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Old 04-07-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
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recently single trying to trim trees w/sawzall


i used to have a husband who handled all this but i want to show my girls that we are capable of doing these sorts of things... only i never have done this before please help!
i have large palm trees and the palms are touching the roof and the insurance wants them trimmed! I have never used a sawzall before and i am not sure if i need a ladder or if i should crawl through the window.. its on the 2nd floor! do i cut low on the tree or right at the leaves?? how do i keep from cutting off my fingers??? i mean i get the basics but are there some special tips or something i should know before i begin my task?

Thanks Nani


Last edited by NANI; 04-07-2010 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:20 AM   #2
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sawzalls are VERY easy to use. But can be pretty painful if you fail. I would recommend getting a ladder, and cutting back as far as you can. Cut back at the base of the palm/branch. If your ladder is set well, you should be able to stand on it without holding onto it, having 2 hands will make the work easier. Make sure to have a new blade in it, a used one with teeth missing can complicate the work. I would also suggest, if you don't feel right without holding onto the ladder, that you set the blade on the top of the branch, and then pull the trigger. Use your stronger arm, and make sure you can hold the saw parallel to the ground by just the handle, that way you don't drop the front of the saw down once your cut is done. Also, make sure the base of the ladder is a good distance from the tree, so it's more like stairs than it is a ladder, this will make it to where you can lean forward into the ladder to balance yourself, and gives you less of a chance of falling over backwards. A sawzall is probably better than anything else for this job, unless the branches aren't too thick at the base, and you can just trim them with a pruner.

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Old 04-07-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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you can buy a pruning blade for your sawzall. i've used one to cut through wood 4"-5" thick - although it did a number on my battery. for palm branches it should chew right through them.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:43 AM   #4
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Demo blades work wonders on most anything, whether it be a tree or a piece of hardened steel. We do quite a lot of pickup work inside newly framed houses with these blades, and even on our battery powered sawzalls, you could trim over 100 branches(at least on our Makita sawzalls will). Are you using a battery powered or a plug in saw? And my suggestion for a blade is a 7" demo blade(milwaukee)

the blade at 1 o'clock
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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its a makita and i cant remember if its battery or plug in... i was going to make my 16 yearold girl hold the ladder for me!!
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:56 AM   #6
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recently single trying to trim trees w/sawzall


I use my battery powered recp saw for trimming trees all the time works great with a wood bit.
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Old 04-07-2010, 12:10 PM   #7
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I definitely would avoid going on the roof, and trim whatever you will need to in the future, you don't want to have to make this a routine thing. If the tree is less than 10' tall and you are using a step ladder, you should be fine if you set it up on a level surface, but if it's taller and you're using an extension ladder, you would want to set it up against the tree. It should be a pretty easy job, and I've seen women tackle much tougher jobs so I'm sure you'll do fine!
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:35 PM   #8
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I know two guys who fell off ladders and got hurt, so be careful.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:25 AM   #9
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Woman can do this for sure. I am confident my wife could, but why not ask the man next door or down the block. I know I like helping out people, gives me a boost to help them. When they are helping you and the girls pay attention and the next time it will come easy. Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:30 AM   #10
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recently single trying to trim trees w/sawzall


Quote:
Originally Posted by What have I done View Post
Woman can do this for sure. I am confident my wife could, but why not ask the man next door or down the block. I know I like helping out people, gives me a boost to help them. When they are helping you and the girls pay attention and the next time it will come easy. Good luck.
Why not ask the WOMAN next door or down the block.

I'm remodeling my 200 year old house on my own (with lots of help from here) because my Dad taught all his daughters that women can do it.

Don't get me wrong - on my own, if I can con a man into doing work for me, I will.

It IS an important lessons for daughters to see WOMEN doing work.
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:45 AM   #11
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I swear my sister didn't know she was a girl till she was about 13.

P.S. Check out a pole pruner at your local garden supply.

Long pole with a curved saw on one side and a pruning clipper operated by a rope on the other,--You may not need your ladder at all.

---Mike----
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:14 PM   #12
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NANI,

I agree that it is important to show your children how things can be done on your own and that everyone is able to learn.
What I strongly disagree with is teaching while your learning and standing on a ladder to boot.

Ask a neighbor to help or at least have them hold the ladder for you and for heavens sake use the tool cutting some wood on the ground and get the feel of what it does and how it works.

The last thing you want to show the kids is how Mom hurt herself trying to be independent.
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Old 04-08-2010, 06:38 PM   #13
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I use a pole saw/pruner
It at least keeps you closer to the ground
At MIL's house I did cut some tree branches from the 2nd floor window

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Old 04-08-2010, 07:10 PM   #14
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I vote for a pole pruner....you can rent them from most tool rental yards. It'll be safer than the roof.
Watch out for power lines though.
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Old 04-10-2010, 08:36 AM   #15
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One small thought on trimming off a ladder:Rope off your saw in such a way that--if you do drop it--

It will fall below you --and not swing back and hit your legs---And short enough that it can not hit your helper that is holding the ladder.

Safer--and should you suddenly need both hands to hold on to the ladder--your saw won't smash to the ground and break.--Mike--

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