Work Done in 2021

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
I have never done a plunge cut. It makes so much sense in terms of physics. Should not all the “leaners” be cut such way? Hell all trees?
yes, heavy leaners for sure
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
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bad pic, but it gives you the idea :)
 

NickW

Feeling the Heat
Oct 16, 2019
477
SE WI
I have never done a plunge cut. It makes so much sense in terms of physics. Should not all the “leaners” be cut such way? Hell all trees?
I've never done one either. I can see how it would minimize tearout and the chance of barber chairing... especially on those brittle dead ash that want to fall apart.

Someone please advise exactly how it is done. I pulled up a video that wasn't really clear... It appears you make a small notch on the side it leans to, then plunge cut through the middle parallel to the notch and above it, then cut from the back side into the plunge cut? The video showed him making a plunge cut perpendicular to the notch but later showed there was one parallel... do you do both parallel and perpendicular to the notch?
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,743
07462
What @MissMac described is the safest approach for these tree's when cutting from the ground, like mentioned earlier the inner heart wood separates itself from the outer layer once the tree dies and the water / nutrients stop flowing. Also you want to be looking up, like any dead tree the tops are the first to go and ash has that characteristic of limb wood near the crotches getting extremely weak first.
Best advice I can give, cut these tree's down when there still alive, they dont die overnight, it takes a couple of years and thanks to nature itself, there are clues to a sick ash tree. 1st - some tree's under stress will seed out, and a lot of seed to. 2nd - canopy coverage will get thinner with time and the tree will loose all its leaves if any drought stress occurs due to already combating the borer. 3rd - wood peckers will attach the trunk and leave "blonde" spots that are very noticeable, its just bark peeled off so they can eat the borer. You start noticing these clues, its time for it to go before you have to play chainsaw roulette.
For those with tree's like these growing near homes, or area's with frequent people near by and need a tree service to work them up, its way cheaper for a service to take a live one down then a dead one, especially if its a climber, about 99% of all tree services that offer climbing to remove tree's will not touch a dead ash tree, they are to unstable to climb and either a back yard machine or crane is needed to take them down (big $$$)
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
What @MissMac described is the safest approach for these tree's when cutting from the ground, like mentioned earlier the inner heart wood separates itself from the outer layer once the tree dies and the water / nutrients stop flowing. Also you want to be looking up, like any dead tree the tops are the first to go and ash has that characteristic of limb wood near the crotches getting extremely weak first.
Best advice I can give, cut these tree's down when there still alive, they dont die overnight, it takes a couple of years and thanks to nature itself, there are clues to a sick ash tree. 1st - some tree's under stress will seed out, and a lot of seed to. 2nd - canopy coverage will get thinner with time and the tree will loose all its leaves if any drought stress occurs due to already combating the borer. 3rd - wood peckers will attach the trunk and leave "blonde" spots that are very noticeable, its just bark peeled off so they can eat the borer. You start noticing these clues, its time for it to go before you have to play chainsaw roulette.
For those with tree's like these growing near homes, or area's with frequent people near by and need a tree service to work them up, its way cheaper for a service to take a live one down then a dead one, especially if its a climber, about 99% of all tree services that offer climbing to remove tree's will not touch a dead ash tree, they are to unstable to climb and either a back yard machine or crane is needed to take them down (big $$$).
Cutting dead trees is serious business for all the reasons you've mentioned. I totally agree - better to take them when they're alive. So much unpredictability cutting rotten trees, and so many ways for them to jump up and bite you. Definitely need to maintain a lot of situational awareness, and like you said - look up. A lot.

I loved doing boring cuts once I learned them. When I was in fire, my crew would go out training and we'd bore everything, just for fun! Most of the trees that I dropped that required a bore cut were heavy leaners - very few dead trees. I honestly avoid dropping widow makers at all costs unless it was absolutely necessary - like in the middle of a helipad or something.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
5,743
07462
When I was in fire, my crew would go out training and we'd bore everything, just for fun!
I've taken a few wildland fire fighting classes myself, mainly to supplement our state crews if we have a local fire at my location, I have done a few calls but nothing serious and actually really not into it as much as I thought I would be, still love structure firefighting though, that will stick with me forever.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,789
Downeast Maine
Sometimes my back cuts don't line up with my hinge cut properly, especially on larger trees. I think the bore cut method should really help keep nice alignment and work well in combination with my skidding winch. Soon I'd like to get a high powered electric winch for my truck so I can have extra peace of mind when felling trees close to structures.
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
Sometimes my back cuts don't line up with my hinge cut properly, especially on larger trees. I think the bore cut method should really help keep nice alignment and work well in combination with my skidding winch. Soon I'd like to get a high powered electric winch for my truck so I can have extra peace of mind when felling trees close to structures.
Do you find that the tip of your bar dips? This is a pretty common thing i've seen on back cuts.

