Oldest tree you have cut down

We don't have very long lived trees around here, but I cut down a very large dead lodgepole pine 2 weeks ago that measured 32" at the base and counting the rings was 175 years old. The tree was standing a good 50 years before settlers really began to move into this area.

I know I've read there are still large redwoods estimated to be in the 3,000 year old range, obviously protected in parks. But what's the oldest you've cut down, or at least cut up?
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
3,822
Downeast Maine
An 8" diameter pin cherry fell over my driveway and it ended up being over 50 years old. This property was logged in the early 70's and not much was left behind. There's a few larger spruce trees deep in the property, but nothing over 36"
 
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Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
820
Palmyra, WI
There are quite a few cultural changes around here that equate to tree ages. Oldest oak, 185yrs, would date to 1832, around the time WI was surveyed.
Most old oaks, 145yrs, date to 1880s, when prairies were finally seeding in.
Locusts, silver maple tend to coincide with family changes, pasturing, idle land, war yrs- oldest at 100yrs, 1916, then 1942, 1969, 1986, later ones when different grandparents passed etc. Up nort, toward the Mich border, I would cut dead standing maples for campfire wood - 30ft tall, 4" dia, make a star fire, just keep pushing them in, would last for days. Count the rings and they would be 45yrs old. At the time that dated to 1935, ccc reforestation camp days during the depression. They would reach for the light all those years and finally give up from the shade. There were refuse piles nearby with old bean cans and kerosene containers etc.
 
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AlbergSteve

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2017
805
Vancouver Island
Neighbour behind me brought down 13 dead or dying cedars and I got about four cords of ''scrap''. I lost count somewhere around 300 years on this one...
P_20190402_105536.jpg
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
We had some 250+ yr old firs taken down years ago. Trunk diameter of about 40". I am still a bit sad about this.
 

Smokepole

New Member
Sep 28, 2019
88
Foothills N.C.
We don't have very long lived trees around here, but I cut down a very large dead lodgepole pine 2 weeks ago that measured 32" at the base and counting the rings was 175 years old. The tree was standing a good 50 years before settlers really began to move into this area.

I know I've read there are still large redwoods estimated to be in the 3,000 year old range, obviously protected in parks. But what's the oldest you've cut down, or at least cut up?
I had a noble old red oak die last summer. I got it sawed down in December.
The butt measured 37", I counted 115 rings. I'm gonna miss that old tree, but
not as much as the squirrels and deer will.
 
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woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
182
Central MN
I did not measure but I lost a massive red oak last summer. I live in an area ravaged by oak wilt so have an old survivor is kinda rare. It got struck by lightning that blew a 4 " gap try the bark all the way to the ground. Tree was dead 3 years after getting hit. Watched it slowly die. I was sad to cut that tree up.
 

Smokepole

New Member
Sep 28, 2019
88
Foothills N.C.
About every two years I will lose a red oak. It is always one of the largest . I don't know
what is killing them. I sure hate to see them go. It does keep me in fire wood.
 
It sucks, it takes 100 years to replace a 100 year old tree.
It sure does. Most of our old growth pine and spruce has been logged already, of the pine what's left is either dead, dying, or about to be from pine beetle.

Our mills are under the belief they can sustain themselves on an 80 year growth cycle. All the good sized trees i have cut are at least 100 years old. But I guess you can pack a few more into a forest if you only let them grow 80 years.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,542
Philadelphia
I'd never cut down an old tree, but I've cut up a few. Oldest with a recorded history stood over the picnic grove of my church since the early 1700's. It was a white oak, 60" diameter at 18" above grade, which blew over in hurricane Sandy. I've posted pictures of that one on this forum, many times.

Another of unknown age was a mulberry just a few feet over the property line of my own back yard. This property has been farmed since the 1730's, and I don't know the age of that tree, but it must have been at least that old. A neighbor bought that lot, and took down the tree to put in a driveway, which was a real shame. I could park my old Cub Cadet on the stump of it.

I have cut down a few big ash over 40” diameter, but I believe ash grow an average 1/4” per year, so they were probably not even 200 years old.

8572C684-74F7-4AAE-8095-013CEBC03796.jpeg
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,281
Schenectady, NY
Probably some big white pines. They weren't that old though. Most of the trees around my cabin are fairly young. In 1905 and 1905, the area had a couple 500,000 acre forest fires and wiped out most of the trees. The white pines need grass as a nurse plant, so they would have started soon after.

It was the biggest tree I'd ever dropped, and it went where I wanted it to. *first pump*
 

Grizzerbear

Minister of Fire
Feb 12, 2019
539
SW Missoura
Years ago I had a huge white oak tree 10 yards or so from the house that took a lightning hit and killed it. I hated that it died.....it would have taken two and a half to three average men to wrap there arms around the base. Now I didn't cut this tree down. It overhung the house and I didn't have equipment for such a job. I decided to pay someone that was licensed and bonded to take care of that baby. I split every bit of it with my hws and busted 2 lovejoy's in the process. I wasnt a member to hearth then but I wish I had some pictures. She was a beauty.
 

tadmaz

Feeling the Heat
Dec 21, 2017
418
Erin, WI
Responding to a craigslist ad, I cut up an already downed 200 year old northern white cedar. Still have tons of it, it doesn't rot. Anyone from WI or just interested, see if your library has this book:
Amazon product
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
6,997
Eastern Central PA
Aside from the guy driving the wedges and operating the jack in a really dangerous way I do like the system. My wife and I use a PTO winch and only one person has to be near the saw.
I just cut down a large dead ash using this method with wedges minus the hyd jack. Dropped it within an inch of where wanted it. Good thing cuz there were power lines behind it
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,542
Philadelphia
I am not a nit picker but not a lot of looking up going on as he cut.
The most valuable lesson I learned while cutting with a pro, “look up!” I used to only look at the saw and what I was cutting, and still want to do that, while he would always tell me to keep one eye skyward at all times. It’s the falling branches that’ll kill you.

speaking of which, right around the time I joined this forum, there was a forum regular paralyzed by a falling branch. I didn’t know him well enough to remember his story, but forum members who predate me surely knew him well.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
That would be @Gooserider. He was a seasoned woodcutter, but when the snag came down as expected, it bounced right along his escape path and hit him.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,729
South Puget Sound, WA
We had some 250+ yr old firs taken down years ago. Trunk diameter of about 40". I am still a bit sad about this.
Here are some of the rounds. It took the excavator in the background to move them.
Sept_09-big-rounds.jpg
 

woodnomore

Member
Oct 3, 2019
182
Central MN
Look up look down look all around, you fall trees long enough you are going to have an oh crap moment. I have a nice 6" scar on the top of my knee cap that reminds me that saws bite, I have scars on my back that even a 20' tree can slap you to the ground. Walked away from both with some stitches but never missed a day on the line. I was younger and dumber I was a crew boss so I was able to just get medical treatment and not report the incident because as crew boss I declined to fill out the CA 21 injury claim form, and had private insurance to cover the cost.
 
My dad spent 4 winters falling trees in his 20's to save up for University. At that time the average life expectancy for a hand faller in British Columbia was 13 years on the job. Many good men were lost just trying to feed their families.