advise people to do dangerous things.
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Apr 27, 2021 at 19:26
  • Also, this tree has probably been gone for 4 years now... (Nothing wrong with a good new answer, but probably not worth an ugly argument.)
    – FreeMan
    Commented Apr 29, 2021 at 14:38

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