During the course of Myers Tree Care’s work as Greater Manchester’s leading tree surgeons we received a call from a resident of Gatley in Stockport, Greater Manchester, who had been looking for a suitable and experienced tree felling company to remove a massive Poplar from their garden.
Other tree work contractors had visited the site to quote but were either placing un-realistic prices on the work or didn’t respond. This is by far the largest diameter at ‘ground level’ Poplar that Myers Tree Care has felled to date and was clearly too big and its location too difficult for a less experienced and qualified contractor to tackle.
On meeting the client, who had found us through our web site, our experienced tree surgeon and climber discussed the work that was required and how Myers Tree Care would get the job done safely and with the precision that was required. Our fixed price quotation was emailed later the same day and we received instruction to proceed with the sectional felling of this huge tree soon after.
The giant Poplar tree was sited within 3 metres of the client’s property. It had a fence growing through it and a live public footpath below it, not to mention several adjacent properties, numerous brick walls and even overhead services. In short, the tree presented many challenges in addition to its sheer size alone, but these are tree surgeon David Myers favourite type of job - the harder and more challenging the better!
This tree removal job was a logistical challenge too, as there were many elements to the work plan that needed to come together to ensure minimum disturbance to the client’s and neighbouring properties. The first step was to secure a date for the hire of a crane with our crane supply partner. Once this was agreed our timber hauler and handler’s machine and operator were booked too.
A small part of the jigsaw puzzle proved more difficult than expected – this was to arrange for a fencing contractor to fill the large void left in the fence as soon as the tree was removed. The client was understandably concerned that the site should remain secure, so when it proved impossible to find a local contractor to do this when needed we agreed to do it ourselves and arranged for the panels to be delivered.
On the “big day” we started at 9am by placing safety signs, cones and tape etc. Once that was completed we liaised with the immediate property owners to see if they wanted to move their cars before the crane was set in position. There’s nothing worse than overlooking this part of a crane job – the last thing you want is to re-position it whilst the work is underway, or risk upsetting an innocent neighbour.
When all machines were in position the necessary risk assessments were conducted and signed and radio checks completed. The tree surgeon climber was then able to ascend the tree to receive the chains that would be lowered into the crown of the Poplar by the crane driver. Once chains were secured the sectional felling process began with all sections being lifted over the property and lowered into the roadway for chipping and loading onto the relevant vehicles for removal from site.
By mid-afternoon the sectional felling was nearing completion but the hardest part of the job was now approaching. Removal of the lowest section of this large diameter Poplar involved the use of a 5ft long chainsaw to cut through the large and awkward pieces of timber remaining. Also, when a tree is sited on a boundary like this you hope that the last custodians did not place too many nails in it, as chainsaws do not fair well if they come into contact with metal. The re-sharpening process can take considerable time and effort, especially with a total of 8ft of chain to sharpen!
Surprisingly we got to the final cut at ground level (still with crossed fingers) and had not encountered one piece of steel, what a result! Once the last piece of timber was lifted clear we rebuilt the fence, then tided up and left the site.
Our client and his neighbours had been fascinated by the spectacle of large tree sections being lifted over their properties and told us they were amazed at what our five tree care operatives had achieved in just 6 hours on site.