Uprooting Hickory

Dan Cobb

Branched out member

Looked at this 21" DBH hickory today. My recommendation was to remove the chain link fence and fell it, as it's all the owner's property. (Would obviously need to avoid barber chairing it.) I am not too keen on climbing it and rigging down the heavier pieces. And I don't think piecing it down is cost effective.

Anyhow, anyone have insights as to why a mature hardwood would suddenly start uprooting? There's a definite hump opposite the lean due to the roots lifting. It has not been abnormally wet or stormy lately.


Been here a while
Atglen, PA
Any signs of a root rot fungus of some variety? Around here, when a tree does that, usually there’s root rot of some sort.

If it has moved that far recently, it will probably fall over completely in the very near future. I like the idea of felling the through the fence, as long as damage to the stuff on the other side is not a problem. Otherwise, that’s why we have a spider lift. Just start dropping little pieces.

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Stomp around on the humped side to listen for a hollow thump that is expected after an uprooting that happened quickly. It gives you some info

No need to answer, just consider.

Are your felling skills better than the tree?
Have you done drops like this before?
Is this your first?
Do you have a saw with a long enough bar to make the felling cut from the off-side?
Does the lean favor the fall?
Do you need to have guy ropes to hold it forward?

What is the worst thing that could happen? Be critical.


Been here a while
No storm or inclement weather leading up to it?
Happens to spruces around here when the ground is very wet and the wind blows hard.

That’s a shame, looks like it was quite beautiful before.


Participating member
Florida>>> USA
If ground not spongy(does not look raised in pic) tension side especially, might fall as some side lean scenario w/o rear rope too, all depends. Side fall would not feed into the fiercest falling force like would happen on falls inline to lean axis as loaded power axis, or even degrees to the side. Can meter the amount of side force, ballast that with Tapered Hinge , and then only remaining forces pull tree home(after side force and Tapered ballast each other out of equation to reveal only forward lean part of force).
But, 'thru fence' probably ok in good ground, especially if no wind buffering trees around on 'off-side'(Dent, reverse of lean side, where fat part of tapered goes), where this has gotten full exercise. Probably want smooth clean, non-stalling or stopping type fall more than usual.
Many times may serve a bit deeper face to undermine CoG more, reverse that strategy here i think reaching for reverse effect; if falling into the lean axis.

Dan Cobb

Branched out member
Went by to look at a job for the next door neighbor today. Tree was down, but only got about 20 feet of fence. I did not enter the fenced area to inspect for root problems.

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