Large Tree Removal – What You Need to Know

Connecticut is full of large, mature trees that give the state its distinctive green canopy. From the Pinchot Sycamore in Simsbury (the biggest tree in CT) to the famous ‘Charter Oak’ in Hartford, our state is full of extremely tall, wide, and old trees.

Visit Connecticut’s Notable Trees website to see which enormous trees are near you!

These trees benefit properties by adding curb appeal and providing shade. They help the environment by exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen and attracting diverse animal species looking for food and shelter.

But there’s a downside to the many giant trees in Connecticut. Like all organisms, trees can become sick and even die. While this is a natural part of the life cycle, large trees can become dangerous as they decline and decay. Eventually, a large tree will need to be removed.

Any tree removal is potentially dangerous, but the risks are multiplied with bigger trees. If you have a large tree that needs to be cut down, hiring the right tree service company is critical. Keep reading to find out:

  • What to ask when hiring a tree service company to remove a large tree
  • The equipment that makes the work safer and more efficient
  • Why experience is so important (and what happens when equipment operators lack experience)

Ask These Questions When Hiring a Tree Service to Cut Down a Large Tree

Several factors must be considered when a large tree – living or dead – needs to be removed. In addition to hiring a tree removal service that gets the job done promptly, you want a company with the training and equipment to do the job safely.

Plenty of fly-by-night companies will promise you tree removal, but you often get what you pay for. So, when hiring a tree removal service to take down a sizeable tree in Connecticut, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Is this tree company experienced in taking down large trees?
  • Do they have a good safety record?
  • Do they have a Certified Tree Care Safety Professional (CTSP) on staff?
  • Does the tree company have the right equipment for large tree removal?
  • Are they properly insured for this kind of work?
  • Will they dispose of the tree after cutting it down, and is that included in the price?
  • Tree stumps can be 8 feet or more in diameter. Can they remove stumps that large?
  • If the tree is in your backyard or a confined space, can they safely remove it? (Many companies cannot remove exceedingly tall or wide trees in these situations.)

The answer to these questions should be a resounding “yes.” When looking to hire a reputable tree service, you should be confident that they have experience in all aspects of tree care, have the right equipment to handle a sizeable removal job, and have the expertise to do the job efficiently and safely.

Check out our large tree removal equipment in action on our official Instagram account 

Two Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service tree professionals cut a log with chainsaws while a third sits perched above them on the log truck operating a mechanical grapple arm to lift a cut section of trunk from a large tree removal.

The Equipment Used to Remove Large Trees

No two large tree removals are the same. Fortunately, there is a variety of equipment a professional tree service can use depending on the nature of the job. Some of the smaller equipment includes chainsaws, climbing gear, and rigging. And while all equipment is important, we’d like to highlight three pieces of large equipment you might see when having a big tree removed.

A white Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service truck sits in a suburban yard on a sunny day as its attached black knuckle boom extends a grapple saw clamped to a large section of a tree in the process of being removed.

Crane-Mounted Grapple Saw

Remote-controlled grapple saws are high-tech pieces of equipment that can grab and remove large sections of trees quickly and efficiently. These machines use their grapple capability to latch onto a section of a tree while the built-in chainsaw portion cuts directly through the trunk and lifts it away.

Grapple saws are often attached to the end of knuckle booms to reach trees in otherwise inaccessible areas, such as behind a house. In cases where heavy equipment can’t access the site, the articulated knuckle boom can reach over the house or other structure to reach the tree to be removed. Once the tree is cut, the knuckle boom crane safely lifts the tree over the house.

In addition to allowing access to hard-to-reach trees, grapple saws are ideal when removing dead, diseased, or decaying large trees that are too dangerous for a technician to climb.

Our Palfinger knuckle-boom crane is equipped with a grapple saw that can reach 106 feet vertically. It is run with a remote control which allows us to remove most trees without having to access the canopy. 

A yellow Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service stick boom truck sits safely balanced in the front yard of a gray two-story house with its stick boom extended as it lifts a tree from the backyard up and over the house.

Stick Boom Cranes

Unlike the knuckle boom, stick booms are not articulated. However, they can reach extreme heights and are excellent tools for removing large trees.

These cranes are most often used with a climber, who secures branches, limbs, and trunk sections with rope, allowing the crane to lift them away safely once the cuts have been made.

Stick boom cranes are excellent tools for removing trees in tight, inaccessible places. For example, if there is a large tree in a tight space, such as between two houses, the crane can lift limbs, branches, and trunk sections up and out of the tight space. Once out of harm’s way, the crane can take the pieces away for bucking (cutting a large trunk into manageable sections), chipping, or placement on the log truck.

Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service has a Grove 4100L crane with a 197-foot boom and 115-ton capacity. This crane allows us to dismantle huge trees that are in hard-to-access areas and up to 160 feet away. 

A Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service bucket truck sits securely in a parking lot with trees and a blue sky in the background as a tree professional in a safety harness sits in the bucket while the articulated arm raises him up.

Bucket Trucks

Bucket trucks are helpful in large tree removals and allow tree professionals access to limbs and branches that may be difficult to reach. While secured in the bucket with a safety harness, a tree professional can steer and direct the bucket to the best location to cut branches and limbs.

Like cranes, bucket trucks are instrumental when climbing a large tree is unsafe. Also, their precise maneuverability allows access to dangerous locations, such as where branches have come into contact with power lines.

Our bucket trucks have a 75-foot working height and are approved to work around utility lines. 

Why Experience Matters When Removing Large Trees

The reason experience is so crucial when removing big trees comes down to efficiency and safety. Any tree removal can be dangerous, but when dealing with sizeable trees, you need to be sure the company you hire knows both the proper methods and how to use the equipment.

Time really is money when it comes to the disruption a large tree removal could cause. Our team has the equipment and experience to handle both residential and commercial jobs quickly, resulting in minimal impact to your lifestyle or business. 

Avoid Crane-Assisted Tree Removal Problems

Large tree removals can quickly become dangerous without proper training, as limbs and entire trees can fall on structures and landscaping. Also, inexperienced equipment operators can create their own hazards through misuse of the equipment.

Unfortunately, crane-assisted tree removal accidents are more common than you might think. The videos below show just two examples of large tree removal gone wrong. In the first video, the crane operator misjudged the weight of a tree section, almost tipping the crane and dropping a huge tree into a city street as people ran for their lives.

In a more extreme example, a Connecticut tree service crane removing a tree in Worcester, MA toppled and crashed into two houses. The crane operator was trapped between the crane and live powerlines as emergency crews worked into the night to free him and clear the damaged crane.

Connecticut’s Large Tree Removal Specialists

Congratulations! Now you know a few of the important things that go into successfully taking down a large tree, and you know what questions to ask the company you hire.

If you need large tree removal in Fairfield or New Haven counties, contact Rayzor’s Edge Tree Service for a free estimate.

Rayzor’s Edge has the experience, knowledge, skills, and equipment to handle any of your tree removal needs. If fact, we specialize in large tree removals, so you can be assured we can handle your tree no matter what the size!


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