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Cutting Advice- Snapped Tree

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by jdp1152, Mar 31, 2013.

  1. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Have a scrounge lined up this week a few miles from the house. Most of the trees are flat on the ground and simple processing. Happens to be near my brother's work so I've got some Army gents that are willing to help out. There is one tree that is snapped about 7-8ft feet up on the trunk with the top on the ground. I have an idea on how to handle it, but figure I'd lean on the experience here to help. My gut says open face and back cut so that it falls sideways (assuming there is space). Thoughts? Here is the picture sent.

    [​IMG]

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  2. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    No idea why that is sideways. It's upright on my computer desktop.
  3. Gasass

    Gasass Member

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    Can you make a hinge cut on the side of the vertical trunk and push it over?
    Beer Belly likes this.
  4. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    That's what I was planning, though probably didn't explain clear enough. Put an open face on the side where it's likely to fall too and back cut so it that it falls to one side. Only concern in doing that is the whether there is back tension on that trunk or broken snag.

    I was also thinking about tethering the tree just beyond the break to a come along and trying to winch it to one side without making a cut and see if that sliver of tree would give.
  5. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1364776081.536823.jpg
  6. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    I like to work from the top down.
    Find any other stresses & get the limbs cleared.
    Then you can do what you suggest, fall the tall stump sideways, to get the trunk on the ground & manageable.
    Be safe & have fun :)
    basod and Shane N like this.
  7. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    If it's maple I'd try pulling on it first and if it just won't snap the rest of the way very carefully cut the base of the still standing part.
    Maple too often splits and barber chairs on me. Even when they're not broken. Even when I just know it will happen I still don't like it, just too unpredictable. I've finished a cut with a hand saw just to be able to hear it cracking. ( I only have swamp maples though )
  8. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I'd work,from top down too. Stand uphill & always have an escape route or 2 in case it rolls toward you.
    If its still standing and your getting above chest or shoulder height I then try pulling it down with vehicle, rope winch...
    If that's a no go I might just walk & leave it to fall on its own.
  9. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I can't see the base (stump), its out of the pic. I would hope that I could attach a line to the trunk and pull on it, what ever way its leaning, then cut the base on the opposite side. Pull it down with a vehicle/tractor.
  10. arngnick

    arngnick Member

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    +1 on the start from the top and work down...Then it will be more predictable (never can trust a tree though) Take it easy and be safe!
  11. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Land owner says it's maple, but hard to tell given lack of bark. I've cut a lot of maple and not experienced a barber chair. Actually, only time I've had that happen was a red oak that had grown at a 45 angle to compete with the canopy. I've actually got another one of those to cut down soon and am not too keen on it.

    No vehicle access for this one. I've got a come along that I can use and a few of the US Army's finest men to help, but that's about it. No trails and a hundred yards into the woods. All based on owners words...haven't been out there. He did say that there are many other downed trees we could take if this goes well enough. Other than some poison ivy covered ones flat on the ground, this one is the only tricky one.

  12. arngnick

    arngnick Member

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    Sounds like alot of work to me! These are the only trees availible for you?
  13. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    There are 4 others on the ground...I just want to get them all since the owner has some decent land and will call in the future if needed.
    ScotO and Beer Belly like this.
  14. geoff1969

    geoff1969 Member

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    tie a rope or 2 around the trunk and then to a tree down hill to prevent it from swinging back up hill , then do as bodgydave said and work on the high side / up hill of tree start by working from the crown / top down , then once the tops gone fall stump / trunk sideways down hill ...... go carefull . cheers
  15. arngnick

    arngnick Member

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    Gotta keep the landowners happy if that is your source of wood...I have to say I would investigate other fuel sorces if I had to go futher for wood than my back yard. I give you guys credit! Good Luck with those tough trees
    nate379 likes this.
  16. ArsenalDon

    ArsenalDon Minister of Fire

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    Start limbing at the top and then carefully cut toward the stump. You have to know it is probably going to crack and roll away from the main stump at some point, so being aware of where the tension is being created and expecting the unexpected is crucial so it does not roll on you.
    You may want to encourage it to roll off a certain direction as it appears naturally inclined by using a come a long
  17. Havendalefarm

    Havendalefarm Member

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    I am not entirely sure what others mean by top down, but since we can't see just how or if it is free of the stump I would strongly suggest getting the tree on the ground before you start limbing it.
  18. Shane N

    Shane N Feeling the Heat

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    They are suggesting that the OP start cutting from the crown of the tree and buck the tree into rounds as they go.
  19. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Top it and drop it.

    Chances are good you be able to get most of it at least a few feet off the ground then fell it in the same direction it snapped.

    Legal Disclaimer: All tree felling advice provided by lukem is hypothetical and should not be taken as actual advice. Never fell a tree. Chainsaws are dangerous.
  20. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Love it
  21. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I really hate to give advice to others without being right there with them but I will say that should really be an easy one. Inexperienced probably would do best to use a come-a-long or something to keep it from rolling but if it is cut right you will know what is going to happen even before you begin your cut. I will add though that I would simply start at the top of the tree an work toward the butt.
    ArsenalDon and ScotO like this.
  22. red oak

    red oak Minister of Fire

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    Pretty much exactly what I was thinking - start at the top and work my way up. Relieve any stress on the tree and then fell sideways away from the broken section.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  23. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Experience has shown me its best to start at the top on trees like this. Work the crown slowly, paying close attention to the stresses that will be there in the limbs. I'd work my way down the trunk, slowly, round by round. Make a undercut several inches deep at each round, then finish through with a top cut. Stay out of the way of the falling rounds. When you get to a point of the trunk where you feel comfortable, go to the stump and cut of off sideways as you were mentioning....
    like Dennis said, I also hate to give any "felling" advise on the forums as I am not there to evaluate the situation.......so be careful.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    To add to Scotty's post, when he is talking about the undercut, he is referring to when the trunk is off the ground. As you start cutting at the very top, the tree is touching the ground so there is pressure so you will do most of your cutting as undercut. As you do this, the tree will continue to fall. How far this will happen depends upon how well it is still fastened at the break.
    ScotO likes this.
  25. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Went out there today to get a head start on things since my brother has never manned a chainsaw. Many of them are just covered up in poison ivy stalks. The broken tree is actually a barber chair from when his neighbor tried to cut it down incorrectly. It's got a few younger trees holding it up and the stump and chair are about a foot away from the a tree where it's leaning. Big tangled mess of down trees back there, but a lot of wood to be had if I wanted it.
    Only had about 1.5 hrs this evening so I went for the low hanging fruit....the partially poison ivy covered flat on the ground trees. Guy was nice and told me to just take what I wanted and I could always come back if I wanted to. I'll be traveling a lot the next few weeks, so not sure other than tomorrow and Thursday evening when I'll be able to get back.
    I'll take more pictures tomorrow. Snapped these as I was leaving just to send my brother so he had an idea of how much splitting would be done.

    Attached Files:

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