Felling or pruning of trees

Tree felling

Need to cut down an annoying tree such as oak, plane tree, willow, fir or apple tree? Call on specialists for an environmentally friendly intervention and professional techniques.

felling tree cutting

Each owner is responsible for the maintenance and safety of his garden and several situations may require to cut down a tree :

  • when a tree causes abnormal neighborhood disturbances,
  • when the tree poses a risk to property and people,
  • if the tree is planted less than 2 meters from the public domain or a neighboring property,
  • more than 2 meters from the public domain, close to a visibility easement or in a dangerous bend,
  • at the request of the operators of the electrical and telephone network, to prevent a risk of falling branches likely to damage the network.

Note: a tree planted for more than 30 years benefits from the thirty-year prescription, that is to say that it cannot be cut down if it exceeds 2 meters in height.

Tip to find out if a tree is dead

A tree without foliage is probably dead. To make sure, just scrape the bark and check the color :

  • if it is green, the tree is alive and well,
  • if the bark is yellow, the tree lives but is sick,
  • if it is beige, the tree has recently died,

If the bark on the branches or trunk is brown, the tree has been dead for several years.

When is the best time to cut down a tree?

For a coniferous tree or for an evergreen tree, such as the strawberry tree or the olive tree, the cutting can be done all year round. For a deciduous tree, such as the almond tree or the birch, the best period is the “out of sap” period, that is to say the period from November to March.

In the mountains, however, the period may be longer due to accessibility difficulties. Cutting during the non-sap period makes it possible to have a drier and therefore lighter wood and avoids fouling the chainsaw.

What permissions to cut down a tree?

Before felling a tree located on your land, you must go to the town hall, to know the provisions of the P. L. U. (Local Urban Planning Plan). This plan may provide that a prior declaration of work must be filed. Likewise, special rules may apply if your tree is located in a classified area (natural environment classification or near a historical monument).

authorization tree felling

In addition, a forest owner must request an authorization for a tree felling, when he is in the situations provided for in articles L124-5 and L312-9 of the Forest Code. The authorization request must then be made to the departmental directorate of territories.

Which tree felling technique?

The felling consists of making 2 notches on one side of the trunk then a third notches on the opposite trunk. This last notch is called the “slaughter cut”. When the space is insufficient to allow the tree to fall without danger, the tree still standing is cut down.

The slaughter is said to be “white abutment” when the stump is left and “black abutment” when the stump is, on the contrary, removed. In the case of black abutment felling, the tree is pushed by means of an iron bar fixed on a tractor (treepusher), in order to bring the roots with the tree.

In white abutment felling, desalting often completes the felling operation.

What is desalting?

The desiccation operation also called uprooting is the last stage of cutting a tree. The desiccation then consists of completely removing its roots and its stump, then flattening the land thus freed.

desiccation of tree rooting

Desiccation can be carried out :

  • mechanically by cutting the tree as close as possible to the ground and then possibly trimming the stump with a stump trimmer, this method being possible only on low stumps,
  • in a chemical way by using a systemic desiccant circulating from the sap to the roots, this method should be used with caution to avoid touching the roots of any neighboring trees and takes time because the destruction is progressive,
  • by fire, this risky method is prohibited in some municipalities.

Why desiccate?

The final stage of slaughter is very important for several reasons :

  • rotting stumps can harbor a fungus, such as Armillaria mellea, likely to then infest the rest of your orchard or your ornamental trees,
  • the stumps hinder the traffic of both pedestrians and vehicles,
  • discharges from stumps (suckers) can damage foundations and/or clog pipes.

Who should I call to cut a tree?

Felling a tree is a dangerous operation requiring specific tools, know-how and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you do not think that you can safely cut your plantation, it is better to call on a company composed of professionals in felling and dismantling.

company pruning

On the other hand, for more technical operations, it is advisable to call on a lumberjack or a pruning company. The pruner being equipped with a nacelle for working at height will be able to cut (cut off) the top part of the tall tree, in order to limit the damage caused by its fall.

What is the price for felling a tree?

The price of a tree felling is usually calculated according to a flat rate. This includes the cost of the operation and possibly related work, such as desalting and cleaning the site. The price varies according to the size of the tree, the expenses of the rental of equipment of the nacelle type, the difficulties of access and the environment.

Good to know: The rates for maintenance work on green spaces are higher in large agglomerations.

The average range of the rates raised, for cutting and cleaning, is as follows :

  • for a tree not exceeding 5 meters: between 100 and 250 €,
  • for a medium-sized tree between 5 and 15 meters: between 300 and 400 €,
  • for a large tree of 15 to 25 meters: between 550 and 650 €.

Important: Remember to compare the prices of pruning companies by making comparative quotes!

Tips for cutting down a tree on your own

Many precautions must be taken to cut down a tree yourself :

  • don’t be alone on the construction site,
  • know well the operation of your chainsaw,
  • take into account different factors (the position of the tree, its size, the site, the direction of the wind), to determine the direction of the fall,
  • provide a fallback solution, if the calculation of the direction is incorrect,
  • use the method of directed felling consisting in sawing a kind of pivot hinge, intended to guide the tree in its fall
  • thoroughly clean the area around the tree,
  • make sure that when it falls, the tree will not cause any damage on high voltage lines.

Waste disposal and wood recycling

After a disassembly, a cut tree offers many possibilities of reuse to its owner :

  • cutting logs, in order to recover firewood,
  • Cutting and splitting of wood by pruners and waste disposal
  • the wood can be crushed, to serve as mulching (a technique to save water), to serve as compost or even Fragmented Branched Wood (BRF) and thus bring humus to a poor soil,
  • the unused wood can be sent to a specialized waste center, which will recover this green waste.

trunk cut logs

Transplanting a tree, the alternative to felling

You planted a tree. As you grow up, its location becomes problematic, because the rule of the minimum distance of 2 meters with your neighbor is not respected, for example. Rather than cutting the tree, you can choose to transplant it, an operation that must take place during the winter avoiding the days of extreme cold. This technique only concerns trees with a diameter near the ground of about 8 cm and the success of the recovery is random.

What is the difference with pruning?

Felling consists of removing a tree. Pruning is a maintenance operation. It aims to reduce the height and volume of the plantation, thus allowing it to strengthen itself but also to be in compliance with local regulations.

pine felling

Professional pruning is carried out annually at a period determined by the type of species :

Written by webseopl2022 on .


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