Dropping damaged trees

msherer Posted By msherer, Nov 23, 2014 at 3:55 PM

  1. msherer

    msherer
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    My neighbor has two large oak trees at his farm he asked me to get rid of. These trees are huge. Probably 4' dia. One of them is hollow at the bottom, not sure how far up. The second tree is split from the base to about 20' up the tree. The split doesn't go all the way through that I can see.

    I've cut down a lot of trees but never mess with damaged ones, at least this big. There is a lot of wood in these two trees. My question is are there any tips about dealing with this type of situation? Pass on it?

    Matt
     
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  2. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck
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    My only tip is to figure out which direction they lean naturally and drop them that way. And pass on it if you're not confident you can do it safely. And post a picture.
     
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  3. msherer

    msherer
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    Thanks! The trees are in a pasture so the only thing I'm worried about hitting is me. :)

    Hopefully I can get above the hollow spot.

    Matt
     
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  4. Smoke Stack

    Smoke Stack
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    Awesome situation to build better confidence in oneself, if done correctly. Otherwise, like Wood Duck said: pass if you're not confident.

    I've gotten so used to felling dead standing Ash, that I don't remember what it's like to fell a live tree...
     
  5. Smoke Stack

    Smoke Stack
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    Oh, yeah! Don't forget to keep looking up while felling!
     
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  6. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY
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    Man the trees you describe sound risky to be cutting. I think if you decide to cut them you should scrap any bark left on them and poke around the tree with a screw driver or similiar tool checking for rot. A hollow tree is rot.
    I would not do it alone actually I wouldn't do it at all.
    Large trees may be more rotted then they appear at first glance and for that reason can snap and fall in an entirely different direction than planned.
    If the tree snaps unexpectedly and creates a jerking motion, dead limbs up top could fall and kill you or worse.
    I wouldn't chance it but best of luck if you do.
     
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  7. CountryBoy19

    CountryBoy19
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    Be VERY careful with those... rotten trees are very unpredictable... My dad nearly crushed a garage with a rotten tree that decided it didn't want to go the direction it was supposed to go (due to the rot)

    Split trees can be unpredictable but it's hard telling from your description...
     
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  8. BigCountryNY

    BigCountryNY
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    I like to use a drill with a long bit to bore into the trunk to check for rot, how far up, and how far in. Wood Duck is spot on - since you don't have any structures/obstructions to worry about, let gravity be for your friend. And if you're not comfortable, enlist some help from someone more experienced.
     
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  9. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy
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    With out pictures the only advice I have is use a bore cut to better control the fall especially on the hollow one. The split tree would worry me more, there's a lot of stress being held in that tree which could cause it to go anywhere despite you best efforts.

    Weight your options, make sure your health and life insurance premiums are paid and if you're not sure get professional help.
    Inspector Harry "Dirty Harry" Callahan said it best: "A man's got to know his limitations!"

    300px-Harry_Callahan.jpg
     
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  10. BobUrban

    BobUrban
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    Photos would help a lot as mentioned above. Beyond that a saw that can handle the size at least for felling the biguns. If possible do you have access to a bucket truck or skytrac?? I know that is a lot to ask but if these are the type of BIG oaks that I have seen growing in fields it would benefit you to SAFTELY remove some top weight before felling them. This way you can control the direction of fall by exaggerating the weight in one direction.
     
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  11. HackBerry

    HackBerry
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    I would be very wary of a split tree. Beware of the Barber Chair.

     
  12. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy
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    Me an da boys gonna think about dat one...

    The boys in thought.jpg
     
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  13. msherer

    msherer
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    We got it down without any trouble. Man there's a lot of wood in this tree.

    Matt
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. 2PistolPacker

    2PistolPacker
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    That is going to make a long stack of splits. 5 maybe 6 cords?
     
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  15. Smoke Stack

    Smoke Stack
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    Nice! That one was a little thin on the bottom, eh?
     
  16. msherer

    msherer
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    It was very thin.

    If you look at the last pic you can see another large oak tree to the right. That ones next....

    Mat
     
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  17. Ralphie Boy

    Ralphie Boy
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    Nice work Mat, Glad to see it came down safely. Hollow and split trees are dangerous fodder and require a higher level of skill and understanding. So let's have the details man! How did you get it down??:)
     
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  18. msherer

    msherer
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    It was hollow all the way up. Probably about 8" of wood before we started hitting the hollow area. We notched it and then started cutting from the opposite side. Started driving wedges in and would cut a little and drive the wedges till it started to go. We thought about a video but opted not too so we both would concentrate on the felling. Maybe we'll video the next one. I'm just glad it worked out well.

    Matt
     
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  19. msherer

    msherer
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    In case anyone wondered, We ended up with bout 5.5 cords out of this tree. Took some elbow grease but we got it all cut and split. The trunk was a b$)(h! Used my brothers Stihl saw ( not sure what the model is) with 36" bar.

    Matt
     
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  20. D8Chumley

    D8Chumley
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    What's worse than getting dead? ;lol
     
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  21. Babaganoosh

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    Being in a wheelchair. Being in a coma.
     
  22. D8Chumley

    D8Chumley
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    I guess it all depends on your perspective. I respectfully disagree
     
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  23. BIGDADDY

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    Being totally paralyzed is worse then dead in my book.
     
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  24. D8Chumley

    D8Chumley
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    I guess you are right.
     
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