Ashville, North Carolina (Big northern red oak)   Will Blozan
  Oct 06, 2002 18:30 PDT 

Just as a curiousity, I will send out a report on an urban tree I cut down last friday. It was a huge (for a city) northern red oak in Asheville, NC and had to be removed because of excessive decay in the root collar. Growing on a ridge, the tree was wind-blown and had a very high knarl factor. Truly a shame to cut it down...

Using a 50 ton crane, I removed all the huge (up to 20" diameter) branches then removed the entire top which looked like a giant head of brocolli. The topping cut was 28" in diameter and 42' off the ground. The remaining stem was removed in three sections, two 15' logs and one 12' log. I do not know the combined weight of the limbs (crane had a scale) and top but here is a breakdown of the three trunk sections:

Top piece, 15' long 28" at small end and 32" at butt. Weighed in at 7000 lbs.
Second piece, 15' long, 32" at small end, 42" at butt. Weighed in at 9000 lbs.
Basal section, 12' long, 42" at small end, 60" at butt. Weighed in at 10, 500 lbs.

So, this log only 42' long scaled 26,500 lbs! The balance of the tree probably would add another 10, 000 lbs. The tree was 170 years old at ground level and over 50" dbh.
Incidently Colby, the tree was down, chipped and cleaned up in 4 hours. The logs were hauled out by a loader for firewood, as no mill in Asheville would agree to tackle the milling. All logs were sound and clear. The tree cost roughly 8 cents a pound to remove and grind the stump.

Appalachian Arborists