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Should I Do It Or Should I Pass On It?

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by boatboy63, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. boatboy63

    boatboy63 Member

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    Lady advertised free firewood in local "Yard Sale" group of Facebook. I saw it about 15 minutes after she posted it and she already had a reply. She said it was huge and over 100 yrs old. The first guy went and looked and said he didn't have a saw big enough to handle it so he bowed out. I went and looked and told her I was afraid to tackle it too. I am having second thoughts about it now and am thinking about doing it. The pic does not do justice for this thing. The end closest to the camera is nearly 5' in diameter. The first limb you see coming off the side toward the top with moss on it is about 30-40' from this end. It is probably 4' in diameter there. Look in the background and you can see how far the rest of it extends out. I have a 24" Husquvarna, Husky splitter from Tractor Supply and a 10' trailer to hook up to my truck and can haul about 2000 on trailer. From what I understand, it has been down since a storm last Spring. The lady said there is probably $2000-3000 in firewood in it. I don't quite think that much, but well over $1000. I don't exactly like the poison ivy vines running up the side of it either. I would have to cut it in chunks and split on the spot just to load for the many trips I would have to make.

    Tree.jpg

    Should I do it or pass?

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  2. Jasper 83

    Jasper 83 New Member

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    Theres alot of wood in that tree. Ive never tackled one that big but I imagine splitiing it could take awhile. Imagine how many reloads would be in one normal sized cut out of that thing.
  3. boatboy63

    boatboy63 Member

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    The only way I could figure doing it is to try to get a square cut on the farthest end and then work in about 16" for cut length, then use the 24" bar to cut as far around as I could. Next, I would stand at the end and cut around what I couldn't reach, let it drop, split, and then move to next 16".
  4. CaddyUser

    CaddyUser Member

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    I'd try it this way:

    Bury the bar on a normal crosscut, then once that cut is done, do a rip cut from the end of the log. Then continue the process. If you are facing the butt-end of the log, you would need to work from right-to left in order for this to work.

    Lots of work in that log, and lots of wood though!

    Hope this helps!
  5. Jasper 83

    Jasper 83 New Member

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    You need an aggressive chain on your saw for the rip cut but its definitely doable
  6. Jasper 83

    Jasper 83 New Member

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    There would be more than a years worth of wood for me in that log i think
  7. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I can tell just by looking at it, that the tree probably has rot in it. I'm betting a good portion of that tree is either hollow or really soft, by the looks of the rootball. By the looks of that picture, someone else has already been 'picking' the good stuff off of it, looks like a lot of the branches have been taken and that would have been the good stuff on that tree. yes, there is still good wood on that tree, but I'd venture to say the bigger part of that trunk is junk. Worth going and looking at it either way. I wouldn't be paying a single dime for that, as there is going to be a lot of waste wood if the trunk isn't any good.....

    As for cutting big trees with a medium sized bar, it can be done if done properly and carefully. I would start at the top and work your way down to the rootball. When you get to the really big parts of the tree, I'd be cutting straight down through the round from the top (you standing at the log, looking at it from the cut end towards the root). Make a pass straight down through that point, as deep as you can get your bar into the tree. Then, go to either side and make a straight down cut. You'll end up with "orange slice" pieces, which you can take to your splitter and make your splits......

    Let us know what you decide to do, and we like lots of pictures here, too.....
  8. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    With those dimensions, there are maybe 6 or 7 cords just in the trunk. Do you have the space to store that much? What's the species? I'd skip it unless I had few other opportunities, or felt like a challenge. It's obviously harder and more dangerous than average to get this stuff, so why?
  9. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    I'm with Scotty on this one. Could be a bunch of bad wood in there and it will require caution but is is most likely worth given its so close to you. You may think about renting or borrowing a bigger saw although that 24" Huskey will cut a lot of wood. Mean, tree chomping chains are in order as well as an extra dose of safety. Have fun and WE WANT PICTURES!;lol
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  10. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    It's really pretty simple.

    Do you need it? That's a ton of work and I agree you're going to find a lot of not very good wood in there. No shame in fighting another day for your firewood.
  11. mywaynow

    mywaynow Minister of Fire

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    Having dealt with a really big oak recently, I will describe what I did and try and relate what you are looking at doing to how I handled it.

