Each winter, it never fails, we have a few trees that we need to try and remove on the lake ice. These are trees that need to be removed, for one reason or another, but there is no access to get equipment to them during the summer season. Removing them, in winter, on the ice is a last resort tactic. We never know whether or not we will have ice conditions that will allow the tree removal. For this reason, all our ice-job estimates are written “Conditions Permitting”, and we decide when they permit.
Winter ice tree-removal is typically riddled with problems. First off, we need adequate ice thickness to safely work on a lake . We require a minimum of 15 inches and prefer 18+. Access onto the lakes can be a major problem unless fishermen have kept it open. We’ve spent many hours plowing snow to gain access. Deep snow causes another problem. If the ice is too thin and/or the snow is too deep, we cannot economically do the work. We may factor a little access plowing into the estimate but plowing a road down the lake any distance at all would add considerable expense to the job, making it cost-prohibitive. Slush can be another problem. Often time, the weight of the snow will bog down the ice and allow lake water to seep up through the cracks and saturate the snow causing major problems for any lake travel.
Most winter’s, at some point, typically around late February or early March, we have a warmer/rainy spell that melts the lake snow, followed by a freeze-up. This scenario can give us ideal conditions. We have to beware of layering (where water is sandwiched between layers of ice) as that can cause major problems. Under ideal conditions, we are able to do a large amount of tree work in a short period of time. If you have a tree that may need to come out, over the ice, in winter, give us a call. We’ll be happy to give you a free estimate.