Safe way to cut down conifers?

Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Holst2 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:44 am

Hello. My neighbour is cutting down all the beuatiful trees along the border. He has already cut down the limes and next he will be cutting down three 50foot conifers (Leylandi ??) next to my bungalow They are all about 8 feet from my shed and fence.

It is a tragedy what hes doing. I accept I can't stop him but what really worries me is the way he is going about it. He is just cutting all the tree trunks at the base and letting the trees fall wherever they will. I thought he should really dismantle them limb by limb but he says it is safe to do it his way because he can control which way they go by cutting a V shaped knotch in the trunk.

Id this right it seems very unsafe to me, he has already broken one old fence panel?
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Collaborate » Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:39 pm

Who owns the fence? If it's his fence he can do what he likes. If it's yours he'd have to replace it where it breaks.
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:15 pm

Hi Holst2,

he has already broken one old fence panel

I might be over-analysing things, but the above part of your posting seems to be tacked on - ie is it actually anything to do with his methods or not?

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby arborlad » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:10 pm

Holst2 wrote: he can control which way they go by cutting a V shaped knotch in the trunk.



It's called directional felling and has been going on since the stone age - whether his version is safe or not is impossible to tell from the evidence of: 'he has already broken one old fence panel?'
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Holst2 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:44 pm

It is my fence panel. It broke when one of his trees fell sideways and a branch came crashing through it. I dont want the same thing to happen to my shed or bungalow when he cuts the cypresses just a few metres away.

Isn't there a safer method thatnjust cutting at the base. The V knotch surely will only work if the tree is evenly balanced in the first pplace.

Is there anything I can do to make him cut his trees safely without risking damage to my property. Or do I have to wait until damage occurs or I get crushed to death in my living room before the law can step in? He wont listen to reason.
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Holst2 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:14 pm

When I said I was concerned about the trees damaging my bungalow the neighbour just said if it did I would have to sue him. Then he laughed and said I wouldnt get anything as he had no money. Thats the sort of person he is. He just doesnt care.

He has destroyed the look of the area and he has already destroyed at least two birds nests in the trees he has cut. There seems to be another in one of the remaining cypresses which he is planning to cut next week. Is it illegal to chop down trees with nesting birds?
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:13 pm

Hi Holst2,

Isn't there a safer method than just cutting at the base. The V knotch surely will only work if the tree is evenly balanced in the first place

whilst one methods might be said to be safer than another, the competence (or lack thereof) of the practitioner has a huge bearing on the results.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Holst2 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:53 pm

Thats really my point. An incompetent person may well choose an inapropriate method. He doesnt seem competent as evidenced by the first wayward tree that fell on my fence. I dont want another wayward tree to hit my bungalow or shed.

I am sick with worry about the damege he might do. Is there anything I can do to protect myself and my property?

I have seen reputable tree surgeons climb into a mature eucalyptus tree and remove branches one by one before cutting down the trunk in segments. They did this to avoid damage to neighbouring properties. My neighbour wont do this. He insists on cutting the trees down whole. And they are very large trees. What if one fell on my bungalow.

What about the nesting birds?
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:42 pm

Hi Holst2,

in E&W it is illegal to intentionally damage or destroy active nests, nesting birds or their eggs - as per the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Holst2 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:52 pm

MacadamB53 wrote:Hi Holst2,

in E&W it is illegal to intentionally damage or destroy active nests, nesting birds or their eggs - as per the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Kind regards, Mac

Thank you MacadamB53. What is E&W? Who should I contact to enforce this? the police?
I will take photos of the birds and write to my neighbour to tell him. At least it might deter him until the autumn.
Thank you. It is nice to know there are some helpfull people here.
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby MacadamB53 » Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:44 pm

Hi Holst2,

E&W = England & Wales

contact the RSPB and RSPCA for advice.

Kind regards, Mac
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Roblewis » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:12 pm

Even Fred Dibnah could not guarantee which way a chimney might fall even with all his experience. Trees are even more unpredictable that is why tree surgeons do not follow this method in most situations. Your only hope is an injunction issued asap to stop further felling until a safe method of felling is agreed.

As Mac says the RSPB will be the first port of call re any nest destruction.
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby arborlad » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:14 pm

Roblewis wrote: Trees are even more unpredictable that is why tree surgeons do not follow this method in most situations. .



Whether a tree is being felled or having surgery done, there is a need to put some direction into the branch or tree, this is almost always done with a notch or V in the right place followed by a back cut in the right place. This is a widespread and common practice throughout the industry, whether standing on the ground, in a cherry-picker or in a harness 100ft up.
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby Roblewis » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:27 pm

Yes it is but you do not use that action alone to fell a tree safely in a controlled manner. As mentioned above balance is also key to the final direction. Lumberjacks may well do it alone without other measures in open woodland/forest but they also have their failures except no buildings etc are at risk
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Re: Safe way to cut down conifers?

Postby MacadamB53 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:16 pm

Hi Rob,

you do not use that action alone to fell a tree safely in a controlled manner.

we know the neighbour says his chosen methods include 'the notch', but do not know that is the sum total of his methods.

Kind regards, Mac
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