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suggestions on felling tree

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by wesessiah, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    we had a a few inches of snow and leaned a few of my trees over. i started to cut down a popular (about 18" x 60') and it seems like it is being held up by several small limbs intertwined with a couple of pine trees around it. the back cut is only a couple inches from the face cut and the tree hasn't started to lean any more. everything i've cut before has come down a lot earlier than that, and i don't want to run the saw much further. any suggestions?

    the next tree that needs to come down is another poplar (tulip btw) and this one is massive.appears to be about 28" and 90ish feet tall. it's back in the woods a little ways, so there will be some casualties when it comes down. it's sitting at about a 70 degree angle, so it will come down, i'd just rather it be on my terms. don't have any questions on it, just not looking forward to it, lol.

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  2. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Put a line around it and give it a yank
  3. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    i tried with what i have, but couldn't get it to budge. i can't get a truck to do it, because the top of the tree is going to land at about the side treeline, so it wouldn't have enough room to stay out of the way. i have about a 20 foot lane to put it into, but opens up right before that tree line. guess i should have mentioned this before.
  4. midwestcoast

    midwestcoast Minister of Fire

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    I know this isn't gonna be what you want to hear, but without any pics of the situation and no indication that you are experienced in felling trees my honest opinion is to either have an experienced person look at it & help you out or leave it as is and wait for mother nature to finish your work.
    If you can post some pics you may get some other safe options.

    Same goes for the bigger tree. If it's leaning way over it is in danger of splitting while you cut it & then all hell will break loose right where you are standing. Extremely dangerous!
  5. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy Minister of Fire

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    Safety is paramount! If you your instincts tell you it's dangerous, LISTEN TO THEM;ex Pictures are a must to have any idea. Even so, if you haven't the experience in extream take downs, don't touch it, go for experienced help and learn something new. Better to earn a new wrinkle in your brain than have a tree fall on your head.;)
    wesessiah and Redlegs like this.
  6. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    i'll get some pictures when my wife gets home (she has a smart phone, i'm old school) i'm moderately experienced, but i've pretty much always cherry picked what i cut instead of just getting everything. i'll probably end up calling my dad in on this one like i normally do on bigger/complicated stuff, i just hate to bug him on something like this little one.

    i wouldn't consider doing the bigger one by myself, i'll call my dad, and probably my neighbor in on that. plus, my ryobi 20" 46cc would retire itself before being done with that one anyway, lol. it seems like the ground softened up, because i had two dead trees that snapped, but this big one and 3 other trees are coming out of the ground, and the snow was only a couple inches that lasted about a day. thanks for the replies.
  7. Ehouse

    Ehouse Minister of Fire

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    I agree with all the safety concerns but having said that, try helping it over with a couple of felling wedges in the back cut.

    You can change the direction of your rope pull with a snatch block, or substitute a carabiner or D ring, although it's not good for your rope. Last resort, pass the rope around the back of another tree to change direction. Rope is for persuasion pulls, cable or chain is better for pulling with a vehicle. Tying the rope high in the tree, belaying the other end, and pulling the rope sideways will give you most leverage.
    wesessiah likes this.
  8. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    I've had 'em like this before. Pee's me off when they do that. Rope, chain, and come a long.

    If your notch is done correctly you should be able to saw into your back cut some more.

    Look real close at it, if you think it'll snap at the hinge and the whole tree will lurch backwards off the stump then that ain't good. Get some pics up on here and some others might give more advice.
    wesessiah likes this.
  9. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    wedges can often get it moving, a come along will also get it going, you could probably cut another inch deeper.. the one that is leaning is more of concern for fear of barber chair. Look it up if you are unfamiliar with the term as it can be very dangerous.
    wesessiah likes this.
  10. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    thanks for the suggestions. sorry, i couldn't get any pictures before it got too dark, but i did find a picture of the behemoth from last year. funny, it's leaning almost exactly as much as the one behind it in this picture that fell last year. i suppose with it, i could just let it go on its own terms. just curious, is tulip poplar more likely to barber chair than some others since it tends to not be stringy and splits easily?
    ralphie boy... how well has your 455 done? i've been eyeballing them, and i don't cut more than about 3-4 cords a year, mostly oak, and some poplar.

    anyway, here's the big'en, like mentioned, now is leaning like the one behind it was.

    [​IMG]
  11. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Big long rope , pull it down
    wesessiah likes this.
  12. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    How safe is it to leave now that it has been cut into? This is regarding the potential of life loss - kids, dogs, neighbors, freinds, tresspassers, etc... I would imagine you are dealing with monster liability issues with that hanging on to what is left. Beyond that, it now is weak and could fall in a direction you do not desire with strong wind creating a bigger mess. Personally I would get it on the ground if there is any method to do so carefully.

    Consider a long rope and pully so you can get your energy pulling perpendicular to the fall line and maybe use a vehicle. Rope and a decent pully are a rather small investment that will get useed often enough to make it worth while if you burn firewood. If a vehicle is not an option buy a come-a-long(another indispensable tool to have in your arsenal) Again, use a pully and pull the tree with a right angle to the fall line so there is little danger. You do not have to get too high on the tree to get the leverage and get a pully that opens up so you can load it without needing to feed the rope through.

    Also, if you are not familiar with knots do a little search on the Google and learn some basic knots that will hold a load but come undone when no longer needed. As the saying goes, "those that cannot tie knots, tie LOTS!" A good knot will do it's job but come undone rather easy when no longer needed saving time, frustration and rope for future use.

