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Tree Eraser

Robot slowly eats difficult to remove tree from the top down.
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Most trees can be removed from near homes and other structures with a few well placed cuts with a chain saw. But in few cases when the tree grew up and over the structure, Or the structure built around the tree, there is no easy way to remove it.

The particular tree that triggers this idea has grown over a mobile home. Then lost the outside half to termites. All the tree above the roof line sits over an aluminum roofed trailer. And the termite clock is ticking.

Could move the home then cut the tree, except for a second tree and slope blocking it in. (Cost to move a mobile home $3 to 5 k)

Normally you would just chainsaw off two foot sections, and that is what we will do with rented forklift to hold up sections to avoid damage.

However, if a robot capable of climbing the tree, and biting off branches and bark, and fist size bits of trunk was available, we would use that. Battery or extension cord powered. Transponder to beacon on the ground so robot knows what side is up and not to saw off the limb it is resting on.

popbottle, Jul 28 2014

(??) Could you use one of these? http://timberpro.co...chers/tl735b-8-.jpg
[scad mientist, Jul 28 2014]

You mean like this? https://www.youtube...watch?v=LYKg0gbRFns
[ytk, Jul 30 2014]

[link]






       //(Cost to move a mobile home $3 to 5 k)   

       Surely it doesn't take that much dynamite to move a house?   

       Have you considered trained chimps with chainsaws?
not_morrison_rm, Jul 28 2014
  

       You might be able to put chains around that big branch, and also around an upper portion of the trunk, to support the branch while being cut.
Vernon, Jul 28 2014
  

       So, essentially... you'd like to be able to program the termites.   

       That might be doable...   

       They make machines that can grab the whole tree, cut it off, then lay it down where you they want. See link. It looks like you ought to be able to take it off in several pieces if you want. Obviously it won't be cheap to bring in, but it seems like it ought to be less than $3k.
scad mientist, Jul 28 2014
  

       Bind the limbs and trunk of the tree with close-wound detonating cord. Attach a detonator on a length of bickford and stand well back (NB that bit is IMPORTANT).   

       All that comes down is harmless little flakes and sawdust. Job done.   

       This works amazingly well even for surprisingly large trees (21 metre high mature Ash tree).   

       If you have neighbours that might complain, simply don't tell them and make sure they're home when you light the fuse. They won't complain afterwards.
8th of 7, Jul 29 2014
  

       You could always pressure-inject lignase and cellulase near the base of the tree. Assuming it's still alive enough to do vascular transport, the enzymes should gradually soften the entire tree to the point where it sags flaccidly onto the house and can be dragged off like a giant...well, like a giant very floppy tree. You could even roll it up to avoid any dragth on the roof.   

       Actually...
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 29 2014
  

       / Mobile homes are so-called because they are towable, are they not? Why's it so expensive to move one /   

       This particular one is up on blocks, skirted, with wheels and tow bar removed. The axles and wheels need to be reattached. A tow bar welded back on. the skirting removed and the various plumbing for gas water electric and sewer severed. The blocks pulled.   

       A special crew works a couple days to get the thing so it can move. Most mobile homes are " we can move from the factory to your lot, but it will never move again".   

       RV trailers are much easier to move.
popbottle, Jul 29 2014
  

       / They make machines that can grab the whole tree, cut it off, then lay it down where you they want. See link. /   

       I doubt that particular machine would work in this case. It is just too big. The road in front is almost two cars wide.   

       However...   

       If you could just purchase that large vise and weld/bolt it on off the back of a large pick up truck. You could then back up to the tree, clamp on, and chain saw the trunk below the vise. Then drive the whole tree to a vacant parking lot for a carefree disassembly.
popbottle, Jul 29 2014
  

       // carefree disassembly //   

       [marked-for-tagline]
8th of 7, Jul 29 2014
  

       There's a piece of equipment that's designed to pretty much erase a tree (link). It's essentially a giant mulcher attached to an excavator. It's actually sort of disturbing to see the efficiency with which it makes trees suddenly just not be there anymore.
ytk, Jul 30 2014
  

       Wow, I'm trying to imagine the horsepower required to keep that shredder turning as it grinds an entire tree in a few seconds...   

       Seems like a waste of good wood, but I guess with current regulations, it's probably cheaper to just shred it than attempt to get the permits that would be required to sell the wood.
scad mientist, Jul 30 2014
  

       /biting off branches and bark/ I know what could do this, and it is cheap. It is fire. If the tree were lit on fire at the crown, it would convert to CO2 and harmless ash little by little. Small spindly stuff would burn first which is what you want. Larger bits would take longer and by the time they did burn they would no longer be supporting anything.   

       Bonus: if you did it on a stormy day you could blame lightning, sidestepping tiresome laws and permits. I am leery of actually inviting lightning to do the work for you although you would need to if you were morally troubled by lying. WcW has recently on this site emphasized the extreme sloth and scurrilousness of lightning bolts.
bungston, Jul 30 2014
  

       sloth and lightning bolts [+]
Voice, Jul 30 2014
  

       Hmmm. Inject the tree with Sterno under high pressure ?   

       Hmm.   

       <wanders away to get chemical dampproofing injection kit, eyes up likely trees>   

       <later>   

       If the tree were exposed to a mixture of concentrated nitric and sulphuric acids, it would be converted to nitrocellulose … oooh, pretty …
8th of 7, Jul 30 2014
  

       That is quite a machine in the link. James Bond would need to use one of his nine lives to survive that.   

       A pickup mounted unit 1 /10 the size might be just the thing to solve the tree dying next to/on top of a house problem. or Chainsaw on a long stick ?
popbottle, May 08 2015
  

       //permits that would be required to sell the wood//   

       How can you need a permit to sell wood?
MaxwellBuchanan, May 11 2015
  
      
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