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Author Topic: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees  (Read 895 times)

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Offline MYNYJCWS

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Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« on: February 09, 2020, 08:32:14 PM »
Hello all,

i have about 4+ acres of woods surrounding my house. The woods are atrocious. So much downed ash trees it makes the property look pretty bad. I was thinking, that i could handle cut up and removal, but after thinking about it, i don't have the experience or equipment to do this much work.

I have found all kinds of arbitrary numbers online as to how much it cost to cut up and haul away wood. Does anyone here happen to have a good idea of how much this kind of work could cost? 

*Area probably not accessible with big equipment. land can become saturated/muddy certain times of year. Could get a truck back there for sure.

I could snap a photo tomorrow morning if that helps. Its probably way to much. I should just buy a truck and start doing one tree a week and in...200 weeks, with no breaks, i could have it done! :)

Anyone have any insight, it would be appreciated

Offline ljohnsaw

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2020, 08:36:43 PM »
Any firewood dealers that would gladly come take it for free?
John Sawicky

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Online Southside

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2020, 08:57:24 PM »
Welcome to the Forum.  The Emerald Ash Borer is what killed your trees and you need to be VERY, VERY careful working under that canopy as standing dead ash will rain down limbs and tops onto you without any notice.  One of the issues with EAB killed ash is that the tree has been compromised for a while before it shows visible signs, so limbs and tops become dry and brittle.  The other issue you may be facing is a quarantine.  The EAB came here from China because someone didn't follow best practices when moving wood products, the result is we will loose our Ash as a species.  Part of the attempt to slow the spread of the bug has been to restrict movement of logs, firewood, lumber, that has not been heat treated or fumigated.  The distances one can legally move wood varies so it's best to contact your State or County Forester or Forest Ranger and ask them what is legal and what is not when it comes to moving your wood.  

Myself I would be leery about letting just anyone come and run a saw on your property - you may end up with a bigger mess.  If you can find a legit firewood dealer or logger then that would be better scenario.  Best of luck with it.  
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2020, 09:07:44 PM »
Welcome to the forum MYNYJCWS, hope you stick around a while. If you have been reading around here, you will see this question comes up in various forms once a week or so. The devil, as they say, is in the details. 4 acres is not enough to get somebody with the right heavy equipment in, the cost is prohibitive. Also, your location is not clear to us so it is hard to render a guess as to what the regional work force/industry is like in the lumbering fields. NY is a big state. ;D For instance, if you are in the Catskills or Adirondacks, that is one situation, if you are on Staten Island, that is something very different. I am in the Catskills and enjoy doing work like that. I know my area, and the players fairly well. Cleaned up my neighbors 12 acres fairly well too, but I did that for me (and him), not for hire. You need to find someone like me in your area. Low impact logging types. Small equipment and something in it for them. What are the condition of the trees? Anything besides EAB killed Ash? What is the land like besides wet? What is the access like? Everything matters, especially hazards. Leaning or dead standing ash takes some skill to remove without getting hurt. (Frankly, they will kill you if you give them a chance.) Give us some details and we can perhaps at least educate you so that you can choose a path that suits you.
Can you use the wood yourself? What is the goal, to make it park like, or just safe, or perhaps just clean so you can safely walk through and let the kids play? 4 acres is not a lot, especially if you figure the house takes 1/2 acre at least. Is removal required, or would neat piles be better? What would you like to manage your land for? These are just some of the questions somebody should be asking you when they come look at the job.
So share some details and welcome again.
Tom

P.S. to Southside. The entire state of NY is in the quarantine now for a few years. However the extent of the damage varies in each NY region. The Catskills is pretty much all dead now, nothing left alive. Other parts of the state still have some viable trees. BargeMonkey is 1 hour northwest of me and he still finds live trees, but they have the bug and will all be gone soon. I am thinking with only 3 acres, our new friend here is not likely to find anyone who is going to trucking his logs further than their processor and selling firewood to the neighborhood. But then again, it depends on his region within the state.
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Offline MYNYJCWS

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2020, 09:27:09 PM »
I will try to reach out to some firewood dealers and see if that can spark some interest. 

Thank you all for the warm welcome and thoughtful responses. Some more details...

I have probably 10 hrs running a saw. I have dropped 10-20 trees on the property. I have also hired 2 companies to come out and do similar work, as it looked a bit to difficult to do safely, so i hired in some help. The lot has maple, ash, white pine, eastern red cedar among many others i can't ID. I am in Ohio. Luckily there is an old gravel road that runs along the length of the wooded area, so you can drive the road to the depth into the woods you like, and take a 90 degree turn to get in the woods. The land is hilly. Nothing crazy, maybe 20' of elevation changes. We have a small creek that runs through the property. It's pretty dense. You could take a 4wd vehicle though much of the woods... other areas have too much honeysuckle growth. 

