Don't Try To Remove A Tree On Your Own (Even If Your Best Friend IS Batman Or Superman)

Posted on: 4 March 2015

Tree removal can be expensive. You can easily expect to pay more than $1000, with additional costs if you want the company that does it to remove the stump, haul off the branches, or turn the pieces into mulch or firewood. That makes it very tempting to borrow your buddy's chainsaw (and your buddy) and try to tackle the job yourself. However, unless your buddy happens to be Batman or Superman, that's a remarkably bad idea (and this is why).

It Doesn't Take A Superhero To Remove A Tree, But It Does Take The Right Equipment.

You need the right equipment to safely remove a tree, and there's a bit more involved than a chainsaw and a few ladders. Even if you want to keep things to a bare minimum, you will also need:

  • small saws or a hand ax (for branch areas where it isn't easy to manipulate a chainsaw)
  • ropes, pulleys, and a climber's harness
  • steel toed boots and boot spurs/spikes
  • eye protection and ear protection
  • work gloves and a hard hat

You may also need a boom truck, if the tree is particularly tall, widespread, or has portions that are too damaged to support the weight of a ladder. If you want the stump out, you need a stump grinder. You also need some way to haul off the wood, or a chipper to turn it all into mulch.

This is where it helps having either of the two previously mentioned superheroes for a friend. Batman's alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, may have to bankroll you to get the equipment that you need, at the very least.

Your best best, however, might be asking Superman's assistance. Unlike Batman, he's indestructible. That means that he doesn't have to worry (unlike you) about tree limbs crashing on his head or feet. Plus, he can fly in and remove the tree by hand, without the need for any large equipment or messy cleanup work.

You'd Better Have More Than A Passing Familiarity With Your City's Permit Office

Depending on where you live, you may need a city permit before you can remove the tree from your property (or even trim it). 

Cities usually have a strong interest in preserving their trees, especially older ones. Trees improve air quality, provide wildlife habitats, raise property values, help manage stormwater, protect streets from storm damage, and even reduce crime rates. For these reasons alone, you usually have to navigate a complicated process that can be both confusing and time consuming.

If your tree is too near power or phone lines, you may simply not be permitted to remove the tree yourself. The city can insist that you use a licensed (and insured) tree service. And, you may not be permitted to remove stumps until the city is sure that the removal process isn't going to damage any sewer lines or underground utility pipes. 

Superman's x-ray vision might be useful for double checking the location of any sewer or gas lines, before you start trying to dig out tree roots. However, Batman probably has the superior knowledge when it comes to dealing with bureaucratic red tape and city forms - the excavation and landscaping around the Batcave alone has to have been extensive over the years!

Realistically, even Batman and Superman would probably tell you to hire a professional tree service (such as Coryell Tree Service) to get the job done. Proper tree removal requires specialized equipment, skill, and knowledge. A professional knows the best way to get the job done, without causing an accident. And, if an accident does happen, the tree removal service will be financially responsible (not you and your buddy).