Removing a tree shouldn't take two weeks

big tree parts just sitting there

A customer who writes for a living sent us this and invited us to post it here:


One morning nearly a month ago, two guys with a pickup showed up and placed a little “tree service” sign on the neighbor’s tree lawn.

They pulled out some rope and a couple chain saws, and spent several days trimming all the lower branches from a giant old tree.

The next week they showed up with a rented boom lift, which let them nibble away at the higher branches.

They worked from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. every day, chainsaws buzzing the entire time, as they cut the big branches into pieces they could load onto a little trailer behind the pickup.

By the second Friday, the tree was just a massive stalk, 4 feet in diameter and perhaps 50 feet high. The top-most branches were still intact, overlooking a nest of power lines that supply thousands of homes across the East Side.

all those power lines

Over the weekend, a third man joined the crew for the last, scariest part of the job. My wife walked over to ask if they were bonded.

The leader assured her they were covered and that that they knew what they were doing.

But they were grossly and undeniably under-equipped. This isn’t the country, where a giant tree can fall and nobody hears it. This is an inner-ring suburb, with close-built homes, parked cars, a major thoroughfare and, of course, power lines. A single mishap could easily do tens of thousands of dollars in damage, if not worse.

It took the entire weekend to bring down the rest of the tree. By the time they finally toppled the main trunk, some of the other neighbors had set up chairs to watch.

The tree fell precisely where they had planned, with a crash that shook the ground, set off car alarms and turned a couple slabs of bluestone sidewalk into rubble.

They spent the rest of the day and part of the next sawing at the giant trunk and never really finishing.

A month later, as the photo shows, a dozen big pieces of it were still laying on the homeowner’s lawn. The sign advertising “tree service” was still there. The damaged sidewalk hasn’t received any attention.

I imagine the homeowner saved some money by hiring this slapdash service, but it was short-sighted and selfish. He subjected the entire street corner to two weeks of noise and commotion. He exposed his neighbors to an incalculable level of risk, and he could have been responsible for a massive power outage.

And in the end, much of the tree is still there.

If he had hired Ripley Tree Service, you would have brought all the people and equipment needed to handle the job. You would have brought each piece of the tree gently to the ground – no matter how large or high up it may have been. There wouldn’t have been any damage or excitement. And the whole thing would have been done in half a day.


Ripley Tree service is an independent family business serving Northeast Ohio since 2001. Please contact us for fast, careful tree removal and all other services for the lifecycle of your trees.

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