Moving a full grown tree is extremely challenging, but it isn't impossible. In order to navigate the move correctly, you need to understand the species of tree it is, its root system and which pruning techniques work the best. In addition, you also need to ensure you are using your crane carefully. If you are hiring a mobile crane to move a fully grown tree, here are some tips to help you with that process.
1. Prepare an access strategy.
If you want to move a tree, you need to be able to access it. If it's near a roadway, you may have to get a permit to close the road whilst you use the crane. If it's in the middle of a large park or greenspace, you may need to build a road or at least create a safe path, away from pedestrians, to accommodate your crane.
2. Prune the canopy.
To lighten the load whilst you are moving the tree, prune the canopy before the crane arrives. Try to keep it symmetrical around the edges, but pay close attention to the interior of the canopy. Ideally, you want to remove dead and diseased branches as you normally do while pruning, but you also want to thin out the foliage enough so that the crane cables or hoisting lines can move through it.
If the canopy is too dense, you won't be able to pass the cables through it, and that makes finding a spot to connect your straps more challenging.
3. Plan for extra weight.
In most cases, you can estimate the weight of the tree based on its size and species, and once you have an estimate, you know how sturdy your crane needs to be. Ideally, however, you should hire a crane that can lift slightly more than your estimated weight.
As you are preparing to remove the tree, you will clear the dirt from around its root ball. You will also cut some of the roots, just as you trimmed the canopy of the tree. Regardless of how well you prepare the root ball, however, there will still be some small roots that are connected to tendrils deep in the ground.
Breaking these roots free requires a bit of extra pressure. As a result, when you first pull up the crane, it will need to be able to bear both the weight of the tree and the weight of the pressure required to break it free from the ground.
4. Protect the root ball.
Once you have lifted the tree out of the ground, there are several different ways you can move it. Some tree movers lay the tree down on a flatbed truck horizontally. Then, they secure it and move it. Others build a timber box for the root ball. They place the box on a truck, and use the crane to hoist the tree into the box.
Regardless of which option you are going to use, you need to protect the root ball. If possible, wrap it in wet burlap to keep it moist during the move, or if you are going to move it in a box, make sure that you surround it with ample amounts of moist, rich soil.
5. Practise care over sandstone.
In most cases, your crane is going to be completely safe sitting on the ground. However, if you are working over a sandstone-filled area, be aware that sinkholes are germane to this type of rock. If the cavities in the limestone get too big, caves can form, and if your crane is sitting there holding a heavy tree, it may break through the surface and damage the crane as well as the tree.
Signs that sinkholes may be near include slanted trees, ponds where water does not usually pool and circular patches of wilting vegetation.
For more tips on moving a tree with a crane, talk with a crane hire company like Freo Group.