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Old 12-12-2012, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Penn Hills
1,326 posts, read 1,783,972 times
Reputation: 1637

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I'm trying to do some mental budgeting for the upcoming year for a couple big projects, though we're too far out in time to get any real estimates done yet. We have a very, very large pine tree that hovers above our house. I don't know for sure, but I would mentally estimate about 100 feet tall. Maybe 1.5 feet in diameter. It comes out of the middle of our sloping backyard. With ongoing erosion, a lot of the roots are increasingly becoming exposed on the hill, and I'm convinced the tree is going to come down, and physics says it's going to come down right through the middle of the house, on to our bedroom...

Beyond that, it's next to impossible for much grass to grow on the hill, there's too much shade, the roots are shallow, etc. It would have to be brought down in pieces, definitely couldn't be felled whole. Also, since our house is uphill from the street and then the tree is even further uphill, it's pretty far from the road for it to be convenient for their vehicles or anything like that. Anyone have a (very) rough estimate for how much this would cost? Is it done by the height of the tree? Any recommendations of good local arborists?
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 22,048,152 times
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I had a tree taken out about a year ago, but the guy (Bill's Tree Service) is based out here in Beaver County, so he'd probably tell you to get someone closer because I know there are others who are closer.

But just for a price point this was a maple tree was around 15" or so diameter trunk and, eh, dunno how high, might have reached 40-50 feet at top I guess. It was near my house (as well as the neighbor's) but not directly next to it. There was room to work with. But it was some 70-80 feet from the road where they could put the truck. If the ground were dry maybe they could have backed some equipment up to it, but that wasn't happening and that was figured into the estimate. Tree was climbed and cut in segments, hauled down to the road and chipped (and pieces too big to chip hauled away, I kept one about 3ft or so segment of the main trunk before it branched). Cleaned up best they could with the wet ground. Took, eh, few hours with I think 3 guys. Cost was $400.

I dunno how the different type of tree and height will affect the cost. If your hill is steep (here the hill up from the street to where the tree was is fairly gradual and only gets steep just behind where the tree was) that'll probably make it go up. Does this pine have low branches or are they only at the top? Fewer branches may actually make it easier, but if it's really 100ft tall that's going to be some trick taking it down in segments without hitting anything. Would be interesting to see! And yet still, I'm sure it's far from the most difficult tree job ever.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:58 PM
 
Location: Penn Hills
1,326 posts, read 1,783,972 times
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I am not sure if that's the height or not. I'm not good with distances/lengths, it's just from me visualizing it vs the total length of my yard, which is 120'. It might be less, and hopefully is, really. It does have a lot of branches. The branches start about 10-15 feet up, and otherwise the tree is quite "full" from that point upwards. There used to be lower branches but they were cut off.

In terms of how steep it is, I don't know if this helps at all. House - tree - Imgur These are photos from the original listing, and I think they were quite old by the time we originally saw the listing. The erosion was worse at the time we bought it, and the grass was much thinner. My dogs have sped up that process, combined with some of the fall rains of the last couple years (every extra cent this year is dedicated to "mud management" - the fall/early winter rains + bad soil + dogs have destroyed the lawn within the back fenced area). The tree also appears a fair bit bigger at this point in time than the pictures indicate. For the length of the house up until the retaining wall seen in the first picture, it's pretty flat, and then it slopes up to the tree and then becomes less steep.

For the context of the second picture of the house, the tree in question is the tall pine in the left corner of the photo. It basically runs parallel with our chimney, down the center of the house. It goes up a fair bit higher than that, and again the picture strikes me as a bit old. The tree that's touching the ugly blue awning out front is much bigger these days as well.

I would be very happy if I was greatly overestimating the size of the tree. It's hard to get a good sense of it because the yard is only so big and it's so imposing, especially because it's uphill.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:13 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,636 posts, read 20,585,840 times
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Don't ignore the big companies. Got three bids on a very difficult tree removal and Davie came in at the lowest price. Some of the smaller places are way out of line. Big companies have big equipment and can do a job fast. Also sometimes they discount if you can wait for the ground to freeze if it does this year. Then they can get a truck into places they might not want to due to mud and sinking.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Penn Hills
1,326 posts, read 1,783,972 times
Reputation: 1637
It'd be pretty much impossible to get a truck up anywhere, is part of the problem. Hypothetically they could have driven up the hill from the road into the backyard at one point in time, but previous owners cut a large parking spot (big enough for two good sized vehicles), and it extends to the property line. Among other obstacles. Image: http://i.imgur.com/Bbl0R.jpg I am sure that would factor into the costs. Thanks for the advice about the big companies, we definitely won't shy away from them.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:36 PM
gg
 
Location: Pittsburgh
21,636 posts, read 20,585,840 times
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No truck then you are into a tree climber and a guy or two on the ground. They will have that thing down in no time. Don't hire some amateur for a tree close to your home. Hire a pro.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh area
9,918 posts, read 22,048,152 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h_curtis View Post
No truck then you are into a tree climber and a guy or two on the ground. They will have that thing down in no time. Don't hire some amateur for a tree close to your home. Hire a pro.
Exactly. Well, I dunno about no time, but it doesn't look substantially more difficult than the one they did here. Although it could be a little because the evergreen might be a little more difficult to climb and deal with while up there vs what I had with the maple. But that's what I had here, one guy climbing and a couple on the ground.

Long as there's a decent opening in that fence so they can get the stuff down into that parking area, I think you'll be okay. I mean, I don't really know how much it'll cost, but I'd like to think you might be able to keep it under a grand. Get a few estimates.

I will say I on the other hand am not at all happy with Davey in general, but that is because the guy who came out from them a few years back gave me bad info about my trees. I never wanted the maple I took out to come out, but it died. Probably nothing could have done with that one though. I also didn't want my ash tree to succumb to ash borer, but he said there was nothing to do, which I later found out (too late) was wrong. Not what I expected from the big company. Now even Bill and Josh can inject a treatment for ash borer, as long as you catch it early enough. Annoying. I'd call Bartlett next time if I want one of the big guys, just on the principle that Davey found it reasonable to send out someone relatively clueless for a consultation. But there are a number of experienced smaller outfits too. And yet it is an arena where you might find relative amateurs, so do be careful.
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Old 12-13-2012, 05:36 AM
 
43,012 posts, read 98,135,386 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg42 View Post
Tree was climbed and cut in segments.....Took, eh, few hours with I think 3 guys.
I watched a neighbor do this himself! No safety equipment. Nothing but a friend standing down below. He climbed up that massive pine tree with a chain saw and slowly hacked away at it. It was insane!
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:28 AM
 
482 posts, read 1,129,400 times
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I've seen the climbers do it, and it really is fun to watch how they get the whole tree down piece by piece.

Has anyone had a tree taken down within the city? The tree is along the street, so it's considered a "city tree." The issue is that the main trunk branches of the tree are dead and the off-shoot branches are still alive. The biggest issue is one of the large, dead branches is hanging over top of my neighbor's driveway just waiting to fall on her car. Trimming would work, but cutting the whole thing down would also let me fix the sidewalk bulges that have formed from roots. I've tried reporting this to 311 and calling the forestry department to no avail.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:37 AM
 
Location: O'Hara Twp.
4,336 posts, read 6,465,796 times
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I am guessing that this is a bigger job than some people are making this out to be. I had a pine tree half as tall taken down and my lowest estimate was 550. Stump grinding is usually additional. Also, getting grass to grow where a pine tree was is not easy.

If they need a crane it gets expensive. At our last house we had a tree taken down with a crane and we got a tone of estimates and the lowest was 3500.
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