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Can someone tell me what I should have done?

noyb72

noyb72

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
54
Location
Olympic Peninsula, Wa
OK
After the last big blow I had a 16"" 60-80 ft tall maple fall into a 28-30"" hemlock across my driveway. The maple was in the crock of a branch on the hemlock that was about as big as the maple and 20"" or so in the air.

I felled the hemlock, pulling the maple the rest of the way down (was pretty pleased with myself, fell right where I wanted it along the inside fence line.) Here's where I apparently blew it, I went to the other side of the drive (15 ft wide or so,) and started cutting on the maple. The maple had about 20 ft in the neighbors yard where the trunk went into the ground. I'm sure some of you know what happened next, I started cutting and got maybe 4 inches into the tree and "POP!!" a big loud 12 gauge 3" magnum like sound and suddenly my chainsaw is up in the air over my head! Thankfully I didn't let go of the saw. So once I got my breath back and listened to my brother explain how he needed to clean his shorts I looked at the maple, it had splintered 3/4 through the tree. Looked like a broke leaf spring.

So what should I have done? I don't see how cutting from the bottom first would have helped, it would have just bound the chain and bar of my wimpy little saw. I have walked around my property and can see this happening several more times so I'd like to know a safer way of doing things.

Thanks

Ron
 
clearance

clearance

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Age
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b.c.
You fell the hemlock that the maple was in, this is known as falling the forward tree. This is a very dangerous practice and I believe it is forbiden here. The maple should have been cut down, in pieces, or pulled off the hemlock with machinery. I do what is known as "fenceposting" with these type of hangups. That is cutting chunks, like 6'-7' feet at a time, until the tree comes over backwards towards me, and they alway do, at some point.

This practice is also dangerous, and forbidden, mainly because you are not supposed to use a saw above your shoulders, nevermind over your head. Also, the cut tree could drive your feet into the ground, a painfull thought. What I have seen pictured is to "firewood" down the tree, same deal but in much smaller chunks.

Why the tree snapped on you is probably because you misjudged the lay and load of it, there is no picture so I can't say for sure. Bucking can be just as hazardous as falling, it would be a good idea to familarize yourself with the concepts of top, bottom and side bind.
 
noyb72

noyb72

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2007
Messages
54
Location
Olympic Peninsula, Wa
I guess this was just a crappy situation. I couldn't cut much of the maple first because it was so high up in the hemlock. Even after it was felled I had to climb on top of it ( the maple) to limb it. I may have been wrong but I thought the maple would spring even more if it was still 30 ft up in the air. Thanks for the jargon lesson. I like to be able to speak the language.

Thanks again

Ron
 
Jacob J.

Jacob J.

Tree Freak
Joined
Aug 26, 2001
Messages
17,292
Location
Oregon
Most likely you had a heavy bottom bind in the maple. This is where the wood fibers are compressed on the bottom of the log and stretched on the top of the log due to tension of the weight of the tree. The proper cut is to as you said, cut underneath first watching the cut carefully so as to not pinch your saw. If you do pinch your saw, it's not a big deal. Remove the power head from the bar and chain and get another saw and finish cutting forward of where the bar is pinched. When I'm cutting timber I carry a spare bar and chain in my pack, so I can always cut myself out.
 
BC_Logger

BC_Logger

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Jan 22, 2007
Messages
566
Location
BC .Candada
You fell the hemlock that the maple was in, this is known as falling the forward tree. This is a very dangerous practice and I believe it is forbiden here. The maple should have been cut down, in pieces, or pulled off the hemlock with machinery. I do what is known as "fenceposting" with these type of hangups. That is cutting chunks, like 6'-7' feet at a time, until the tree comes over backwards towards me, and they alway do, at some point.

This practice is also dangerous, and forbidden, mainly because you are not supposed to use a saw above your shoulders, nevermind over your head. Also, the cut tree could drive your feet into the ground, a painfull thought. What I have seen pictured is to "firewood" down the tree, same deal but in much smaller chunks.

Why the tree snapped on you is probably because you misjudged the lay and load of it, there is no picture so I can't say for sure. Bucking can be just as hazardous as falling, it would be a good idea to familarize yourself with the concepts of top, bottom and side bind.

clearance is correct on this matter chunking down or pulling the tree down with a machine ,come a long or buy other means is the way to go

as for the cutting of the maple take with this situation a relief cut/s are needed from the botton its the same as if you were going to cut a log with space under it


http://www.stihl.de/safety_manuals/en/Motorsaege_englisch.pdf

look at page 14
 
Bruce Hopf

Bruce Hopf

Banned
Joined
Apr 26, 2008
Messages
806
Location
North of Sebringville, Ontario, Canada
OK
After the last big blow I had a 16"" 60-80 ft tall maple fall into a 28-30"" hemlock across my driveway. The maple was in the crock of a branch on the hemlock that was about as big as the maple and 20"" or so in the air.

