The Green Vista Tree Care team removes a tree by using a crane over a house.

Removing Trees in Narrow, Tight or Hard-to-Reach Spaces

Difficult tree removal? No problem! At least, not for the experts.

There are many reasons why you might want to think about trying to take down a tree in a narrow or hard-to-reach space on your own. It can be tempting to try to cut down a tree near a house on your own to try and save a little money, but the risks simply aren’t worth the minimal cost savings.

In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to get rid of troublesome trees, including:

  • how to tell when removing a tree between buildings is necessary,
  • why you should always hire a professional arborist to get rid of difficult or dangerous trees,
  • which techniques the professionals rely on for tree removal in confined spaces, and
  • how much tree removal services might cost

Here’s what you need to know.

Can You Remove Trees Growing in Tight Spaces?

Do you have a tree that is growing between two buildings, such as your house and the garage?

Perhaps you love the tree that’s growing on your front lawn, but it’s precariously close to the road or sidewalk.

Whatever the specific situation might be, the reality is that sometimes, tree removal in tight spaces is necessary. And if you’re wondering whether that type of tree removal is possible, the answer is “yes – but…” With the right equipment, training, and experience, it is possible to safely remove a tree from between buildings or in hard-to-reach spots. But it’s definitely not an easy or DIY job!

The Green Vista Tree Care crew works on a variety of trees surrounding a house.

When to Get Rid of Tree Growing in a Narrow or Small Space

It might be time to remove a tree from a narrow area or tight spot if any of the following apply:

  • Branches are hitting nearby structures, such as siding, gutters, wires, window AC units, satellite dishes, roofs, etc.
  • The tree has weak wood that frequently breaks (50% or more of the tree is damaged)
  • There are multiple large, dead branches (75% or more of the tree contains dead branches)
  • It drops large amounts of debris on the lawn or in the roadway
  • There are shallow roots that continuously damage the pavement or your lawn
  • It is infested with insects, fungi, or diseases (especially if they don’t respond to treatment)
  • The tree is leaning
  • The tree is invasive
  • Roots are damaged
  • There is visible trunk decay or the tree is hollow
  • The tree is located under power lines and is getting too tall
  • The tree is too wide to get around or is blocking access
  • It is on a construction site

In addition, homeowners sometimes want to get rid of trees to provide others growing nearby with a better opportunity to grow, to improve the line of sight, or because the tree simply doesn’t have enough space to support its growth.

What to Consider When Removing Trees in Confined Spaces

The Green Vista Tree Care crane removes a section of a tree near a row of houses in Northern Virginia.

If the problem tree is small enough, you might consider pruning it. Sometimes, this is enough to make the tree manageable enough to leave in place, even if it’s growing in a confined space. But if the tree still has to go, there are a few things to consider before deciding how best to remove it.

Tree Removal Might be a DIY Job If…

If it’s a sapling or small ornamental tree, you can probably cut it down and remove it yourself (or with the help of a friend). Just be sure you wear safety gear and have a way to dispose of all the debris (it’ll be a lot more than you probably think!).

However, more often than not, removing a problematic tree yourself is not a good idea.

Why You Shouldn’t Attempt Tree Removal in Tight Spaces

Accidents can happen and, if you’re not fully insured, you could be held liable for damages to neighboring property and injuries to anyone helping you or passing by.

Plus, tree removal is a time-consuming and dangerous task. If you don’t know what you’re doing, whether that’s in relation to how to maneuver around the crown of a tree or handle power tools properly, you could easily injure yourself.

You might not even be able to get to the tree. Sometimes, trees that are growing near power lines or are sandwiched in other hard-to-reach locations can’t be safely climbed. Professional arborists may need to rely on equipment like bucket trucks and cranes to get rid of the tree.

And let’s not forget all the clean-up you’ll have to do after the tree is down! From stumps to branches and other waste, disposing of tree pieces is a challenge.

>> Learn more about DIY tree removal

One of the best ways to make tree removal safer and more efficient is to simply leave the task to the experts. A tree service professional will have the tools and training necessary to get rid of a difficult-to-remove tree, no matter where it might be positioned.

How Do You Remove a Tree from a Confined Space?

So, what’s the best way to remove a tree from a confined space? There are a few ways that professional arborists will go about removing a tree between buildings, near a house, in a small backyard, or other tight spots. The best choice depends on the circumstances.

The Green Vista Tree Care crew works to remove a tree that is very close to a tree in Northern Virginia.

