Cutting down Large Pine Tree near House

A Large Pine Tree Left Towering over a House is a Recipe for Disaster

By Mark J. Donovan

It had happened two days earlier. Another heavy snow storm had hit New Hampshire and two feet of additional snow now blanketed the ground around our home on Lake Winnipesaukee. We had come up to do some cross country skiing for the weekend and to check on the house. Upon arriving, I did my customary walk around the home making sure the outside of the house looked copasetic.

Fortunately all was. However, there was one major anomaly sitting right next to the side of our house. 

A massive branch had fallen from a ninety foot pine tree that stood less than fifteen feet from the side of our house. The tree branch was at least twenty feet in length and at its root I guessed it was eight inches in diameter.

Looking up at the section of roof where the pine tree’s other massive branches hung over the house, I saw a large interruption in the blanket of snow that covered it. I quickly surmised that I was looking at the area where the massive branch had fallen onto the roof. The branch had apparently caused a mini avalanche of snow from the roof when the branch hit. Fortunately, however, the branch must have hit the roof with its soft pine bough side rather than with its root.

I quickly realized that my home and wallet had dogged a bullet. If the root of the pine tree branch had hit the roof first I would have had major structural damage, and water/ice damage, to my house.

At that moment I also remembered my uncle having to move out of his home for a few weeks a couple years back, due to a pine tree snapping off at the top during a thunderstorm and crashing through the roof of his home.

I called my wife over to look at the near miss. We both agreed that regardless of our desire to keep as many trees on our property as possible that this one giant pine tree had to go. It was too close to the home and the massive branch lying at our feet was clear evidence of the fact.

So when the warm weather finally returned to New Hampshire this past spring I hired a tree removal contractor with a hundred foot crane boom to come out and take down the tree, along with a couple of other dead trees that were also standing on the property.

I was surprised how fast and safely the massive pine tree was cut down. The tree removal contractor had one of his guys tie himself to the cable that was attached to the crane boom. The crane operator then simply raised him up into the top branches of the tree, whereupon the man climbed onto the tree and attached himself to it. He then tied the end of the cable up about two feet over his head, before using a chainsaw to cut the top of the tree off. As he completed his cut, the crane operator simply lifted the top of the tree up and away from the rest of it. He then slowly rotated the crane boom away from the tree and over our house before finally lowering it to the ground in our backyard. The top of the tree was then limbed of its branches by another man on the ground, and the branches were then sent through a chipper.

The crane operator then rotated the boom back over to the tree, whereupon the man still clinging to the tree reattached the crane boom cable to it and made another cut with his chainsaw. The crane boom operator then lifted the next ten foot cut section of the tree over the house and down onto the ground. After repeating this process for about an hour all that was left of the tree was a four foot diameter stump.

With the tree cut up into ten to twelve foot log lengths, the crane operator then proceeded to lift and load the logs onto a truck. 

Cutting down Large Pine Tree near House

By the end of the day, other than a stump on the side of my yard, there was no other evidence a tree had existed on my property. And this spring I plan to have the tree stump stump-grinded to eliminate the final remains of the tree.

So this winter my wife and I are no longer worrying about our home being damaged by a massive pine tree hanging over it. We are also enjoying the extra sunlight that now bathes our home during the day. Also, we have noticed that some of the moss that had been growing on the roof, where the pine tree hung over, has dried up and fallen off.

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