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Author Topic: Big Oaks  (Read 4597 times)

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Offline chris b

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Big Oaks
« on: June 30, 2011, 02:58:24 PM »
Hello all-
I've been all over the internet trying to find information, and bumped into this forum. After reading a learning a lot, I decided to delurk to see if any of you might be able to offer advice on my specific "problem".

We have recently purchased a circa 1970 fixer-upper on a lovely bit of lakefront property in central Michigan. The plan is to improve the place with a lot of DIY on weekends, and retire there in a few years. The property has been neglected for years, and there's a lot of work to be done, and money to be spent. A double lot with the house sited on one side, the property is populated with a lot of mature oaks, maple, birch and pine. One of the more daunting non-DIY challenges is improving the health of the house and the quality of the beach  by opening the site up to more sunshine. We think at least 6 big oaks have to go.

These trees are huge - 80 to 100' tall, some with huge multiple trunks that shoot up straight from the base, clear of branches for 30 to 40 feet. I measured the circumference of one typical trunk at the 4.5'H mark and it was 84". Some are white oak, some have the pointier oak leaves, but I'm too ignorant to determine the species.

After cruising through some of the threads here I now understand the problems with urban trees, but as these are neither truly urban or truly yard trees I have these questions:

Is it possible someone might safely remove the trees in exchange for the timber?
I read in one thread that it might be possible to pay a tree service a lesser fee remove the trees and leave the downed timber behind. As we would have room to store some big logs, would this be the best way to go? Would these trees hold any value to anyone where we might be able to recoup the cost of bringing them down?

Thanks in advance for any info/advice!


Offline beenthere

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2011, 03:47:47 PM »
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you have a good venture on your hands.
As to the question, it won't hurt to ask around for anyone interested in the wood from the trees. But a lot will depend on just how valuable they are (and in today's market, the return is low at best).

Taking them down isn't a problem but has some risk. If you get someone, be sure you are covered by either their insurance or your own.

I just took down a white oak that was developing some decay in the trunk. A tree I didn't want to remove, but one that I didn't want falling on that corner of my house in a storm (and my bed is on that corner :) ).

Here is a video of dropping it. Didn't take long, but left a mess to clean up and there was little of value in the tree but some firewood.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline shelbycharger400

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2011, 07:50:52 PM »
what you pay a tree service to drop it, theirs no way to recover the $,     it is way cheaper tho... to have them drop it,  and you clean up the mess.   buddy dropped a 44 in dia maple.. that covered his lot, and the lot next door... anywho... branches were everywhere,   between the crane  to take it down, and manpower... then another contractor with a dozer ect... was 1500 + just to drop it,    cost him his 4 wheeler to have the stump jerked out...  and its still in his backyard

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2011, 06:42:19 AM »
You said lake front. Better get some permits from the state,town if you have water touching your land. No big deal to get the big guys involved. certain things need to be done. Can't cut all the trees due to run off.Sounds like the few you want to cut should be OK,but I would do some checking before starting.If the trees are just cut down,you will still have ALOT of limbs to deal with.Some will be fire wood,but what about the rest?Have room to pile them,chip them? Takes ALOT of time to clean up a tree.Not like it's in the woods.I just had a guy tell me he has some white pine right next to his camp,no water frontage and he wants it cut ,but don't want the wood left there. Trees everywhere there. No way to get it out in log length. I mentioned I would take it and burn it in my OWB,but I would not go after it. I told him to look around,I don't need to go travel to get firewood.
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Offline clww

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2011, 04:53:21 PM »
Where are you located? It doesn't read anywhere on your profile.
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Offline twomules

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2011, 05:00:54 PM »
My situation was similar last year.  I had 100+ft oaks less than 20ft from the back of the house and they were dying from oak wilt.  I didn't feel I could drop them safely.  All were leaning towards the open space above the house.  A couple had their tops over the house. 

I got quotes from several tree cutting services.  They varied wildly.  One guy quoted $600 to take down six trees, another wanted $5K.  Oh, make sure the person doing the work is insured.  Three of the trees had to be climbed and taken down piecemeal.  The deal I made was just put the wood on the ground, not the house and I'll do the rest. 

The one healthy looking tree, also the biggest, turned out to be hollow from below ground level up to about 20ft and full of water.  I was tempted to leave that tree but it was leaning over the bedroom.

I found it's cheaper to just have the tree service just drop the trees.  If you're up for the remaining work to be done you'll save some money.  None of the tree service people I talked to were the least bit interested in lumber and the lumber companies that contact me from time to time aren't interested in taking down trees near the house.

Offline Magicman

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 10:37:24 PM »
Welcome chris b, to the Forestry Forum.   :)
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 10:55:11 PM »
It will be very difficult if not impossible to find someone qualified to take those trees down for the wood.
Best of luck though.

Offline hurricane

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2011, 01:18:55 PM »
Are you sure it is legal to remove them? In California, if oaks have a circumference bigger than a certain dimension, it is illegal to cut them down unless you can prove that they pose a threat - like they are dying and likely to crush your house when they fall.

Offline chep

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2011, 03:26:42 PM »
Instead of assuming they must come down, contact a qualified arborist who may have other solutions. Doing a hazard evaluation, testing for decay, examining the landscape as a whole... A simple crown thinning could be the answer.
  I love cutting big trees as much as the next person. But dont jump to the conclusion that the trees must go. They have been there a long time and by the sounds of them, might deserve to be preserved.
  Think about what might be gained by leaving the trees and working with them instead of flipping them. Just my two cents. Take the time to make the decision properly because they wont grow back in your lifetime, or even your childrens lives.

Offline 5quarter

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Re: Big Oaks
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2011, 01:30:04 AM »
Hurricane...could explain the reasoning behind this restriction on cutting Oaks?
What is this leisure time of which you speak?
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