Diseased Beech Tree Crane Removal

This Beech tree had been attached by Meripilous Giganteus fungus (see pests and disease section for more information). This particular fungus attacks the root system of trees. Sometimes the tree can live with the fungus for a long period of time without it having a huge effect on the health of the tree however sadly in this circumstance the fungus had very rapidly taken hold and had killed the tree. The danger of Meripilus Fungus is that the tree can appear healthy above the soil surface but beneath the soil level the roots can be substantially compromised and therefore can render the tree a danger to failure.

Due to the nature of the disease and the size and condition of the tree, a crane was used to sectionally dismantle the canopy and stem. The tree was also situated above a road and near to a junction so it was imperative that the tree was taken down in the most controlled way possible and causing as little disruption to the road network as possible. Large sections of the tree can be removed in one go when using a crane.

In order to start the tree removal, the crane operator positioned the crane on the driveway of the property where it would be able to operate the boom and access the entire canopy of the tree without having to move part way through the takedown. In order to access the tree the climber attached themselves to the crane hoist chains and is then raised and lowered into position in the tree. There are two sets of hoist attachments, one for the climber and one for the timber sections. Once the climber is in position he attaches the crane chains to the necessary sections of tree that are going to be lowered to the ground. The crane operator then takes up any slack in the chains supporting the weight of the timber but not putting too much tension on the sections which could result in the timber sections releasing with high speed once the chainsaw cuts are made. Once the climber and crane operator are satisfied that the section is correctly tied off and supported, the climber then makes the cuts with the chainsaw. The section is then slowly lowered to the ground. Once on the floor, the ground staff then move in to disconnect the chains and allow the crane operator to return them to the climber. The ground staff then cut and process the large section of timber into branches to chip or timber sections to stack and load onto the van. This same process is repeated over and over until the entire tree has been raised to the ground.

Once all sections have been processed and all of the branches have been chipped, the timber is then shipped off to the yard where it is stacked and later processed into fire wood. The crane work on this job was finished within 5 hours however the tree was so large that the removal of all of the timber from the site and the final tidy up continued into a second day. A total of 3 van loads of woodchip and 8 van loads of timber were moved from site.