Confined Space Tree Removal

Tree removals are always tricky and potentially dangerous, but even more so when the tree is in a confined space near your home or business. Although it’s challenging and definitely not a DIY job for Connecticut residents, it is possible to cut down a tree in the narrow spaces between buildings or near powerlines.

While not all tree companies are equipped to handle this type of removal, the Rayzor’s Edge team has extensive experience and the specialized equipment required to remove trees from tight spaces.

That’s why we wanted to let you know some of what goes into removing trees in close quarters without affecting your business, what equipment is needed, and what you can do if you have a tree in a hard-to-reach area near your home.

What Constitutes a Confined Space?

Any site difficult for equipment and crews to access is considered a confined space. Safety is essential on a job site for crews using heavy equipment and even more so when a property is at risk from damage. This is especially important when dealing with the foot traffic that comes with running a business.

Common tight spaces from which we remove trees include:

  • Narrow spaces between buildings
  • Easements between structures and the street
  • Areas close to power lines – Any tree work done near high-voltage power lines requires careful planning

Something to keep in mind is the stumps that remain after tree removal. We offer stump grinding as an additional service. However, this requires a minimum 36-inch passage to access the stump with our grinder.

When to Remove a Tree Near Your Home or Business

Regular maintenance can be difficult if you have a tree growing in a hard-to-reach space on your commercial property. Removing the tree is often a better option. Some common reasons a tree may need to go are poor tree health, how it’s growing, and the tree’s location.

  • The tree is dead or dying – Remove these trees to avoid property damage and liability. These trees are typically unsafe for climbing crews and prone to breakage or failure that could injure anyone nearby. The sooner these trees are removed, the better.
  • Rubbing tree branches – Trees growing close to buildings can begin to rub against the building, damaging siding and windows as they sway in high winds. Contact with structures can also rub the bark from a tree, creating a wound that can lead to decay and attract insect pests.
  • Roots at building foundations – Tree roots near a building are a recipe for foundation and underground utility damage. This often happens when someone has planted the wrong type of tree in a small space, planted the tree too close to a building, or both. Always plant trees at least 15 feet away from structures. Plant trees even farther away if they will grow, especially large (over 60 feet tall).
  • Trees blocking access – This one is obvious – you want to provide people unobstructed access to a building! All structures should have a clear, safe route to the entrance. Some access issues include trees growing near sidewalks, driveways, or entryways. You may know how to avoid low-hanging branches or trunks and roots, but visitors, emergency vehicles, and pedestrians won’t.
  • Leaning trees – These need to be evaluated ASAP. Trees that begin leaning suddenly can be a sign of disease or an indication their roots are no longer secure.
  • Hazardous trees – When a tree is sick or dead, and within range of property or people, it’s a hazard. Keep your customers and clients safe from falling branches and trees! Decaying or dead trees are unpredictable. 

If you’re planting trees on your commercial property, save yourself a headache by avoiding planting in confined spaces. If you ensure your trees have enough space, you will:

  • Allow your trees to grow without repeated or excessive pruning
  • Prevent them from hitting utility lines
  • Keep root growth clear of building foundations

A tree with long branches contacting the lines running from an electricity pylon in front of a partly cloudy blue sky.

How We Remove Trees in a Confined Space

We can employ one of two methods to remove a tree in a confined space near your home or business. The strategy we use will depend on the following:

  • How narrow or tight the space is
  • The height and proximity of adjacent buildings
  • Whether heavy equipment can access the space
  • The proximity of powerlines

Method 1: Remove the Tree in Sections

In a tight space, you usually can’t cut a tree at its base and let it fall; any miscalculation or unanticipated wind gust could be catastrophic. Instead, trees in confined spaces near a structure need to be removed in sections.

To remove a tree in sections, the branches are cut first off and lowered to the ground as the climber ascends the tree. Next, the tree’s trunk is cut into sections, starting at the top and working down. This is done with ropes or a speedline.

This might sound easy, but it’s not something a homeowner or business owner (or their employees) should attempt. Non-professionals risk severe injury or death, as many things can go wrong. Please leave it to us, the professionals!

A yellow Rayzor’s Edge crane truck parked in front of a house with its boom extended and holding an entire tree suspended as the crane removes the tree from behind the house.

Method Two: Crane Removal

This method is the safest and most efficient, as it limits the number of cuts the climber makes.

During a crane removal, the trunk is attached to the crane by cables and lifted out. Next, the crane carefully swings and deposits the trunk in an open area where it can be cut into sections. The trunk will generally be removed in sections if it’s a tall tree.

>>>See Our Crane in Action! 

Not All Tree Companies Can Remove a Tree in a Confined Space

The most common reasons a tree service company can’t remove trees in tight spaces are:

  • They don’t have experience working in confined spaces
  • Their crews don’t have the training, skills, or know-how to do the work safely
  • They don’t have the specialty equipment needed for confined space work

Rayzor’s Edge truck parked in front of a white two-story with its grapple saw arm extended and the grapple holding a large section of tree as it prepares to cut.

Equipment Necessary for Confined Space Tree Removal

You need a few pieces of equipment to remove trees from narrow spaces, and Rayzor’s Edge has them.

  • Crane. This is the most important piece of equipment for removing trees in confined spaces. We own our crane, and a trained, certified crane operator runs it when we’re removing trees. This ensures everyone’s safety. Our crane allows us to access most confined spaces, even if it means reaching over your building to remove a tree.
  • Grapple Saw. Combined with our crane, the grapple saw is attached to the end of the boom to grab and hold sections of the tree as they are cut. From here, the sections of a tree can be quickly and safely placed on the ground, something vital when working near Connecticut’s historic buildings!
  • Chipper. The branches we cut off a tree during removal are fed into a chipper that chews them up and spits them out as mulch. The mulch can be used on-site, or the chipper can feed the mulch into our chip truck for removal.
  • Log Trucks. When removing a tree in a confined space, it’s typically taken down in sections. These sections are laid onto our flatbed truck, where they’re tied down and hauled off.

A white and black Rayzor’s Edge chipper truck parked in the street with the large yellow woodchipper behind it with green trees in the background.

How to Prepare for a Confined Space Tree Removal

The most important thing you need to do is ensure the tree service you hire has the skills, experience, and equipment to do the job – that’s us!

Schedule tree removal ahead of time. This gives you time to move all items near the tree to prevent damage from falling branches and debris. This includes vehicles.

While we will do our best to avoid interruptions to your business and home life, some jobs may require restricting access depending on the tree’s location and space for our heavy equipment. 

Plan accordingly by rerouting customers to another entrance and informing them of any temporary changes in your hours of operation.

Need Help with a Tree Removal?

If you need a tree removed from a confined space in the Fairfield and New Haven County areas, call us at 203-580-3039.

Need help with a tree removal or other tree service in the Stratford, Connecticut area? Contact us for a free assessment and quote!

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