    Having the trunk suspended will make your life easier, if you attack it this way-
    First, get some rounds to use as a crutch for beneath the main trunk. I would go 12 to 15 feet back from the root ball and place some 4 ft long logs under the trunk to suspend it after you cut the small portion of the root base that is, or appears to be holding the trunk off the ground. Once done cut that small crutch of roots away to get a complete suspension of the main trunk.
    Second, make 2 cuts with the grain; from 3 to 9 and 12 to 6. Go in at least as deep as your log length is desired. You have now created a log with 1/4 sections.
    Third, cut the top 1/4s away, one at a time. As each quarter is freed up, it will drop on top of the lower quarter and you can roll if off and move it to your trailer. Cut the lower quarters off and do the same. This will make both the cutting and the moving more manageable. You will not have to roll a whole round in order to break it down either. That is no fun.

    Repeat as needed. You will have to prop the trunk again as you bypass the logs you set to suspend the tree.

    I have always, and will continue to always cut downed trees from the top to the bottom, unless the diameter is greater than 35 or so inches. This pic shows the 24 inch bar on my 359 as I did just what I described above. One of the main reasons I did this tree in this manner was a condition which seems to exist to some degree with your tree; hillside location. My tree was perched over top of a 40% grade. If any round log hit that surface, it was going down that grade into a creek bed. I did not want to take my splitter to the creek bed, so I worked out this method.

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    Thistle, Elusive, ScotO and 1 other person like this.
  12. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    I took an oak that was about 6 cord this summer. That was a big job, a lot bigger than I thought to start with. Ended up keeping me busy for a while. It was a lot of work but well worth it.
  13. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    That tree is doable, but will be work. First question is species, cause if it ain't top notch fire wood I'm charging to remove it. At this point, that ain't $ 1000.00 worth of fire wood, it's a big piece of yard waste that's gonna cost to get rid of. Second question goes back to Scotty's post. How much waste & hollow trunk is there? Third question is how much foreign material is in that trunk? I've taken apart several trees that size, & most have dirt & debris in the hollow part of the trunk that eats saw chain like a fat kid on a twinkie. That oak trunk in my avatar was a solid healthy tree that was cut to make room for a house. 54" at the bottom & 48" DBH, big & heavy, but clean. 1.5 days with 2 men & a splitter from that lot to my yard. Yes, we were tired. If you need wood go for it, if not tell em $ 500.00 for removal & disposal. A C
    Backwoods Savage and ScotO like this.
  14. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Fun challenge.
    If you have the time & want/need the wood;
    I'd do it for the fun & challenge ;)
    albert1029 likes this.
  15. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    You're a better man than I Dave. ;lol That thing looks like a back ache to me. A C
  16. boatboy63

    boatboy63 Member

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    When I first saw it, I was shocked with it's mere size. That is probably the largest tree I have ever seen, not to mention tackling it for firewood. I have thought about it all day and it is like a challenge that I can't get out of my head. I sent the lady a message a few minutes ago telling her I was interested, if it is still available. This project would definitely require pictures for bragging rights, to say the least. If I can get it, I will post the pictures and give updates.
    ScotO and wapiti39 like this.
  17. loadstarken

    loadstarken Member

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    What would it cost to rent a saw or have a tree service or someone with a long bar on their saw to cut it into rounds?
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Scotty and AC pegged this thing for sure. And I also agree that if tackled, a rented saw would cut a lot of time off of bucking that thing up.

