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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    6,190

    Default Would this be a dumb idea?

    After the storms on Sunday, I have a big broken branch in a tree in the pasture, but it is still stuck in the tree (tangled up with other live branches still on the tree).

    I need to get it down, so that I can dispose of it, and it is hanging down low enough that I am worried about a horse getting hurt on it (like poking out an eye would be my luck).

    I tried yanking it down by hand, that was an effort in futility.

    So, I was thinking of getting a rope around it, attaching the rope to the trailer hitch on my truck, and giving it the gas to pull it down. Of course I would have a good lenghth of rope and pull slowly so as not to get the truck caught in it, or catapult it out out of the tree and onto my truck.

    Would this be a bad idea? Thought I would run this past you folks before I go out and try it and have to post about how it was a bad idea after the fact.

    I keep hoping that it will blow down on it's own, since we still have very strong winds blowing, but no such luck.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2009
    Location
    Lyman, ME
    Posts
    401

    Default

    Try using a length of chain...wrap a couple of turns around the limb and then hook the chain end hook back onto the chain...attach the other end to your truck and pull slowly. I don't like the concept of a rope stretching like a rubberband, then the limb breaking and flying across the paddock... Also please consider that I am suggesting that you chain your truck to an unpredictable tree limb....I am assuming the limb is less weight than the truck and thr limb isn't hanging over a 700 foot canyon, or next to the high tension power supply lines to most of the Keys.. If that is not the case, please get a professional tree arborist. I have had good success pulling trees and shrubs with a stout chain and my compact tractor...the chain was purchased at Tractor Supply or Home Depot...3/8's I believe.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2006
    Location
    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    3,174

    Default

    Be careful of the height/trajectory of the limb as it might yank you back a bit, depending on the weight of the limb. Also, if you use a chain, do not let anyone stand nearby in case a link breaks. As an afterthought, can you trim the limb back so that it will not allow eye piercings if you have to leave it on the tree?
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    102

    Default

    We had a lot of old trees with dead limbs caught in them. They are known as "widow makers" with good reason! My experience has been that they mostly get caught/jammed in pretty solid and won't really fall out. If you can safely saw it off high enough to not clunk a horse or rider, I think that would be the best/safest route for a DIY project. Best would be getting a professional tree guy, and see if he spots any other prospective problems - he could take those out before they become hazards.

    We finally bit the bullet and had two guys with a bulldozer come out and knock down our dead/dying trees (dutch elm came through a few years ago, before we bought the place), just leaving the live trees behind. We got a lot of fire wood and reclaimed about an acre of turnout, all in one day.

    Good luck, whatever you do!



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2004
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    1,028

    Default

    If do pull it out with a truck - make sure there are no teenage boys around.. About 10 years ago, we pulled a bunch of big Oleander bushes with a v10 4wd dodge and a chain - it was work for the truck, but we were able to do it without incident. We left one of the more stubborn ones thinking we would get back to it later. The next week, I caught my teenage son and a group of his friends trying to pull that last oleander with a 4 cyl manual little truck and a nylon rope... With all the boys watching close and urging the driver on. If it wasn't so dangerous, it would have been hillarious.

    At least one of the bushes came flying loose when we used the truck - and I can imagine the branch would go flying much easier than a bush, so I would be very very careful. And make sure there isn't anything in the way of the truck so if it does come loose you have plenty of room to go forward.

    Jill



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2007
    Location
    Maryland USA
    Posts
    1,447

    Default

    I think it is pretty hard for anybody to tell you it is safe without looking at it.

    From where I sit, if the branch was small enough that standing under it and pulling by hand seemed non-suicidal, then pulling slowly with a truck sounds like a reasonable idea. Just remember that branches, especially live ones have a lot of spring to them, so even pulling slowly it could be bending others a lot and might release with a lot of force.

    Use a long rope.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Default

    Thanks everyone, I got all sorts of interesting mental images, and I think I will sleep on it, and perhaps just get my DH to come down with the chain saw, and just saw off the part that is dangerously low for now, and let nature take it's course with the rest of it.

    It also gave me a flashback to a time when we were helping a friend move, and somehow they managed to get the uhaul truck (largest one they make) stuck down a hill, with the rear bumper firmly dug into the ground on the hill. A wrecker was called, and they tried to winch the truck up, and at one point, the wrecker (which was chained to a large tree from the front, was actually off the ground. We all got clear of that mess figuring for sure that if the chain gave way, somone was going to die. They did manage to extract the uhaul, but what a mess it made of the lawn.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tangledweb View Post
    I think it is pretty hard for anybody to tell you it is safe without looking at it.

    From where I sit, if the branch was small enough that standing under it and pulling by hand seemed non-suicidal, then pulling slowly with a truck sounds like a reasonable idea. Just remember that branches, especially live ones have a lot of spring to them, so even pulling slowly it could be bending others a lot and might release with a lot of force.

    Use a long rope.
    Well, I did study it for some time, and cut off as many of the branches that I could before trying to yank it down on my own. I was able to move it, but it sprung back because it is tangled up in the intact branches on the tree. So I don't think it weighs too much. It's about 8 feet long, maybe 15 inches around at the thickest part.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2006
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    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    Default

    Yeah, I can just see your trucks' rear end up in the air along with the branches and limb! Your friends' move sounds spookily familiar to me, we did the same thing back in February of 09, totally tired out from the move and went onto snow/soft ground. Thank heavens the teenage son of my friend's fiancee had a truck that could pull our moving van out!
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
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    3,000

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Calamber View Post
    Yeah, I can just see your trucks' rear end up in the air along with the branches and limb!
    Well, that is exactly what happened when DH wanted to remove a partially downed branch.
    DH took my F-150 4X4 extended cap full length bed truck and tied the hitch to a branch that was partially down. He was getting the back end of my truck 4-5 feet in the air. I was SOOOOO not a happy camper. He did this multiple times so he could try to pull in a different direction to see it that would work.
    He eventually sucked it up and had to climb a ladder to cut off most of it. We eventually had the tree bulldozed over.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Default

    Oh Geeze, more bad mental images - I'm so glad I posted this question, seriously!

