The Gorge - Flash Bristow's Website
Felling a tree in our garden
Our garden contained a sick sycamore, which was rotten at the bottom and compared to neighbouring sycamores was definitely unwell. As the tree was ten metres tall and next to our house as well as those of our neighbours, we decided to get it removed before it fell down and caused damage.

The obvious problem was the small size of the garden. This meant the tree had to be taken out in manageable chunks, which were pulled into the right space by ropes. The pieces were removed from the back of the garden - a section of fence was lifted out temporarily for access.

The second problem was that the tree was so dead that when a ladder was put against it, it swayed too much. It was felt to be unsafe for someone to climb into it in case it came down. Instead, it was cut down in two sections by someone on a ladder against it.

Here are the photos of the removal. Click on any image to enlarge.
The base of the tree, against the fence.
Stage one was to put a ladder against the trunk and remove the branches.
A ladder was put against the tree but it was too weak to take a person's weight, so they put it against the other side and began to cut...
A wedge is taken from the side where the tree should fall, then a cut made to meet it from the opposite side... Here it comes!
The top of the tree lying in our garden. It didn't fall quite diagonally enough into the corner so there was damage to the chainlink fence, but this was superficial and quickly repaired by the lads.
One of the lads chops up the trunk into logs for us.
Another small section is removed from the top of the remaining trunk.
The pile of logs. The wood from the top half of the trunk was quite good, so it will be very useable in Mike's parents' fireplace in due course.
Now the rest of the trunk is tackled. You can see the rope around the top to make sure it falls in the right direction. No wedge this time, just a straight cut.
Here comes the second large section.
Cutting up the second section. This was removed along with the branches by the tree surgeons.
Sawdust action shot! The stump is reduced. Firstly a slice across the top...
...then the rest. This needed to be cut from both sides.
It took one lad to cut it and another to rock the piece until it came away and they could lift it out.
Finished! The small stump left in our garden. You can see how rotten it was inside the tree.
The space left by this tree's removal will be quickly filled in by branches from the trees either side. For now, our garden is enjoying a bit of extra sunlight and lots of sawdust!

We hired Bayford's Tree Care of Woodford, Essex. They made a good job of it, and were in and out within 90 minutes.

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