    Please pardon me but I just had to laugh at the estimate of the amount of firewood there. If it were really worth $2-3000, why on earth would anyone want to give it away? If that was on my property then I'd get it but would not consider it if I had to go somewhere else to get it. I'd pass.
  19. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    I dunno....I'm always up for a challenge (against my better judgement sometimes).Hit it a few times with a heavy hammer or axe along the trunk every few feet,different sounds can tell you of hollow or rotten patches,also where its sound wood.If its 50% or more decent,I'd go for it.Have several older chains for backup,you'll need them if much is bad.Decay/dirt/grubs etc really dull chains fast,
  20. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

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    That'd be an awesome workout for my completely fresh , I mean every single part replaced with STIHL parts, 084. I would chomp at the bit even if half of it was rotten... It will be a TON of work, and it will prolly take quite at bit longer for the heart to dry out than normal wood. That has been my experience with oversized trees. Splitting it would suck... but quartering it or even Eighting it would be the best bet without totally killing your back. you don't need an aggressive chain for rip cutting, but I would strongly suggest skip chain to clear the noodles out. see if the lady will offer any kind of removal fee, that way you could put towards an extremely large saw to fulfill your inner CAD desires. Post pictures!!!!
  21. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    You're either young and ambitious, or just plain overmedicated :)

    I'm 53, and I wouldn't bother with it. I could maybe be persuaded to find somebody that has a big saw that wanted to cut that trunk up for me, but honestly, I don't have the saw to a job like that.

    Looks like somebody's been cuttin on it already, probably a wise ole 53 year old guy that gave up before his medical bills went up too high.

    That bad boy rolls on ya and they won't find ya for 3 weeks.

    Dang, I gotta go, I'm callin' the chiropractor to set up an appt. for tomorrow, I just threw my back out lookin' at that picture again.......
    raybonz and osagebow like this.
  22. boatboy63

    boatboy63 Member

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    I am 49 and have done some stupid things in my life, but always lived thru it and even learned a little sometimes. I could use the wood (of course who on this board couldn't) and may possibly sell some of it for some extra property tax money. Things are tough around here with the economy and no raise in 3 yrs. I don't really have the money to rent a saw, and secondly, don't even know of anywhere around here that you can. I live in the country an hour from the nearest rental place that would possibly have one.

    I sent the lady another message last night telling her I have thought about it and may be interested if it is still available. She replied back overnight saying it was still available, but they do want it all cleaned up. Before agreeing to anything, I want to get a better look at it and the surroundings. It is 7 miles from my house. When I looked at it, I parked on the side of the road and walked maybe 20' toward it. I wanted to meet with her and talk it over after work today, but rain has set in and is supposed to rain 4-8" between today and next Wednesday. I am about to send her a message explaining. I will also explain to her that if we come to an agreement, I will get it all moved but not in a couple days or even a week. I have a full time job and a 26 year old son who can help. It is supposed to be winter here, but forcast is for low 70's for Saturday. It is normally 30-40 for a high this time of the year. I will also explain to her that I am not as young as I used to be so I won't be there slinging sawdust when it is 20 degrees. This would have to be something I can do at my own pace and not rushed.

    My wife pretty much hit the nail on the head when she said she thought it was stupid and that it must be one of those guy things. I know that deep down in most of you guys' hearts, you would love to sink your saw into this one just for bragging rights. I don't know, but would love to have a pic of the big Husky sitting on an end cut of this tree and post it on here. Contrary to what you can tell in the pic, this thing is ginormous. I had thought about the hammer trick to see how solid it is. I don't even know how much of the tree is on the other side of the main trunk. If this thing could be hauled to a sawmill, I know there is enough lumber in it to frame a large house You can see the limbs sticking up behind it but I haven't walked around it. I am starting to feel like a kid on Christmas Eve.
  23. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

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    That looks like a "Roberto Duran" tree to me - after 7 rounds, I'd be saying "No mas..." ;lol
    Thistle likes this.
  24. Freakingstang

    Freakingstang Feeling the Heat

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    I'm young and ambitious, but no meds for me.. only problem is being too ambitious and not enough hours in the day....
  25. amateur cutter

    amateur cutter Minister of Fire

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    I've put my saw in stuff like that a few times, with the same thought in mind. I'll do this because nobody else can/will. The bragging rights & pictures, respect, etc didn't heat the house. I needed firewood desperately, & did what I had to do. I can process 18" to 36" trunks, logs, trees, a lot faster & more efficiently than those monsters. I'm about your age, & still in good physical condition, but I wouldn't touch that thing unless I was getting paid, or freezing. I'd say go for it, just to say you did it.
    BTW, do you know what species of tree that is? A C
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