    You all have convinced me to go with plan B, and just saw off whatever is in the danger zone, and let nature do the rest, and deal with it when gravity finally does it's job.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2006
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    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    Default

    Truck back ends are not particularly heavy unless weighted down so they are not real good at pulling other than on the flat, or for that matter, going about in slick conditions. Good luck, just make sure you look carefully at how it is hung up when you/hubby cut since it could spring back. I just have too many weird experiences with trees and limbs.
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2010
    Location
    Harpers Ferry, WV
    Posts
    2,805

    Default Use a chain saw, please!

    We tried this and ended up with a scatched truck, cracked window. They can kind of "boomerang" like crazy.

    Use a chain saw and get what you can, it is a better, safer idea. Good luck.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2002
    Location
    Henrico, NC 36 30'50.49" N 77 50'17.47" W
    Posts
    5,772

    Default

    Use a long rope. Only tie bowline knots that you can get back undone after pulling on them. Any knots will tighten during the pull and a poor knot will ruin the rope.

    Big limbs are a lot heavier than they look. I keep a 150' hank of StableBraid just for this sort of thing. If the rope is strong enough, you don't need to bother getting a chain up in the tree.

    Tie some sort of weight on the end of the rope, sling it up over the branch where there is enough strength to withstand the pull. Take the weight off the end and tie a bowline loop over the rope that will pull up the the branch and hold like a lasso.

    A heavy dead limb is a dangerous thing up in a tree. I'd pull it down too. Unless you are experienced with a chainsaw up a tree, this is no place to learn.

    Long rope and pull it down.

    http://www.baileysonline.com/itemdet...8SBR+150&catID=
    Not cheap, but still less expensive than a trip to the Emergency Room.

    Stable Braid is not a stretchy rope so it won't slingshot a limb towards you. I've pulled down some really big limbs and even skidded good sized trees out of the woods with this rope.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Default

    One of my neighbors has a gas powered pole saw, I might just ask him to stop by with it tomorrow and and perhaps he can cut the live branches that are holding it up, and that will be the best solution (and he loves to show off with his "toys"). It might cost me a six-pack, I think I can swing that (and cheaper than that lovely rope that Tom posted).
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2006
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    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    Default

    Just make sure to give it to him after the job!
    "I have brought on the hatred of Wall Street and I relish it".
    Franklin Delano Roosevelt



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    39,958

    Default

    A friend many years ago was trying to get a dead loose limb off a tree, similar to yours, but in his yard.
    The limb did come down, right on his head, his retinas were detached from the blow and he has been legally blind since.

    Better not mess with those kinds of jobs, if you don't know what you are doing.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    8,115

    Default

    Three reasons not to trim trees yourself:
    1. Friend's husband used a long pole saw to trim his own trees (he was cheap), branch kicked back, knocked him off the ladder, when he landed (not that far up either) he shattered his wrist, and pulverized a disc in the middle of his back. If his wife had let him crawl in the back of the suburban van and have her drive him to the ER the way he wanted to (because the ambulance costs too much) instead of calling 911 the way she did he would have died on the way to the hospital. They had to do drastic vertebral surgery to put a cage and bone grafts (from his hip) to reconstruct the vertebrae. By the way the first incision is from the front and then the back (you don't want to know the details). It took over a year to recover, and the surgeon said he is one of the few patients with that type of injury to return to work full time (less than 30% do)
    2. Man and friend decide to take down big limb threatening house, and to avoid hitting the house the idiot on the ground has a rope around end of tree limb to truck winch, while the other idiot will lie flat on limb and cut the outer end with chain saw, then buddy will gun the engine and pull limb safely away from house. The last thing the idiot on the tree remembers (before waking up in the hospital with many broken bones and numerous other injuries) is the idiot on the ground gunning the engine while the tree guy started cutting-apparently the entire limb pulled loose from the tree and fell down.
    3. Banker tries to trim his own tall pine trees (the kind with foliage only on the top), extension ladder breaks in the middle, and he falls gently on his back in the pine straw under the tree. He was stunned mostly by the fact he wasn't dead, and breathed a sigh of relief. He looks up and sees the chain saw is stuck in the limb, and about then the chain saw drops to the ground, and lands right over his head-blade side down, and it stuck harmlessly in the ground. He called the tree guys the next day and removed every pine in the back yard.

    Each of these people decided that tree professionals cost too much, and all of them spent a lot more on insurance deductibles, not to mention the pain and suffering involved. Some things are best left to the pros-and the pros are worth every penny.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
    Location
    England
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    10,475

    Default

    I'd get a pro in. I hate messing with stuff like this. I don't know enough to be safe.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
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    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
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    Well, procrastination pays off again, sort of. . . The lovely round shaped live oak tree in my front yard lost a HUGE branch this afternoon - a week after the storm - so that is still attached to the tree about 20 feet up, and the rest is touching the ground, and a bunch of smaller branches broken ,

    So, I have a phone number sitting on my desk, calling in the pros tomorrow to take care of that, and I will have them tackle the one in the pasture at the same time.

    Not that I needed another damned expense, but you all are right, cheaper than a trip to the ER!
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



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