Yes, it is sad what the EAB has done in this area. I would say that 30-50$ of the woods is ash, so this will be an issue until they are all taken down. I spend alot of time in the woods, and know the dangers of the EAB trees. One reason i want it cleaned up, is so it looks nice. Another reason is so i can do some camping and potentially building an outdoor camping/hanging out area out there. One windy night could end up bad as it is now.

Wood could be stacked throughout the woods, rather than hauled off. That would be fine. So essentially, really all i need done is labor to cut up all the fallen trees. In your area, are there reputable companies that will come out, cut up and stack the wood?

Online Southside

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2020, 09:36:25 PM »
Well, one thought that comes to mind is hiring an arborist for the day.  You want a guy who can fell difficult timber in tight spots and that's what a good tree guy does.  So if you hired him on a day rate and told him to just get them on the ground, understand there may be a couple of other trees that need to go with them, you might be able to get the dangerous part done at a reasonable rate and then you can work at bucking them up at your leisure.  
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2020, 10:25:36 PM »
OK, things are clearer now. Having nothing else to go on I had thought you were in NY based on your screen name. Guess that was wrong. :D  Southside's advice is the same I would give. Just know what your goal is and explain that to the folks that come to give you a quote. Probably it might be worth your time to get a roll of surveyors ribbon (not pink) to mark the trees that most concern you and this would make it easier to communicate your intent to the arborist.
Yes, I have a fella that is a bonded logger/arborist (he does both and they are different skills) and he would do whatever you want, but there will be a price. He has dropped several trees for me that are in hazard conditions (close to my house, over power lines, etc) and he is very good. I can say that if you call an arborist and they know that they don't have to remove the wood and do a manicured lawn cleanup, things get a lot more affordable. You make his job easy and it will reflect in the price. Most arborists I know LOVE to get jobs where the client says "just drop them and I will take care of the rest" because they rarely get those jobs. It means they need a minimal, if any, crew to support them and minimal equipment.
Best of luck. Happy camping. :)
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Online Ianab

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2020, 04:27:20 AM »
There is also the low cost option of just dropping the dead trees, cutting up the limbs and just letting it all rot in place. 

The place will look better, be safer to walk around in, and the logs and cut branches will soon become compost, and then soil for the replacement trees that will eventually grow in the gaps. Ash isn't durable, so after a few years it will be mulch. 

For 4 acres with limited access, that might be my choice. "Do Nothing" is always an option with forestry, but aesthetics and safety come into play as well. The logs laying on the ground improve both of those with minimal outlay. 

Going to look a bit ugly for a few years until the regeneration kicks in, But soon all sorts of new seedlings will sprout up in the brush piles etc. If you have ~50% other trees, you don't lose the "forest". 
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2020, 05:56:30 AM »
Just get the trees on the ground would be a big help to you. You said you have a chainsaw, than you could cut them up? Wear the proper gear, boots, hard hat, chaps, gloves and common sense.
It would take an 8 inch round piece of wood time to rot into the ground. I cut firewood on my land, whatever I leave in the woods I try for nothing no longer than 2 feet. One reason so I can drive through my brush, anything no longer than 2 feet should not be able to do damage to my tractor. I hope!! And it gets the brush on the ground so it will rot faster. I really try not to leave a branch that is up in the air. I even run the chain up and down the limbs. But this might also cause the chain to come off because the chain might be a little loose and  a small branch will knock off the chain.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2020, 09:02:13 AM »
This is a good example of why taking the time to completely fill out the "Profile" is so important.

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Offline Clark

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2020, 04:58:14 PM »
Well, one thought that comes to mind is hiring an arborist for the day.  
That might prove very difficult. Injuries and deaths in the tree care industry from trees have gone up since EAB arrived. Historically the arborist trade suffered the greatest number of fatalities when working with equipment (chippers were the main culprit) or near power lines but that has changed in recent years.

Davey, the largest tree care business in the US, does not allow arborists to climb ash trees if they have 20% or more dead canopy. That is a very low threshold and means that almost every EAB infested tree will need bigger equipment to be safely dealt with.

Bottom line: donít expect an experienced, insured arborist to take on this job.

