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High And Mighty: The Benefits Of Using Cranes For Tree Removal

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Removing a tree thoroughly and efficiently is always a trying task, even if the ill-fated tree is relatively young and small. Removing every part of a tree from the ground you need to clear, including extensive root systems that may one day sprout into new trees, can be particularly difficult, especially if you are using conventional tree removal methods and tools. 

There is, however, an alternative to chainsaws and stump grinders -- having your offending tree(s) removed using tree removal cranes. Many tree removal services now offer crane-assisted tree removal, while many landowners choose to purchase or hire their own cranes for tree removal purposes -- whichever path you choose, you will find that crane-assisted tree removal offers a number of attractive advantages over traditional tree removal methods.

How does crane-assisted tree removal work?

Generally, cranes used for tree removal are telescoping boom cranes -- these cranes are highly mobile and stable, and their lifting booms are capable of telescoping out to great lengths and tilting at a wide range of angles, making them ideal for tree removal. Before these cranes are brought into action, however, the tree and the ground around it should be thoroughly assessed to gauge how much resistance the tree will offer to crane removal. This involves assessing the root structure of larger trees, as well as examining the condition of the soil it grows in (soils baked hard by droughts and dry weather, or rich in heavy and adhesive clays, can make tree removal more challenging).  

Once the crane operator knows how much lifting force is required to remove the tree, the tree is hooked to the crane boom using a conventional logger's sling, usually made from chains and/or wire loops (these slings are sold by both logging specialists and crane retailers, and they will be able to advise you on which type of sling is suitable for your tree). The crane then physically wrenches the tree out of the ground vertically, a process which may require assistance from small diggers and excavators when dealing with very old and large trees.

What are the advantages of using cranes for tree removal?

There are many advantages to using cranes or removing trees, but perhaps the most commonly cited is the crane's ability to remove trees without damaging surrounding trees and structures. Felling a tree conventionally poses a severe danger to workers, vehicles and buildings alike if the tree is not properly controlled as it falls, and trying to remove smaller trees with herbicides can adversely affect nearby wildlife and groundwater. Pulling a tree out of the ground vertically with a crane causes minimal impact to the surrounding area, leaving no damage more severe than a few tire or track marks and a big hole where your tree used to be.

As previously mentioned, crane-assisted tree removal is also ideal when all parts of a tree, including its roots, must be removed -- this is a particularly pressing concern when dealing with sprouting trees such as Trees of Heaven, which can grow back quickly and aggressive from even the smallest fragment of root. Despite this thoroughness, however, crane removal is also a very speedy process compared to conventional felling methods, and a well-organised crane operation can remove a tree in a matter of hours.