Felling vs Climbing & Cutting

For trees that need to be removed from confined spaces but aren’t that big, using a chainsaw to fell the tree may be all an arborist will need to do. This option is tricky though – it should only be done if the tree can definitely be guided safely between the surrounding structures as it falls. YouTube is full of videos showing “epic fails” when homeowners try to do this work themselves.

Often, the tree can’t be felled without first removing some (or all) of the branches; they’d likely hit whatever’s near them as the tree goes down. With a smaller tree, a pole chainsaw might be enough to cut off the necessary branches without having to climb the tree.

For larger trees, felling isn’t an option in tight spaces or urban areas where the tree would hit buildings, fences, porches, or powerlines on the way down. Instead, the tree will probably need to be removed in sections, starting from the top. A tree care specialist will climb the tree and then cut down the trunk in sections, letting the pieces fall or lowering them to the ground with a rope.

Tree Removal With a Bucket Truck

A bucket truck can also be helpful when removing trees or limbs from narrow or hard-to-access spaces.

The boom and bucket may make it possible for the arborist to reach the tree canopy, even if it’s not easily accessible from the ground or if other buildings or trees are in the way. Depending on the size and weight of the tree and truck, it may also be possible to lift parts of the tree out of the space using the truck’s boom arm.

Still, you’ll usually be left with a large pile of heavy debris that will somehow need to be carried out of the area for disposal.

The Green Vista Tree Care crew removes a backyard tree using a grapple saw.

Crane-Assisted Tree Removal

Crane-assisted tree removal can help make the tree removal process faster, safer, and less damaging to the nearby landscape. Safety is especially important when the tree is close to a home, roadway, or people. With a crane, the tree can be lifted out of the area vertically, piece by piece, and moved to a drop zone. From there, it’ll be cut into smaller sizes and run through a chipper to be used as mulch.

Removing a tree from a tight space using a crane greatly reduces the likelihood of the tree falling on a building, structure, or surrounding trees.

Cranes can also lift the tree over buildings and obstacles, allowing the tree removal company to take down trees that might not otherwise be possible to remove.

However, crane-assisted removal still involves putting a climber in the tree. If the tree is hazardous or damaged in a way that makes it unsafe for a person to climb, using a crane alone may not be possible.

>> Learn more about using a crane for difficult tree removal

Removal with a Remote-Controlled Grapple Saw Crane

The safest way to remove a tree from between buildings or in other narrow or confined areas is to use a remote-controlled crane that has an attached grapple saw. The grapple can grab and move parts of the tree, while the saw that’s incorporated into the grapple can quickly cut through branches and tree trunks.

This state-of-the-art piece of equipment allows tree service companies to remove dangerous and hard-to-reach trees without using multiple pieces of equipment or endangering climbers. It’s perfect for working on trees in urban environments, particularly when buildings are close together.

Plus, it can get to areas that you can’t reach when using other tree removal equipment. Some difficult tree removal jobs would not be possible without this kind of saw. It’s an expensive piece of equipment you probably don’t have lying around the garage, which is yet another reason why difficult tree removal is definitely not a DIY project!

See How It’s Done!

See us in action removing a tree in northern Virginia using our Tree-Mek remote-controlled crane. Watch from start to finish as we cut the tree apart piece by piece, safely lowering large tree pieces to the ground and chipping the branches. All that’s left is a barely-visible tree stump!

How Much Does Difficult Tree Removal Cost?

When you’re trying to create a budget for difficult tree removal, it’s always wise to get a quote before you start planning.

Tree removal costs in northern Virginia vary depending on several factors, including:

  • The types of equipment and number of crew members needed to do the job
  • The tree’s condition, species, and size
  • Nearby hazards, like trees touching power lines or growing near busy roadways
  • The location of the tree on the property – trees that can’t be accessed with heavy equipment may cost more to remove
  • Proximity to structures – if it’s in a tight spot, the cost will likely go up

The complexity of the situation, its level of danger, and even the type of insurance and licensing that are needed can impact your overall costs, too.

Tree Removal in Tight Spots? Contact the Pros!

Good tree work can be expensive – but you can’t put a price on safety or quality. If you have a difficult tree removal job, don’t risk trying to DIY it. Instead, invest in the best.

Call Green Vista Tree Service at 571-244-3838 to get rid of trees in tight spaces. We have the experience and all the right equipment you need to get the job done quickly and effectively.

Your tree might be stuck between a rock and a hard place – but when it comes to choosing the right tree service company for the job, you don’t have to be. Call us today!

In need of tree care services?

Give us a call at 571-244-3838 or request a quote online!