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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody else do this or is it another of my more stupider ideas? :tango_face_angel: :tango_face_surprise

I used a piece of 1" PVC pipe to cut a gauge pole about an inch taller than the ROPS on my SCUT. Then walked around the yard with it and a pole saw to trim any branch that was closer than about two inches above the pole. As a result, I should have two to three inches of clearance in most places around the yard.

There are a few exceptions around ornamental trees that would have required too much cutting and may have damaged them. Those are in places I really don't need to use the bigger machine though.

:tango_face_wink: :tango_face_devil:
 

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Premium Member
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When I was using my Cub Cadet with a cab for mowing, I just walked around the yard with my Echo pole saw. I just guessed, but using a gauge sounds like a good idea.
 

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Minding my P's & Q's
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Good idea and easy to see what needs to be cut. I used a gauge made from 1 x 2 wood when I needed to trim branches over the driveway so they did not hit the lights on top of the big CASE tractor with snow blower and plow that I use to hire to come in and clean snow.
Made it a little taller than the lights and cut off what ever it touched.
 

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That depends on where on the branch you are measuring, at the trunk or at the branch tips. Do the branches rise as they get further from the trunk or do they droop?

Unless the branches are more than 1" or so in diameter, 2" or 3" of clearance at this time of year is not enough. The leaves are just forming and will drag the branches down as they mature. The sustained load will also drag the branches down even further over the course of the season.

From no leaves at the start of spring to full leaf in June, the maple branches over the front deck drop about 3'. They'll drop another 6-12" by the end of August as they get tired from the constant load, and another 2' if it rains. If I was to drive my GC between the deck and the maple at this time of year without at least 6" of clearance for the ROPS, I would be sure of dinging a 1.5" diameter branch come August.

The canopy for that tree is 50' in diameter.

 

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Blank Space
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Discussion Starter #6
The normal procedure is to attach one or more chainsaws to the ROPs and then drive around the yard.
With the saws running, right? :tango_face_devil:

That depends on where on the branch you are measuring, at the trunk or at the branch tips. Do the branches rise as they get further from the trunk or do they droop?
Both, and all.

Most of my lower trees are pretty young and small diameter. If I trim them one year, I don't have to do it again for several. I'm only letting them grow to be firewood in a few more years, so they'll never get a whole lot bigger. A few of the scraggly ones (Hackberry) need to come down to the ground in the next year or two. Miserable lot they are. The mightier Oaks are tall enough not to be an issue for the most part, but some of the tips sag enough to need trimming every few years.
 

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Choke's stuck on!
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I also guess with the pole saw. Gauge pole sounds like a good idea for yearly maint. We have a lot of 40+y.o. pin oaks. The lower, older branches exit the tree 20-30 ft above grade and immediately turn downward about 15-20 ft. I hate cutting off mid branch but lack a 35 ft pole saw. Also I'm no tree climber...
 
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