    Just my opinion.
  13. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    I've had good luck with wedges too. You can buy them or just make some. When needed I have double stacked them to get a wider opening.
    wesessiah likes this.
  14. Jon1270

    Jon1270 Minister of Fire

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    Out of curiosity, since I don't expect to be felling large trees anytime soon, but what is the danger with barber chairing? I know what they look like after it happens, but I've never seen one in motion.
  15. Tuneighty

    Tuneighty Member

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  16. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    In addition to what was pictured in the above link, after barber chairing, the tree may break off and go sideways. Which way will it fall? Worst part is that these things happen in the blink of an eye so there is no time to outrun them.
    wesessiah and ScotO like this.
  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I've given advice on dropping trees before, but I am very leary of doing so on the forums anymore. Because you just don't know who's lurking on the site, and if they don't know what they are doing, they can get themself or someone else killed very easily.

    The big thing is that you have GOT to evaluate that tree to hell and back......I've spent literally an HOUR or more looking over a tree before I even start the saw......overkill? maybe so. But it's how I do things.....

    What is your experience in felling trees? I cut on the side and do tree removal in some hairy situations, so I've done quite a bit of nasty stuff. I do trees now that just 5 years ago I would have NEVER attempted. When in the tree removal biz, you are CONSTANTLY learning.......we need to know what you know about felling before we can start here...

    Dropping trees with "neighbors" (I.E. cutting in the woods) is an art. And it takes quite a while to master it. Barber chairs, widowmakers, hangers, trees that fall in crotches of other trees....all are situations that need hardcore evaluating.....and there are techniques to get them down. But you have GOT to be SUPER CAREFUL. It only takes one mishap to get killed.....

    Without some really detailed pictures of the situation you have, I can't even begin to offer any advice.....get us some pics and we'll go from there...
  18. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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    Even for experienced pros the unthinkinable happens. There was just a thread on here a short while back where a crane was used to help take a large tree apart, and they still had a mishap that really hurt a guy - I dont bring that up to pick on someones misfortune (sorry - maybe MOD could link the thread?) but rather to drive home that even in the most careful of logging/felling operations you can never let your guard down, not even for a second. Maybe you know someone with experience or could just ask a tree pro to visit and share his thoughts in person. Bribe him lunch or a $20 consultation fee or whatever, but if you consider yourself "inexperienced" then before you try to drop that tree ask yourself this..."what do I have to lose?"
    wesessiah likes this.
  19. Redlegs

    Redlegs Feeling the Heat

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  20. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    not much likelihood for kids, tresspeassers etc. with nowhere really to trespass to, it's fairly remote, but point taken. falling against one of the several trees around it if it did go in another direction would present a different problem. hopefully it's down tomorrow with the help of a come a long. i'm moderately familiar with knots, but my dad is the leondardo di vinci of knots.

    i'm a very cautious person (which is why i went ahead and posted instead of just going at it with wedges etc first) in every aspect, mostly brought on by my profession. as far as my experience, i've been dealing with trees since i could swing an axe and assist my dad and grandpa (i'm 29.) like i mentioned, when i'm on my own, i've always cherry picked what i cut, but for my dad dealing with all of them was a way of life growing up in the farm life with nothing to heat but wood through a wood stove or fireplace, up until probably the 80's when he decided to go with primary gas heat. he's 62, but spry, and could pass for 50. he was always one of the few guys at the fair that could ding the bell on the hammer swing since he swung the maul so much, lol. i already got the widow makers down out of the tree, and pines around it btw.
    like i mentioned to scotties post in this post, my dad has experienced about everything there is in felling trees, and the neighbor i mentioned is experienced, it normally just takes a little time before our schedules line up.
    btw, i'll have pictures up shortly, i took them this morning, and have to host and resize them.
    Redlegs and ScotO like this.
  21. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    the aspect ratio seems to be off with this camera, because the face cut looks different (it's about 70 degrees, and 3 inches deep, and the house looks closer than it is, but it's about 100 feet away.

    [​IMG]

    pine that's to the right from the front

    [​IMG]

    pine that's to the left, and the lane i'm putting it through. it's about 20 feet, but like i mentioned, the aspect ratio looks off, and it's about 70 feet to that tree line

    [​IMG]

    one of the widow makers i got down, and haven't cut up yet

    [​IMG]

    here's the top with the little tiny limbs somehow holding it in place

    [​IMG]

    here's the big leaner, followed by a couple random pictures of some of the stuff that went down on their own with my sidekick magnus (dogo argentino) inspecting them. the fence was a dog lot from a previous owner that cared so much about their dogs that they kept them about a 1/4 mile from the house.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    btw, how does dogwood burn? i had a few of those come down in that snow back in the woods, and i've never used it before.
  22. HDRock

    HDRock Minister of Fire

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    Speaking of knots ,I have been trying to learn some ,I have pulled down 5 or six 6to10" trees, I have some more 12" that are a little less accessible, I want to put tension on to bring down, I have a hand winch , and bought some more rope and a snatch block, so what is a good knot for hooking 2 ropes together ?
    Scotty any tips on bringing trees down this way
  23. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Dogwood should burn really well. It is a very dense wood. I'd probably say it'd be like burning applewood or something in that line.

    I'll say this much, I'd want those trees topped before I dropped them.....lots of snaggers and hangups in that little area....
    midwestcoast likes this.
  24. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I'm wondering why only 3" deep on the face? That would be good on a 9" diameter tree but that tree looks to be a bit larger. .

    Dogwood should burn good.
    midwestcoast likes this.
  25. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    thanks for the advice.
    it's about 16" i was always under the impression that around 1/4" of the diameter for the face cut was sufficient and would give better accuracy for the drop point, so i went about 3" (it's a little more, but not quite 4") since i'm dropping it into that 20 foot lane. should i have gone with closer to a third anyway?

    thanks for the posts.

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