I felled the hemlock, pulling the maple the rest of the way down (was pretty pleased with myself, fell right where I wanted it along the inside fence line.) Here's where I apparently blew it, I went to the other side of the drive (15 ft wide or so,) and started cutting on the maple. The maple had about 20 ft in the neighbors yard where the trunk went into the ground. I'm sure some of you know what happened next, I started cutting and got maybe 4 inches into the tree and "POP!!" a big loud 12 gauge 3" magnum like sound and suddenly my chainsaw is up in the air over my head! Thankfully I didn't let go of the saw. So once I got my breath back and listened to my brother explain how he needed to clean his shorts I looked at the maple, it had splintered 3/4 through the tree. Looked like a broke leaf spring.

So what should I have done? I don't see how cutting from the bottom first would have helped, it would have just bound the chain and bar of my wimpy little saw. I have walked around my property and can see this happening several more times so I'd like to know a safer way of doing things.

Thanks

Ron
When ever I have a tree leening like you discribed, I carfully cut it off at the stump, if it has not broken off already. I then use a couple of chains, hook one end around the tree, and the other end to my tractor, and carfully pull the leaning tree out of the other tree. If it continues to hang, I then mark a few feet, and then cut a 4' chunk out of the trunk, using wedges so thet my saw won't get pinched. If it trunk gets hung up on the chunk that I have cut from the trunk, I pull it out with the tractor by hooking my chain near the top of the chunk of the trunk I cut out. This causes the remander of the tree to change position in the crutch of the other tree, where I might be able to pull out the tree. If it is still hung up, I redue my prior steps, until I am able to pull the tree down.Hope this helps.
Bruce.
P.S. I always have respect for that tree. Ther only time I don't have respect for that tree I have cut down, is after I have thrown a block of it in the furnace, to heat my house.
 
YoungTreeGuy

YoungTreeGuy

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2009
Messages
88
Age
34
Location
NY
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I've done a few of these before. Usually end up climbing to the top of the tree that is supporting the leaner, bring a bull line, tip-tie it, cut off the top leaveing it hanging in the crouch, but-hitch the but-log cut it off at the bottom. Once the but log is safely on the ground we remove the but-hitch and then cut chunks off shorting the tree. Eventually the tree will be almost standing straight up and down slowly being lowered by the rope man holding the tip. Find my self usually trimming off limbs that will hang up. But there are no pictures and this setup doesn't work for senario. When in doubt call a pro. KNow alot of people that by there polans and get hurt.:chainsaw:
 
vaclimber

vaclimber

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Apr 22, 2010
Messages
48
Location
hampton roads
I guess this was just a crappy situation. I couldn't cut much of the maple first because it was so high up in the hemlock. Even after it was felled I had to climb on top of it ( the maple) to limb it. I may have been wrong but I thought the maple would spring even more if it was still 30 ft up in the air. Thanks for the jargon lesson. I like to be able to speak the language.

Thanks again

Ron
Basically, before you cut into anything , size it up first. Your hemlock was trying to suplex the maple (so to speak) causing tremendous upward tension(like a fishing pole) on the maple trunk (creating a "springpole"). You created the weak link and super-sick-crazy energy released. Dude! you are very fortunate to not have been a receiving part of it. Please dont under estimate how dangerous and unforgiving treework can be. No situation has to be that "crappy" if approached properly.
 
ironman_gq

ironman_gq

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Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
1,581
Location
Iron Range MN
I'd have unloaded the maple by cutting it at the stump, take the spring pole effect out of it. Depending on what it looks like at that point I might start blocking the maple toward the hemlock and tried to drag the maple out of the hemlock. Or I might at that point gone and tipped over the hemlock as you did, with the maple unloaded though you don't get the spring pole problem and your safety concerns are making sure the maple doesn't come down on you when the hemlock tips and watching for loaded limbs when bucking up the pile you just created. Loaded limbs are dangerous because they aren't always obvious until you start cutting them, then they spring just like the maple trunk did, often throwing the saw straight back at you.
 
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