I don't think I've ever seen a widowmaker...

ispinwool

Burning Hunk
Feb 5, 2010
235
Butler County, Pa.
...but I'm thinking this is one. Kind of disconcerting that the well-used trail goes right under it.

IMG_20210320_193252.jpg IMG_20210320_193336.jpg
 

clancey

Feeling the Heat
Feb 26, 2021
325
Colorado
I would not walk under that tree especially if it is windy--needs a good chop job for a person to get wood. Can you imagine walking on that little bridge and that tree coming down like that--scare me to death...I would jump from the little bridge and break a leg or something--lol--terrible..
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,129
South Puget Sound, WA
We have an alder down the road from us, crossing over the road, just like that. I just walked underneath it and spoke with a neighbor that reported it to the county, but that was a couple of weeks ago.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,129
South Puget Sound, WA
I would just......make a new path
It was breezy today and there is no other road. I walked quickly. I'll try to remember to take a picture tomorrow. We also have a madrona that leaned a bit too far and was pushed over into a neighbor during a heavy snowstorm. That neighboring tree has been holding it for the past decade. Fortunately, I don't have to walk under it.
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,202
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
That looks ugly but reasonably safe to take apart to me, because you never have to stand anywhere the tree might fall while cutting, and it doesn't appear from here to be under torsion (it just fell over without twisting).

Right now there is tons of compression on the wood at the top (Up, not the tree's old top) and the bottom is being pulled on with equal force.

Without being there it's tough to know, but I am pretty sure I've done a couple worse ones this year (that one may have gone over because the roots came up, not because there's no wood left in the middle of the tree).

Put a saw in the top of that tree for a vertical cut and you'll find out just how flat a tree can mash a bar in a hurry. ;lol

Poke me if you want advice on taking it apart, everything I cut is standing dead, leaners, and deadfall. (I like leaners best because they've often been dead a while and have been air drying off the ground that whole time.)
 
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ispinwool

Burning Hunk
Feb 5, 2010
235
Butler County, Pa.
The path is a local community walking trail...I'm not even sure who maintains it. they could have
easily gone around this monster.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,129
South Puget Sound, WA
Here are the crossed trees down the road. Two came down, the other got snagged.
leaning_tree1.jpg leaning_tree2.jpg

This is the madrona
IMG_1379.jpg IMG_1380.jpg
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
The path is a local community walking trail...I'm not even sure who maintains it. they could have
easily gone around this monster.
It shouldn't be difficult to find out how owns the property, report it to them, hopefully they'll take it down. If not, then at least you did your part. Maybe you can even ask for the wood, can't hurt to ask.
 
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MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
Hard to tell but those madrona look huge for madrona. I’ve cut down a bagillion of them through the years and I’d be curious what the base diameter on those are. One job out of kapowsin Washington was a fairly steep hillside dominated by them. Never seen anything like it. They all had crazy downhill leans to the point where the one above would often be twangled with the one below and would rain busted chunks as you cut the lower. Fun fun.
 

MoDoug

Minister of Fire
Feb 3, 2018
548
NE Missouri
Hard to tell but those madrona look huge for madrona. I’ve cut down a bagillion of them through the years and I’d be curious what the base diameter on those are. One job out of kapowsin Washington was a fairly steep hillside dominated by them. Never seen anything like it. They all had crazy downhill leans to the point where the one above would often be twangled with the one below and would rain busted chunks as you cut the lower. Fun fun.
I bet that was nerve wrecking!
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
Yes it was. Although madrona is a lot better to work in that then a lot of other hardwoods. Doesn’t chair easy and fairly strong hold wood. There’s no real commercial market for it but if memory serves, some outfit was going to try and make flooring out of it which is odd considering how crooked it grows. It’s also tough to kiln correctly. Who knows, not my department
 

jetsam

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2015
5,202
Long Island, NY
youtu.be
Yes it was. Although madrona is a lot better to work in that then a lot of other hardwoods. Doesn’t chair easy and fairly strong hold wood. There’s no real commercial market for it but if memory serves, some outfit was going to try and make flooring out of it which is odd considering how crooked it grows. It’s also tough to kiln correctly. Who knows, not my department
Somebody was making 5/4x6 decking out of it... it was at Home Depot here a couple years back, gone now.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
Somebody was making 5/4x6 decking out of it... it was at Home Depot here a couple years back, gone now.
That’s bizarre. Be hard to find much straight enough. I tried to make a falling ax handle out of it once. Never could get it to dry straight. Tough wood though
 

St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
323
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
I have seen a lot of widow makers. A great deal of forest here is National Park and not harvested** So widow makers are part of the ecology (they fall over time as part of the ecology). And one simply does not walk off trail (groomed to remove widow makers) if one is smart (sadly, a lot of not so smart people here ... I only hope no one gets killed, but if they do --- Darwin Award).