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2020, 07:48:59 PM »
Clark, I respectfully disagree. The tree folks around here either use a feller buncher on dead ash, or bucket trucks, either way, it greatly minimizes the risk. Other hand fallers are pretty good at reading the trees and walking away from the losers. Sounds like a lot of the OOP's stuff just needs to be dropped, can't see any reason to climb or use a bucket. Just get it down, that makes it easy. Heck, you could bring a doza and get it done too. Too bad. Those dead standing can have a lot of nice lumber in them if they aren't too brittle. It's pretty wood and the best firewood around.
 @BargeMonkey is my local hero on taking these trees down. He has taken thousands down, by my guess and seeing the last woodlot he worked. He uses a Timbco with a full forestry cab and frankly the ground he does this on is more dangerous than the trees raining down. ;D
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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2020, 08:28:31 PM »
I wasn't thinking of climbing a single tree, just directionally drop them, thus my comment about a couple non target that may need to come down, ie to open a hole if necessary. 
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Offline Clark

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2020, 07:08:33 AM »
I agree Greenhorn, there are methods other than climbing to take care of dangerous trees. But if you want someone to directionally fall a bunch of dangerous trees but they donít want your equipment in there, why take the job? Thatís the beauty of being self-employed, you can walk away when you want. 

You would be asking the arborist to remove dangerous trees without any of the safety precautions they could take. Whoís going to do that? Now, if the OP wanted to allow equipment back there then it changes things dramatically.

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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2020, 07:20:59 AM »
I don't read anything where the OP says he doesn't want equipment back there. In fact he says you could get a truck in. He notes that the ground is poor for equipment access. I have a buddy with a wide tracked special skidder that will run over and through about anything. I also think the OP is happy with just getting the trees down and the direction is up to the faller. Maybe I read it wrong or missed a post.
 If it were me (and it was just 2 years ago) I would just start at one end and think through the cuts, take my time and start chipping away at it. It comes down to experience and patience. It should not be done by someone without both. ;D
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Offline dougtrr2

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2020, 09:03:39 AM »
I will try to reach out to some firewood dealers and see if that can spark some interest.

I have probably 10 hrs running a saw. I have dropped 10-20 trees on the property. 

Wood could be stacked throughout the woods, rather than hauled off. That would be fine. So essentially, really all i need done is labor to cut up all the fallen trees. In your area, are there reputable companies that will come out, cut up and stack the wood?
I would just cut it up myself.  If you are a little unsure of yourself, start with the small trees from the small end. Look each log over to see if there is pinch potential.  Get some plastic felling wedges to hold the cuts open and you should be fine.
If the trees have been down for any length of time there may be rot going on.  I don't think a firewood guy would be interested in that at all.
Doug in SW IA

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2020, 10:46:38 AM »
Ash will stand 5-7 or more years standing dead .The roots rot then over they go .Laying on the ground it takes a long while before they rot up .In addition to the little 12" ones I lost 100 footers 3 feet in diameter .Those I have the logs saved for lumber .
Might note if the trees had any life left in them they will resprout .I have some with 12 foot sprouts taken down 7-9 years ago .Weather they ever get large enough to reseed is yet to be seen .In addition thousands of little tiny saplings  from understory trees  that once the sun hit them have grown .Where that goes also is yet to determined .

Offline alanh

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2020, 10:12:02 AM »
My son does a good deal of cleanup projects like this, a pretty efficient process using his good size tracked skid steer with forestry mulcher along with a tree guy with a skid steer with a grapple to move the bigger logs to a staging area to be picked up, brush and smaller branches get ground where they fall. Unfortunately I don`t have the before pic but these woods were`t even walkable, this is just with the mulcher, never getting out of the cab.

 

Offline 1countryboy

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Re: Cost of cut up and removal of downed trees
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2020, 12:27:30 PM »
Welcome to the group.   You do need to fill out the profile so we know where u are and specifically, where in Ohio.  Western Ohio vs SE Ohio are vastly different.   No quarantines any more county to county in Ohio.  The ash bore has killed all of them.  Very sad situation.   Take a drive up or down U.S 30 or I71 and view all the dead trees (ash).  Do NOT go into your little 4 ac. and start to down standing ash.  The bore has been here (depending on your county) for 15 years.  Clean up the fallen ones and wait for others to fall.  

 I logged out huge ash just before that happened and was a good market.  Now standing ash are very dangerous.  Check out where they snap.   Up in middle of the tree.   They will kill u.  My timber buyers stay away from those.  Do you have a wood stove or outdoor furnace?  Do you have friends that burn firewood?  The ash is losing btu s.  Suitable for burning, but not nearly as good as it once was. Ash was burnable green or dried.  

You should have a forester for your area.....Probably covers 6-8 counties.  Mine is based in the Mohican State park and covers Ashland, Wayne, Huron, etc etc.   Google and you can find yours.   You can private message me on here and I will share with more or on here.
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