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How Not To Top A Tree

Post in 'The Gear' started by BrotherBart, Jan 5, 2007.

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  1. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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  2. BigV

    BigV Member

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    About 15 years ago when I was a young lad, I watched a neighbor fell a tree in his back yard. He began by taking every limb off a 30’ tall white oak. He then tied a rope around the top 10" of the tree and his partner hooked the rope to the bumper of his beat up caddy so the tree would fall between two houses. He pulled the rope tight and the tree was bending about like this / when the guy in the tree began to cut the top out. A little more than ½ way through, the tree snapped at the cut line and the top fell free. This caused the tree to snap back suddenly to about this and continue to sway back and forth for some time. The impact of the tree suddenly snapping back into the cutters face knocked him unconscious on the first blow. He dropped the saw and was hanging upside down for what seemed like forever. Fire and rescue had to be called as when the guy regained conciseness, he was unable to pull himself upright. They brought a huge hook and ladder to get him down. From what I understand the neighbor ended up with a fractured scull, broken jaw and over 30 stitches to his face. To this day the white oak still stands (minus the top) in the neighbors back yard. It’s still alive and has managed to grow back a few branches and looks pretty good. He was lucky!
  3. Mo Heat

    Mo Heat Mod Emeritus

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    As soon as that video started, I knew there would be trouble (why else would BB post it ;). I almost couldn't look, but somehow I managed to watch it [three times]. ;)

    Looks like he took a bit too much off the top. I suspect he was hurt. I hope it wasn't serious.
  4. CountryGal

    CountryGal Feeling the Heat

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    OMG! Thankfully he turned off his chainsaw right before it came down. Yikes!
  5. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    I bet that Arborist was pi$$ed ! .......... Looks like the grounde controlling the line didnt let out any slack as the tree top was coming down , hit the end of the line and pow , kinda like how kick back works on a chainsaw .
  6. CountryGal

    CountryGal Feeling the Heat

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    Having a hard time seeing it clearly, but where is the ground line attached? I can see a few ropes (his safety rope) but where is the rope supposed to be for ground control?
  7. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    On the right side of the tree oppisit of the Arborist , you can see the strap around the tree with a pulley on the end and the line runs from the tree top through the pulley and down to the ground. You can see the set up as the top starts to fall. The grounde then lowers the tree top down per the pulley strapping system.
  8. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    YEEEEEE HAAWW I have gone for some rides like that before, and I wanted to KILL the guy holding the rope. Like roo said above its the ground guys fault. You're supposed to let the piece run a little and slow it down slowly. Not hold it tight and kill the guy in the tree.
  9. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Now that I think about it I have seen MALOGGER go for a ride like that also.
  10. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

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    I don't think I ever had a ride that bad! Notice the pulley placement, it is way down. It should be located just under the cut, having it 5 feet below gives that top a lot of distance to pick up momentum! No hardhat or anything either!
    That guy is lucky!

    Craig
  11. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Craig that pulley is not that far down look at the video again
  12. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

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    That's some funny looking headgear. It almost looks like an army helmet he's wearing.

    That looks like a white pine. He's lucky it didn't snap or split.
  13. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    Its funny how far they move when you top them out.
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    MA and Earth is Crack a deductible business expense for you guys in that business? Every time I see folks topping those things I get chills.
  15. Gooserider

    Gooserider Mod Emeritus

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    I could be wrong, but that headgear looks like it might be some kind of beekeepers veil and hat, or possibly a veil stretched over some sort of hard hat. Possibly even a hardhat and earmuff combo Whatever it was, it looks like it came off during the ride - something is dropping and it doesn't look like the saw. It looks like he hooked the saw to his belt while the top was coming off.

    Looked to me like that top also fell WAY to far before it stopped - the ride didn't start till it hit the bottom of the drop.

    Its why I leave the big drops to the pros like EH and ML, I will take off limbs with a rope saw, and may be go up a bit to put on a guide rope, but the cutting I do on ground level so that I can RUN AWAY!! I will put a guide rope on a tree if it needs it, but make sure that the pulling person (Usually the GF on the lawn tractor) is more than the trees height away before the action starts.

    Gooserider
  16. MALogger

    MALogger New Member

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    I wish it was! I wouldn't have to buy any new equipment to save on taxes!
    I don't get up in the trees anymore, I keep my feet on the ground logging and land clearing.
    EH comes and helps me if I need climbing done!

    Craig
  17. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Just curious- why do they even try and stop a falling chunk of wood like that anyway? Seems like it would be way better to use a rope to make sure it fell away from the guy on the tree and let it fall where it may.

    Corey
  18. ourhouse

    ourhouse Minister of Fire

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    The reason why we have to hang wood off the tree itself or treetop is because there could be things underneath it (pool, deck house, driveway, basically anything breakable). Sometimes there is just no room to cut pieces and let them fly. I have taken down trees where every limb and piece of wood had to be lowered and taken out due to houses, skylights, sliding glass doors right underneath the tree and even lawn damage. Have you ever seen what a piece of wood cut at 60ft that is 6ft. long and 15 in. in diameter will do to a lawn or a house or a deck or a pool?

    Hope this answers your question.

    John
  19. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    That makes sense. I got to thinking about that after I posted. My first impression was that the video was shot in some "forrest" setting, but i guess there could have just as easily been a house, building, or other valuable asset just below the falling pieces.

    Corey
  20. colsmith

    colsmith New Member

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    Last weekend my sister's boyfriend was cutting limbs off a big sycamore tree near her pool and house. It was all done so haphazardly that although my hubby meant to help, he couldn't stand to watch or be near, so we left. Imagine a guy with NO PPE whatsoever, not even goggles, up in a tree cutting with a chainsaw one handed over his head. Some of the wood fell into the pool, and one piece thwacked the side of the pool hard enough to break a hunk of cement out of it. Later he was using a big chipper shredder with no PPE either. Warned my hubby that the thing could send chips out while showing us how it worked (it is to be our chipper shredder.) He was also putting in much larger diameter wood than the manual said it could handle, and jammed it up. I couldn't stand it, took him some safety googles, he wouldn't put them on. Said they 'fog up,' although of course they have ventilation holes in them. He was also very sunburned at the end of the day, evidently taking any precautions like wearing goggles or sunblock us bit an option? Scary. Otherwise he seems to be a nice guy. Sis says he has some debts piled up, I would imagine it relates to not thinking ahead and just doing what seems easiest/most comfortable in any particular moment without forethought.
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