** Even so, I have seen Widow Makers on private land too. People here are rather sloppy about such things. A tree fell near one of my properties, and I fully cut it down and cleared the private access road to four properties. Because no one else did.

And for fun, I did it all with hand tools. :)


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DeadTreeBurner

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
98
VA, east central
I have seen a lot of widow makers. A great deal of forest here is National Park and not harvested** So widow makers are part of the ecology (they fall over time as part of the ecology). And one simply does not walk off trail (groomed to remove widow makers) if one is smart (sadly, a lot of not so smart people here ... I only hope no one gets killed, but if they do --- Darwin Award).

** Even so, I have seen Widow Makers on private land too. People here are rather sloppy about such things. A tree fell near one of my properties, and I fully cut it down and cleared the private access road to four properties. Because no one else did.

And for fun, I did it all with hand tools. :)


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I think a person probably has more risk from widow makers while driving along rural roads than walking "off trail", at least here in VA. Most people pay absolutely no attention to what's above them while driving roads with tree limbs and canopy over the roadway. I've seen some bad snags over the road, just waiting to fall. I've called multiple times over the years to have DOT deal with stuff. There are plenty of dead and rotting limbs overhanging roads as well.
 
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St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
323
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
I think a person probably has more risk from widow makers while driving along rural roads than walking "off trail", at least here in VA. Most people pay absolutely no attention to what's above them while driving roads with tree limbs and canopy over the roadway. I've seen some bad snags over the road, just waiting to fall. I've called multiple times over the years to have DOT deal with stuff. There are plenty of dead and rotting limbs overhanging roads as well.
How many cars have been hit by widow makers? Any actual statistics? And how many deaths (i.e. making actual windows) if one is in a car (protected by steel)? Versus, say, walking under one? :cool:

Personally, I report the issue. But if not dealt with in a reasonable time frame, I deal with it. Let the land owner / government / owner sue me if they want. I may have saved a life. And yes, the photos above of the tree I cut down were of a tree not on my property. Tough. If the owner wanted to sue me, he could. He did not. But if he did, I would have counter sued him for causing a nuisance.

That is I manned up on this issue. And when needed, others may consider doing the same. Or not. It is your decision. Your conscious. Hope this helps.
 
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Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
879
Western Washington
Do you call that hand saw an M tooth design? Watched a two man M tooth beat a 5100 husky through a 36 inch log by about 6” back in the mid 80’s a a demo logging show
 

DeadTreeBurner

New Member
Jan 29, 2021
98
VA, east central
How many cars have been hit by widow makers? Any actual statistics? And how many deaths (i.e. making actual windows) if one is in a car (protected by steel)? Versus, say, walking under one? :cool:

Personally, I report the issue. But if not dealt with in a reasonable time frame, I deal with it. Let the land owner / government / owner sue me if they want. I may have saved a life. And yes, the photos above of the tree I cut down were of a tree not on my property. Tough. If the owner wanted to sue me, he could. He did not. But if he did, I would have counter sued him for causing a nuisance.

That is I manned up on this issue. And when needed, others may consider doing the same. Or not. It is your decision. Your conscious. Hope this helps.
Okay, happy to know that you "man up" and do what you feel is right, that's kinda beside the point though?

I don't know what the stats are for vehicles being hit and occupants killed or injured any more than the stats on pedestrians being hit, injured, killed. I was simply stating an observation from 40 some years of traipsing through the woods as well as traveling along the road ways. Way more people are exposed to snags or dead limbs over a roadway than are folks walking through the woods on a trail. Most leaning trees caught on others are going to be minimal to no risk to anybody that decides to walk underneath if their limbs are forked into the other tree. Not that I'd recommend walking under a leaning tree caught up in another...

I've always understood widow makers to be pieces of tree tops or limbs either snagged or dubiously attached in a tree that is not immediately obvious to those underneath, and of particular hazard to tree fallers, etc. Sure, a leaning tree could be considered a widow maker I suppose, but in those cases, the hazard and or risk of being around or under it is relatively obvious and can be avoided as necessary.
 
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St. Coemgen

Feeling the Heat
Feb 4, 2016
323
Hungary
www.stcoemgen.com
Do you call that hand saw an M tooth design? Watched a two man M tooth beat a 5100 husky through a 36 inch log by about 6” back in the mid 80’s a a demo logging show
It is a "Great American" tooth design.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/39/Crosscut_saw_tooth_patterns.jpg

This saw can be turned into a two person saw (I say "person" rather than "man" since my wife often takes the other end), by moving the vertical, adjustable handle to the small hole at the top of the saw visible in the photo.

But a "real" two person saw would be much faster and more efficient. For one thing, they are longer, and can cut more on each stroke.
 
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