Tree Removal - June 2007

Click on any of the thumbnail images to view a larger image.

We had a lot of trees removed, in preparation for moving back the "wall" to provide more yard space, as well as providing more natural light into the house.  And wow what a different it made in light!  We thought we might put in some better trees, but Cheryl is loving the additional light so much that now we probably won't.

The process of removal used a 100' crane to take out many of them.  That was a sight to see!  Be sure to watch the video (at bottom of page).  For those that the crane couldn't reach, they were taken down carefully in a more traditional fashion, then the pieces were moved by a small Bobcat to where the crane could get to them to lift them out, over the house, and to the chipper at the street.

If you don't want to see the crane and the removal process, just click here to see side-by-side before and after pictures, and don't miss the video at the bottom of this page.

First, some "before" shots...

Various trees - left half

Various trees - right half

Apple tree that's not very healthy

Large, leaning Sweet Gum

Large Silver Maple

The Maple viewed from the drive.

The maple & pines in back
viewed from the street.

Showing trees behind the house,
viewed from the street.

Hard to see, but at rear corner
is the large Sweet Gum.

Next, the removal...

The crew arriving.

Plywood to protect the grass.

The chipper.

A very cool little Bobcat!

A very cool big crane.

Setting up the crane.

Leveling the crane.

The crane, ready to work.

Removing a piece of a Maple

Cutting the Maple.

Guy in the Maple.

There goes another part.

Over the house and...

...into the chipper it goes

Guy in the Maple.

The Bobcat, again.

Guy in a pine

Cutting hooking the crane
to a pine.

Close-up of guy in a pine.

Same pine w/ top gone.

Workers taking down branches.

Another of the workers.

A "flying" pine!

Easing down a cut, small Sweet Gum
(or maybe it was a Tulip Poplar).

Cutting branches off of a pine.

Same guy showing more of tree.

A different pine missing its top
(the one that "flew" away).

The trunks heading for the grinder.

Getting the Bobcat to some of the pieces

Our "stump forest" (almost done)

Hey, where's the Silver Maple tree?
Hey, where's the Apple tree?

That's the end of Day 1.  It could have been done in one day, but a thunderstorm was beginning, so they had to stop. They cleaned things up so it was spotless before they left, even though they were coming back the next day.  (I didn't get pictures of it clean, because by then it was raining pretty hard.)

Day 2:
Removing one last pine, removing other pieces left in the back area,
and taking down the large Sweetgum...

The last pine to go is one we
decided to take down at the last
minute, after seeing how bad it
looked with the others gone.

And old "Americast" antenna
 (from former owner) has to
be removed first.

The top of the Sweet Gum,
"dropped" accurately on to
 several plywood sheets
 in the yard.

The Sweet Gum missing
its top.

The top, from another angle.

Removing the antenna from the pine.

The top of the Sweet Gum had
 a hornets nest in it!

Trunk of the pine coming
down in 4'-5' sections.

Another shot of the Sweet Gum's trunk
(and Cheryl).

The Sweet Gum's top, after it's
branches were removed.


The Sweet Gum's trunk,
"dropped" parallel to the fence.


Unfortunately, it bounced off of a
cross-tie and pivoted into the fence,
crushing the neighbor's section
and their gate.
A closer look at the damage after
the trunk was removed.

And now, the "after" pictures...

Missing trees - left half.

Missing trees - right half.

Missing Apple tree.

Missing Sweet Gum
(That remaining tree is the neighbor's
huge, huge, huge Tulip Poplar)

Hey, where's the Maple tree?

The view from the driveway
(no more Maple)

Overall view from the street.

Seeing fewer trees behind the house.

Much more open on the side where
the Sweet Gum was.

The "stump forest" as viewed from
Natalie's window.
(I wish I'd taken a "before" picture from this angle.)

We have a "stump forest" remaining because the landscaper thought it best to leave stumps that a bobcat can pull out along with its root-balls, making a better area for landscaping.

Click here to see the before and after pictures side-by-side.

THE VIDEO:  Don't miss watching the crane in action.  9 1/2 hours of work has been condensed into just under 16 minutes of video.  Note all videos are the same; only their quality and picture size is different:

Trees56Kbps.wmv Tiny picture, but fairly clear; best if you have only dial-up internet. Dial-up download time: ~16 minutes
Trees160Kbps.wmv Larger picture, reasonably clear. Dial-up download time: ~65 minutes
Trees350Kbps.wmv Same larger picture, but much clearer. Dial-up download time: ~144 minutes

In case you're curious, we used Freeman's Tree Care, out of Alpharetta, GA.  We were hesitant to use them at first because they were more expensive, mainly because they use a crane (after all, this is just the beginning of a huge project so why start out spending more than needed?), but after watching them work, we were glad they had the crane.  Our yard was left virtually untouched.  Also, had we not gotten a pop-up thunderstorm, they would have finished in one day, whereas the others estimated 1 1/2 to 2 days.  They really were amazing to watch.  On the first day we were very impressed with their work.  It was careful & quick and they cleaned everything up immaculately before leaving, even though they were coming back first thing the next morning.  That first evening Cheryl and I remarked that we were very glad we paid a bit more to use them.  We were very impressed and satisfied.

They did well the second day, too, though I wouldn't say I was quite as impressed.  I don't know if they were in a hurry because they had lost time due to the storm and needed to finish up or what, but they were taking things down in larger pieces and though still careful overall, maybe not quite as careful as the first day.  The large Sweet Gum that they said they would take down in small sections came down in two -- the top, and the remaining 30' trunk.  Some of the branches broke a branch off of a neighbor's bush that was next to the fence, and then when the trunk came down, it bounced off of a cross-tie, which made it pivot (it had otherwise been a perfectly aimed drop), and when it pivoted it swung into and crushed a small section of the neighbors fence (and ours), finished off that bush that had been broken and broke a big piece (about 1/3) off another bush.  To be fair, if the fence hadn't been as rotted as it was, it may have sustained the hit much better, but in its condition, it just fell apart.  Condition aside, it had been standing and functioning perfectly well, so the neighbor would have otherwise had no need to replace it -- and least not for another year or so -- so Freeman's needed to fix it.  (Our portion of the fence I didn't care about, and had previously told Freeman's that we were going to replace it, so they didn't have to worry about it.)  When they left on the second day, everything (except the crushed fence) was immaculate again.  We were still satisfied, though maybe not quite as impressed as the first day....but they do very good work -- unfortunately, our job proved that accidents can happen.

Even though there was some unfortunate damage, I do have to say that they handled it professionally.  They immediately -- before I could even walk out there -- stopped and called their office to report the damage, first with the minor damage to the bush, and then with the fence.  Freeman's owner came by shortly and immediately talked to the neighbor about repairing it.  I'm not sure what the outcome was, but it sounded like Freeman's would make good on it.  Accidents happen, I suppose, and they responded quickly and professionally.  (If there ends up being any problem, I'll update this, but for now I'm going to presume they'll treat the neighbor well.)

One final update:  About 24-36 hours after they left, a bunch of brown spots showed up on our front lawn.  I'm going to guess it was from where they sat their hot chain saws.  If that's all it is, I'm sure it will recover fine, but I did take these pictures just in case it doesn't:


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All content on this page is Copyright (c) 2007, Frank T. Domina