Removing Hundred-Year-Old Trees From Your Yard: What To Expect

Some trees that reach the century or century-plus mark may not make it one more year. Their age, height, weight and dryness inside makes them dangerous; they can attract lightning during a storm, strong winds can crack and bend off heavy limbs, and insects can destroy every part of the tree. Disease usually begins to settle in, slowly killing off your ancient trees. If a tree of this age were to break, snap and/or crash down on you, you may not survive to see your hundredth year. It may be time to remove really old trees from your property. Here is what you can expect when you hire a tree removal service to remove trees this large and this old.

"Topping" the Tree

The guys and gals who you hire will begin by either climbing up the tree to get near the top or using a cherry picker bucket to get up high. Here, they will begin to cut off limbs and to let the limbs drop to the ground below. Once the very top of the tree is laid naked and bare of its  limbs, the tree is "topped," which means that the very top portion of the tree is cut off and allowed to fall to the ground.

Removing the Fallen Limbs and Tree Top

Before the rest of the tree can be cut down and removed, the tree top and lopped limbs have to be moved out of the way. The tree removal service will either send these fallen pieces through a chipper or log cutter to make them easier to dispose of and/or transport. If you want to keep the chipped remains for your landscaping and flower beds, then other members of the tree removal crew can spread it around for you.

Cutting down the Remaining Trunk

If the remaining section of tree trunk is really tall or enormously wide, the tree removal service will cut it down in chunks or slices. These chunks and slices are then cut down some more to make them manageable and light enough for the crew to lift and carry into a truck or dumpster. The final six to eight feet or so is cut down with a chainsaw, usually near the base of the tree, unless the ancient tree's girth does not permit it. (Then a two-person lumberjack saw may have to cut the rest of the trunk free.)

Grinding or Blowing the Stump

The last part of the antiquated tree in your yard is removed either by grinding it into sawdust into the ground or using some explosives to blow it up and out of the ground. If the tree is too close to your house or other building structures, the tree removal crew will attempt to grind it first. If the tree is far enough away, carefully placed explosives will help break the stump up into loose chunks that can then be pulled out of the ground and disposed of. Finally, when the stump is ground or gone entirely, the ground where this tree once stood is leveled with a front loader and you are free to plant grass, flowers or shrubbery in its place.

For more information on tree removal, contact a company like Northern Virginia Tree Experts, Inc.