I finally worked up the courage and doubled-down on my general lack of common sense and felled my first "tree", or what was left of it. As far as experiments go, it turns out you can wait too long to cut a tree! Also, the tree was just too big for my 16" Husky 435. 48" DBH. But it got done. I was literally wringing wet at the end of this job. Respect to anyone who does this for a living. The tree was topped maybe 10-12 years ago and we didn't want to spend the cash to have it taken to the ground. It's a Pignut Hickory, and it shot up suckers and just kept growing, but it was really ruined. Last year it dropped about a gallon of seeds, and seeds were already forming this year. It hurt to cut something that was working so hard to propagate against all odds. The saw wasn't long enough to properly notch or fell cut the thing, and the side I had to stand on the sight the cut is on practically a 45 degree hill. Anyway, one quadrant of the stump turned out to be spongy, and I think that changed the drop target slightly. It let go virtually silently with felling wedges. There was no initial "crack". The trunk was < 20', and the suckers got all the way to 45'. 25% is going to be too punked to use. I could smell something was wrong from the first cut. This will be 14/15. First two shot are from years ago. And, uh, one round did make an escape down the hill. I was able to use my tracking skills to find it, though. The t-posts were holding the trunk while i was bucking it.