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Author Topic: Cutting branches of a standing maple  (Read 287 times)

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Offline Czech_Made

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Cutting branches of a standing maple
« on: January 06, 2017, 07:57:13 am »
I believe it is called limbing?

Anyway, I have a big old maple tree I need to cut some branches off.  It is a free standing tree, spreading wide  but only some branches can free fall without damaging anything - either the fence or wife's bushes and such.

What is the best plan of attack - I have climbing ropes from previous life, some pulleys, tackle, Husky chainsaw (20" and 16" bar).  I am used to climb trees for deer hunting.   I understand this is not a ladder job - did search on this site and others.

Would a powered pole saw be helpful?  Or a manual pole saw?  Does it make sense to climb up with a pole saw?  Or just use the short bar on the chainsaw and go at it?  It is been like that for a long time and through some serious storms - meaning I don't have to get it done this month, more like eventually.

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Cutting branches of a standing maple
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2017, 11:29:48 am »
CM,

   How big is the tree and how big and how high is the last limb you plan on cutting?

   I have used a climbing deer stand for such but if its a valued shade tree you need to be sure it is one that does not bite into the tree and cause permanent damage. (The same would be true with someone using climbing spikes.) I'd climb the tree and have a heavy cord or small rope tied to a small chainsaw below then pull it up and lower it as needed. The deer stand can be rotated around so you are behind the limb so it won't fall on you.

   If the tree is too big for such a deer stand you might consider getting a trained/licensed arborist. A good one is well worth his pay in such cases.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline low_48

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Re: Cutting branches of a standing maple
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 10:35:04 pm »
How many branches are some? I've taken off higher branches with a manual pull saw with several pole extensions, but at my age, it's getting to be one branch a day. Pulling on the pole for a half hour is no fun, the bark tears under the branch, I can't control the landing, and my neck gets bad if I look up that long! Keeping the saw in the kerf isn't much fun at the start either. I'm about to the point in life where I'm going to call a service and tell them that the next time they are in the neighborhood..........

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cutting branches of a standing maple
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2017, 05:07:27 am »
I've got an inexpensive Poulan pole saw .It does okay for what is .You have to use a little common sense gravity being what is else you could drop the limb on your head which would not be good .
With that thing you can  get up to maybe 12 feet with it.It's not designed for professional use. I've cut 8-10 inch stuff with it just takes a while

These little things are just weed wacker engines that use a flex shaft for the pole saw part and usually come with a weed wacker attachment .You can also buy a head and turn it into a mini tiller like a Mantis. Poulan I think still makes them,Sears might still sell them .

They don't cut like a Stihl or Husqvarna pole saw but they don't cost  800-1000 bucks either .Mine was 200 a few years back .

Offline DonT

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Re: Cutting branches of a standing maple
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2017, 01:38:54 pm »
Pruning is part science, part art. You want to make sure your pruning cuts are made properly to protect the tree.  You don't want to leave stubs and you do not want the bark to tear off. Most medium to large pruning cuts are achieved in three stages,an undercut (about a ft from the tree main stem) an over cut above the first cut (most of the branch will fall with this cut) and finally a stub cut on the branch ridge collar,with most of the weight off,you will avoid tears in the bark. This can be achieved with a decent pole saw or by climbing up to the branch. If you have previous tree climbing experience then you know how to do this.If you don't,maybe consider getting training or hiring a qualified individual. Rigging is the lowering of pieces of a tree safely to the ground . Usually an arborist block is positioned in the tree. A rigging line is used to connect the branch,block and usually a friction device at the bottom of the tree to assist in lowering heavy pieces. There are a lot of good you tube videos,on pruning, rigging and climbing for you to have a look at.  I also suggest you look at some of the "tree felling gone bad" videos. These act as a reminder to stay with in our own personal skill set. Remember it may be cheaper in the long run to hire someone and you clean up, rather than have to buy new tools you may never need again. As with anything tree related, safety first and wear all of the PPE that should be worn.  Just my .2 cents    DT