It can be helpful to 'score' a line around the tree along the plane that you want to back cut before you start actually making the cut. It can help you line things up. Plus, you can pause a few times while making the cut to ensure that you're on track. Having the nose of the bar dip down is a pretty common thing, which can result in undercutting the hinge wood on the side opposite from where you're standing.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,789
Downeast Maine
Do you find that the tip of your bar dips? This is a pretty common thing i've seen on back cuts.

It can be helpful to 'score' a line around the tree along the plane that you want to back cut before you start actually making the cut. It can help you line things up. Plus, you can pause a few times while making the cut to ensure that you're on track. Having the nose of the bar dip down is a pretty common thing, which can result in undercutting the hinge wood on the side opposite from where you're standing.
It's not a bar tip thing, I just don't usually cut the line level or I go too high or low. A few months ago I started to score a line with the saw all the way around the tree after seeing some professional tree fellers doing it in a video. Keeping the bar in constant contact with the tree while scoring "corner to corner," so to speak, has helped me. Sometimes I also cut the hinge crooked, but I just take off more material until it is right. After reading some posts, probably in the 2019 version of this thread, I started doing the "Humboldt" cut for the hinge and I like that much better. It's easier on my stump grinder and the trees tend to fall more accurately. About a month ago I started working on a new trail/future pasture and felled all the trees without using my PTO winch, but I also wasn't at risk of hitting anything important. All of the trees fell accurately, except for one that jumped off the stump 90* from where I wanted it to. As soon as I felt it start to give I dropped the saw and utilized my escape route. Thankfully nothing bad happened, but the tree is hung up about 70' in the air with the but on the ground. No big deal, I'll pull it down with the winch once the ground dries out a bit, but I almost pooped myself when that tree jumped off the stump.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
It's not a bar tip thing, I just don't usually cut the line level or I go too high or low. A few months ago I started to score a line with the saw all the way around the tree after seeing some professional tree fellers doing it in a video. Keeping the bar in constant contact with the tree while scoring "corner to corner," so to speak, has helped me. Sometimes I also cut the hinge crooked, but I just take off more material until it is right. After reading some posts, probably in the 2019 version of this thread, I started doing the "Humboldt" cut for the hinge and I like that much better. It's easier on my stump grinder and the trees tend to fall more accurately. About a month ago I started working on a new trail/future pasture and felled all the trees without using my PTO winch, but I also wasn't at risk of hitting anything important. All of the trees fell accurately, except for one that jumped off the stump 90* from where I wanted it to. As soon as I felt it start to give I dropped the saw and utilized my escape route. Thankfully nothing bad happened, but the tree is hung up about 70' in the air with the but on the ground. No big deal, I'll pull it down with the winch once the ground dries out a bit, but I almost pooped myself when that tree jumped off the stump.
Humboldt notches are usually what loggers will use because it maximizes the merchantable timber they harvest at the base of the tree. As long as you find something that works for you, it's all good. Good idea to clean up your notch before you start your back cut, as dutch cuts can create some hazards.

Too bad about that one tree, but great that you had an escape route that worked. It is incredible how quickly trees can jump, twirl, spin, break off etc. You don't realize how scary it is until you experience a close call. Glad you're alright. :)
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,789
Downeast Maine
Humboldt notches are usually what loggers will use because it maximizes the merchantable timber they harvest at the base of the tree. As long as you find something that works for you, it's all good. Good idea to clean up your notch before you start your back cut, as dutch cuts can create some hazards.

Too bad about that one tree, but great that you had an escape route that worked. It is incredible how quickly trees can jump, twirl, spin, break off etc. You don't realize how scary it is until you experience a close call. Glad you're alright. :)
I've had a number of trees do weird things on me, but usually I have a helper operating the winch. Last spring the ROPS on my tractor caught a rotten tamarack that had a mind of its own. I wear all my gear and always have an escape route cleared.

I'm also cutting logs for my own sawmill, so I do appreciate the increased log length from the Humboldt cut.
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
Well, the pile is stacked:

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I've still got some more ash from this year's haul to add - the big bruisers that I offloaded up by my wood shed, plus a few pieces that I have to cut with the saw.

Then, I'll tack on the maple, and my wood-ing will be done. Feels sooo good to get through that pile. What a relief and a blessing to be sitting this good this early in the year. Happy weekend all :)
 

thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
13,570
Foothills of The Adirondacks
The wife informed me this morning that a branch from a Cherry tree was down across a walking trail and the UTV trail so I bucked that up before checking the all the other trails.

Picture 1741 is the back gully, 1742 - 1747 is the downed Cherry branch, 1748 - 1750 is an existing trail that will be cleared once I bring my mudder chains with me, 1751 is an old skidder trail that I finally cleared out by hand, this trail will give me more room for the Kubota and the last picture are some Beech rounds.
 

