I was recently contacted by some clients who had several mature Gum (Eucalyptus) trees on their property that they were concerned about. The trees in question were growing in close proximity to a road and my clients were worried that any tree failure could cause an accident and wanted to discuss options for removal. They had contacted me to assess the situation and provide a viable solution.
The trees were approximately 30 meters tall and easily within fall distance of the highway. There were also high voltage power lines on the other side of the road that could be reached if the trees were to fall in one piece or by broken limbs during high winds. Visual inspection of the trees showed clear signs of previous branch failure in the form of old tear out wounds and stubs. The form and species of tree meant that pruning would not be a suitable long-term solution so I was in agreement with my clients that removal would be the best option.
Listening to my clients revealed that it was important to them that all the debris would be cleared from the area; the trees were located on a blind bend and they had concerns that if firewood was left behind someone could be hurt if they parked on the side of the road to collect it. Also, my clients’ long terms plans involved replanting the area with more suitable replacement species.
As the trees were near the highway, traffic management would be required for the duration of the job. I outsourced this to T8 traffic Control who have served me very well on previous jobs.
Due to the volume of debris to be processed and removed, and to reduce the time needed for traffic management, I decided to sub-contract in a large whole tree chipper, 5 ton digger and 40 cubic meter tip truck from Aarons Contracting. I have worked with them in the past and they are very competent, professional and perfect for a job like this.
Due to the site constraints the trees were climbed and brought down in sections. We were able to fell out reasonably large sections which made the job efficient, our main constraint being to maintain our minimum approach distance from the power lines.
As soon as the sections landed the digger was on hand to quickly process them and make a pile for chipping. Once all the trees were down the pile was fed into the chipper using the digger. A pile that would have taken days by hand with a small chipper was cleared in about half an hour with the digger and large chipper.
The clients kept some of the wood chip and the rest was delivered to a local permaculture farm for use as mulch around their fruit trees. The wood was loaded out into the truck and delivered to a local firewood merchant.
The whole job was wrapped up in one day minimizing the need for traffic management which can be a significant part of the cost on a job like this. The digger was able to do a thorough clean up leaving the site clear and ready for the next stage. I have revisited the site since and my clients are well underway with preparing the ground for replanting.
All in all, I was very pleased with how the job went. My clients’ goals were achieved safely, quickly and efficiently. A good solution was provided and the land is going to be replanted with suitable replacement vegetation that will benefit the local environment without risk to the highway.