Last week we received a call from a mortgage company that owns a vacant property in Durham where a major section of a willow oak had fallen into the house, causing a considerable amount of damage. Thank goodness the house was vacant, otherwise there may have been injuries! For good reason, they needed us to remove the tree immediately. Once we arrived on site, the first order of business was to assess the situation. The tree was located near the back of the house and formed a fork approximately five feet from the ground. Rot had developed in the fork, which weakened the structure of the entire tree. Thanks to an encouraging push from the wind, the smaller of the two trunks fell on top of the house, crashing through the roof and walls.
Because of the delicate nature of this job, we certainly needed to use our crane. After setting up the crane in the street right in front of the house, we began the process of extracting the portion of the tree that was, quite literally, IN the house.Our climber secured himself to the end of the crane’s attachment and the crane operator carefully raised him onto the roof.
Once there, our climber wrapped cables around an individual section of the tree top, which he then connected to the crane. As he cut the section free, the operator slowly moved it to an open area in the street where the rest of the crew was able to chip the branches and cut the logs in appropriate lengths.
This process was repeated until all that remained was the tree trunk. Next, our climber focused on the tree trunk, which caused the bulk of the damage and was still situated within the house. At this point, the key was to remove the log without causing further damage to the house.
With a little expert maneuvering from our crane operator, we were able to guide the log out of the house along its drop path, then up and over the house. Phase one was complete! Next we turned our attention to the remaining portion of the tree. Although it was still standing and look reasonably healthy at first glance, it too had rotting issues near the base. This was an accident waiting to happen and needed to be removed before it could cause any further harm. Again, we implemented our crane in tandem with our expert climber. Our climber ascended the tree and positioned himself in the canopy where he was able to begin securing cables around sections of the tree top.
As he cut each section, the crane operator lifted it over the house towards the street. Section by section, segment by segment, we reduced the tree to a standing trunk. The last task was to attach the cables to the trunk, cut it free, lift it over the house, and load it onto our waiting truck. At this point, the tree was completely removed. Now it was simply a matter of cleaning the debris, hauling away the logs, raking the yard, and blowing the street. Dare I say, QED? Yes, I dare – but only because we’re pros at this sort of thing ;)