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Solarguy3500

Member
Dec 3, 2020
109
Western MA
I have an area below the house that is in full sun all day and it's fairly flat.
IMG_20210501_185405.jpg

I have been planning on stacking my wood there but there wasn't a good way to get wood down there as the slope to get down there is pretty steep.
IMG_20210501_185553.jpg
I have been meaning to cut a path through the woods from a flat area of my property for access, and today I got around to it.
IMG_20210501_185559.jpg
While I was cutting the path, I bucked a beech tree that was standing dead that I dropped over the winter but hadn't gotten around to bucking yet.
IMG_20210501_185616.jpg
I also found a couple of really beautiful flowers that I thought I would share a picture of.
IMG_20210501_185504.jpg
 
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MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
Well, had a productive weekend to be sure. Bucked, split and stacked 2 truckloads of poplar I had laying around in 4ft lengths, which finished off row 5 and laid a good base for row 6.
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Then got to stacking that twisted Manitoba maple I have. I got all but one truckload done. Row six is a hot mess of ugly splits, but man I can see the finish line.

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My newest uglies bin (my IBC tote cage) is almost full, and is working out really well. I made a top cover for it, which I plan on leaving on it all summer. Since things are just pile in there, it will be a bit more difficult for the wind to blow through like it can on the stacks. I am a total scrounge when it comes to my wood, and don't waste a stick. My uglies throw nice heat too :)

I wrapped a pallet in pallet-wrap with the seam running upslope/downslope so that water doesn't get stuck at the seams. Then I propped it up on an old fence post on top of the cage to help the water run off. The pallet wrap will still let some sun through, and I'm excited to see how well it holds up :). It's even got a nice overhang.

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Another wonderful weekend. Hope you all enjoyed some fresh air too :)
 

thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
13,570
Foothills of The Adirondacks
I cleared the trail coming off the hill, I think the wood in the picture is Ash but I'm not sure, I did go down it but on the way back, I took my regular route. The trail I cleared today needs some work near the bottom where it has a pretty good dip on the right side when heading down.
 

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thewoodlands

Minister of Fire
Aug 25, 2009
13,570
Foothills of The Adirondacks
After clearing the trail, I saw the two Maples in picture 1764 when riding the trail that runs below so I went up to the trail nearest the Maples. The Maples are near the edge of a drop off so I might be able to buck it up and roll it down hill for easier access. In picture 1769 is a big ole rotting something that would need to be cleared out if I want to split up there.

On the last hill I checked, I found a wind damaged Beech on the ground so I cut one load before heading home, hopefully the main trunk of the Beech which is still up is good.
 

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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
668
SE North Carolina
I have never done a plunge cut. It makes so much sense in terms of physics. Should not all the “leaners” be cut such way? Hell all trees?
Eastern loggers plunge every tree. Standard practice out here from what I gather.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
848
Massachusetts
Well, had a productive weekend to be sure. Bucked, split and stacked 2 truckloads of poplar I had laying around in 4ft lengths, which finished off row 5 and laid a good base for row 6.
View attachment 278401

Then got to stacking that twisted Manitoba maple I have. I got all but one truckload done. Row six is a hot mess of ugly splits, but man I can see the finish line.

View attachment 278402

My newest uglies bin (my IBC tote cage) is almost full, and is working out really well. I made a top cover for it, which I plan on leaving on it all summer. Since things are just pile in there, it will be a bit more difficult for the wind to blow through like it can on the stacks. I am a total scrounge when it comes to my wood, and don't waste a stick. My uglies throw nice heat too :)

I wrapped a pallet in pallet-wrap with the seam running upslope/downslope so that water doesn't get stuck at the seams. Then I propped it up on an old fence post on top of the cage to help the water run off. The pallet wrap will still let some sun through, and I'm excited to see how well it holds up :). It's even got a nice overhang.

View attachment 278403
View attachment 278404

Another wonderful weekend. Hope you all enjoyed some fresh air too :)
Looks great. Whats the total cordage you ended up with?

Ive been done with my stacks for a month now but my brother in-law is getting two big standing dead red oak on his property line taken down next week. I took a couple hours yesterday to sharpen and tune up my saw and axes...a job that should take 30 mins but you know, two little kids lol. Hoping to get 1/2 to 1 cord out of it, he's splitting the cost with his neighbor so they may want half to wood too we'll see. I'll be there first thing!

My wife knows me too well. The second he mentioned trees her expression changes to "oh no" and she looks over at me who is grinning like a little kid. Hahaha. She likes being warm and is now addicted to wood heat though so it's a good thing.

My son is in K and making new friends and every time we go to a new house the first think I look at are the trees. Anything standing dead? Leaners? Species? My name is Caw and I'm an addict!
 

MissMac

Minister of Fire
Dec 4, 2017
809
NW Ontario
Whats the total cordage you ended up with?
I'd say that I got a healthy 6 cords of ash out of those 12 truck loads i dragged home this spring. In total, I have about 16 cords css at my place - needless to say I'm super pleased :)
 

Diabel

Minister of Fire
Jan 11, 2008
3,159
Ottawa, ON
I'd say that I got a healthy 6 cords of ash out of those 12 truck loads i dragged home this spring. In total, I have about 16 cords css at my place - needless to say I'm super pleased :)
Nice work! The poplar might be ready by the fall if loosely stacked. But I am sure you have other supplies that are burn ready. Either way, nice to be ahead.