Tree felling in one is undertaken at ground level and requires a designated area for the tree to fall safely into. If the tree has a perfectly balanced canopy and there is no wind, then the tree surgeon will undertake a series of cuts to the base of the tree causing it to fall into the designated area. Once on the floor, the tree care team will proceed to dismantle the tree for removal off site.
If the tree to be felled has an unbalanced canopy or there is wind, then a rope will be installed into the tree. This may be done by a climber but can also be achieved from ground level with a throw line, a small bag filled with lead and fine line, which is thrown into the canopy as high as possible. The throw line is used to install a larger pulling line that can be used to aid the tree’s fall into the felling zone. If there were a considerable issue of the tree being unbalanced then a winch can be added to the rope to ensure that the tree falls in the correct direction.
In most urban situations sectional felling is normally the only option, as hazards or obstacles are often within close proximity to the tree. The operation of sectional felling to remove trees can take more time than other work plans but offers much more precision and control. It is often the only way to achieve safe removal of a tree without high risk to life and limb, or damage to surrounding property.
The operation of sectional felling is undertaken as follows: the climber will access the highest / safest point of the tree and install his climbing line, rigging block and bull line (pulley and lowering line). Once these are installed the tree surgeon will then decide where to start dismantling – this is usually the lowest branch. All the cut material is lowered to the ground with a great deal of care and precision, the ground crew run the lowering rope through a friction device to aid in taking the full weight of the branch. This process then gets repeated until all the side branches are removed.
Once all the side growth has been removed, the climber / tree surgeon will then start ‘topping down’ the stem in sections. This is quite difficult to undertake and requires good communication between climber and ground crew because the cut timber is within close proximity to the climber. Once cut, the climber will push the cut section off the top and it will then be under the control of the ground crew, who will lower it to the ground and avoid ‘shock loading’ the tree and lowering equipment. This is very important as shock loading an unsound tree could have dangerous consequences and cause the structure to fail.
Sectional felling with the aid of a mobile crane is by far the easiest, fastest and safest method that can be employed to remove a tree. Over the years we at Myers Tree Care have perfected this method thanks to close liaison with a local crane company. The operation is undertaken as follows: once the crane is set up in the best location that is close to the tree, the climber will access the tree as normal and climb to the highest point and install his climbing line. Once the climber is happy with his position he will communicate with the crane operator via radio communication headsets. The crane operator will then guide the crane hook into position above the climber’s head and the lifting sling will be set onto the tree and hook. Once set, the climber will request the crane operator to place light tension onto the sling. The climber will then descend the tree to a pre-determined position, remove his climbing line and then reinstall it. Once both the climber and crane operator are happy the lift can commence. The climber will undertake a series of precision cuts and will then instruct the crane operator to lift, once it has broken free the section will be lifted clear of the climber and then lowered into the designated area for dismantling, this process is then repeated until the whole tree has been removed.