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Tree Removal in Confined Spaces

By Stein Tree
Posted on November 17, 2023

Homeowners residing in homes with small yards or homes near other residential properties often worry about trees falling on surrounding individuals and assets. Such concerns are especially valid for those who lack experience in the field. To avoid these issues with tree removal in confined spaces, employ the services of a professional when removing a tree. In confined spaces, precise cuts are vital and require specific skills and knowledge.

If you have a tree in a confined space and want to ensure you and your property are safe, contact a professional tree service company with the right equipment and know-how to efficiently handle tree removal in narrow or difficult-to-reach areas. Professionals do the job with a keen sense of safety, ensuring their crew’s and surroundings’ safety.

What Constitutes a Confined Space?

A confined space in tree removal refers to any site that is difficult for crews and equipment to access. Walking the tightrope of confined spaces becomes even more critical when dealing with foot traffic or the risk of damaging surrounding property.

Common examples of these confined spaces include narrow gaps between buildings, easements between structures and the street, areas near power lines, terraced yards, and spaces that equipment like our spider lift or a stump grinder may be unable to pass into.

When Tree Removal in Confined Spaces is Necessary

Some situations make tree removal in confined spaces necessary to consider. Some examples include the following:

  • Branches start rubbing against structures, creating potential property damage
  • The tree receives substantial damage
  • The tree is leaning precariously, threatening nearby structures
  • Broad trees with dense foliage are causing debris problems
  • Tree branches are in danger of contact with power lines
Spider lift and skid steer being used to cut down a tall tree near power lines - tree removal in confined spaces - Stein Tree Service

How to Remove a Tree in a Confined Space

Tree removal in a confined space varies according to the situation. One of the approaches we use for tree removal in confined spaces involves using a spider lift. The spider lift is compact enough to be positioned in many small areas. Tree care and removal specialists are safely lifted to remove branches, then remove a section of the trunk at a time. If even the spider lift is unable to be moved into the space, our specialists are trained to climb using harnesses and cables. Either way, the tree is cut down in sections, starting from the top and working downwards. First, branches are removed, then the trunk is cut into smaller sections, usually with ropes or a speedline to guide its descent and ensure the pieces fall in a safe direction. Every member of the team is aware at all times of their location in relation to the work being performed in order to avoid accidents.

Tree removal is a complex and often dangerous operation that requires specialized tools and training. Attempting to remove a tree without the proper equipment and knowledge can lead to severe injury or even fatalities. Therefore, make sure that you have a fully licensed and insured professional tree removal company to ensure the job is done safely and efficiently. In addition to their training and experience, a professional will have the specialized equipment required to remove trees from confined spaces. These may include tools such as cranes, grapple saws, chippers, and log trucks, each serving a specific purpose in tree removal.

Recent Tree Removal Job in Inner City Wilmington, DE

We recently did a challenging tree removal job in Inner City Wilmington where the only access available to us was through a 30-40 foot long tunnel. Local residents may already be familiar with the layout of yards in the rowhouses in Inner City Wilmington. If the house is not on the end of the block, the homeowner is required by the city to have a second way out in case of fire. Sometimes there is a 2-3 foot wide walkway in between the yards that run the whole length of the block. If that is not the case for whatever reason, like if the house is on a hill with a big retaining wall, the second form of egress is the tunnel out to the front.

Homeowners in this situation may have the front door that is often 6 steps above the sidewalk level, and then the back door goes into a 20×20 ft fenced in yard with no way out in case of a fire. The way they would have to get out is through the tunnel: down under the house and then back out front again. That’s the only way into and out of the back yard except through the house,

and homeowners would prefer we take the tree out through the tunnel than through the house. In this situation, our team went through the long tunnel, and since the spider lift was unable to fit, they climbed the tree and just had to cut small enough pieces to fit through that little tunnel.

Crane Limitations

As in the case of the rowhouses, some trees that need to be removed are in very confined spaces where a crane or lift are unable to go or even reach from outside the area. In cities, one of the challenges with the crane is the spiderweb of wires overhead. The crane might be able to put its boom straight up between the wires, but to actually swing around and maneuver a tree is another story. For example, if we could get a crane into a space like this, the crane may have to reach over the house 100 feet to tie into the tree, then we do the cuts and pick the pieces up. The crane still needs 50-80 feet of arm swing in a radius to bring it back down to the street.

When we say spiderweb of wires, we mean the situation would really make you think of spiderwebs. Consider how a rowhome set up could be. A block may have 4 telephone poles: one on each corner and 2 in the middle of the block, one a third of the way, a second 2/3 away and the other at the other end of the block. The wires that feed the houses come off each pole then fan out to 4-5 houses each. So we really have a spiderweb of wires above our heads.

Contact Stein Tree Service for Tree Removal

These types of jobs have a higher level of difficulty and take longer to complete. They require help from a tree service company that has professionals who can climb trees and cut the tree into small enough pieces for them to carry out of the yard to the chipper. Some companies are unable to do this type of job because they have no climbers, but at Stein, we are equipped with the tools and the staff to perform tree removal in confined spaces. We are also insured, so homeowners and specialists have protection if an accident should occur. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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