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How to cut question

silentbob

silentbob

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Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
11
Location
Ne Pa.
I'm using my time home to clean up around my property and specifically around the creek. Now I have a tree that fell across a small swail/ditch and I have a few that fell across the creek, so my question is: how would one approach cutting these trees? I have a fair amount of experience with saws and cutting trees; however, I am not a professional, don't play one on TV, or pretend to be anything other than a homeowner who cuts up and splits down timber for firewood. I don't have a big ego so I'm perfectly fine if the advice is to leave them alone or hire a professional, just didn't know if there is a simple IMG_0348.jpg IMG_0351.jpg IMG_0355.jpg IMG_0348.jpg IMG_0351.jpg IMG_0355.jpg trick to cutting a tree like the ones in my pictures. Thanks.

Tom
 
old CB

old CB

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Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
600
Location
CO
One approach is to pull the tree out of its bridged position. Use a tractor (best), a pickup (usually works), or a come-along if that's all you've got, although it's slow going. Regardless of what you pull with, if the tree doesn't budge you may have to carve off some bits to reduce its weight or friction-producing capacity. Look especially to remove those limbs that are locked up against something. You'll have to use chain or good strong rope for pulling (or wire rope if you have it), and be careful not to use under-capacity line that could break and recoil toward you.

If pulling is not within your bag of tricks, begin cutting in place. Be aware that if you just cut down through, top to bottom, you'll soon have your saw pinched. So best to cut a little ways in from the top, say 20--25% of diameter, being very aware of how the tree reacts so you don't get pinched. Then remove your saw and cut up from the underside to meet the top cut. At every stage pay strict attention to what the tree does, because especially with dead wood (which is less elastic) something can give with little notice. You don't want to have legs or feet or whatever in the wrong place when the thing pops loose and drops.

The tree in the first two photos--your first move is probably to sever it from its attachment to the stump. Study that thing beforehand to determine where gravity and other factors will pull/push it, and take care not to be in the line of fire.

Most of this stuff is best learned from experience, the kind that can't be imparted thru the internet. Take your time and think about each cut and its likely results. It's the folks who just tear into it without thought who most often entertain us on YouTube.

Hope this is helpful.
 
4seasons

4seasons

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Feb 22, 2009
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826
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Greeneville, TN
I think Old CB covered it pretty well. Pull it over with a truck or tractor after trimming off what you can get to first. If you can't get a truck in position to pull it over you can cut it from the smaller end first. Be cautious about getting in the way of the fall. Cutting a notch in the top and then sawing up from underneath will keep your bar from getting pitched, as will putting a felling wedge in the top as you cut down. The biggest danger to avoid is cutting anything over your head that may fall on you or push the saw back into you. Neither of those trees look terribly big but don't get overconfident by thinking they can't hurt you. It would be way better to go spend a couple hundred bucks at the hardware store on cable or chain to drag it out with the truck than to spend that same amount at the ER when you can hurt trying to save money.
 
silentbob

silentbob

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Mar 21, 2010
Messages
11
Location
Ne Pa.
One approach is to pull the tree out of its bridged position. Use a tractor (best), a pickup (usually works), or a come-along if that's all you've got, although it's slow going. Regardless of what you pull with, if the tree doesn't budge you may have to carve off some bits to reduce its weight or friction-producing capacity. Look especially to remove those limbs that are locked up against something. You'll have to use chain or good strong rope for pulling (or wire rope if you have it), and be careful not to use under-capacity line that could break and recoil toward you.

If pulling is not within your bag of tricks, begin cutting in place. Be aware that if you just cut down through, top to bottom, you'll soon have your saw pinched. So best to cut a little ways in from the top, say 20--25% of diameter, being very aware of how the tree reacts so you don't get pinched. Then remove your saw and cut up from the underside to meet the top cut. At every stage pay strict attention to what the tree does, because especially with dead wood (which is less elastic) something can give with little notice. You don't want to have legs or feet or whatever in the wrong place when the thing pops loose and drops.

The tree in the first two photos--your first move is probably to sever it from its attachment to the stump. Study that thing beforehand to determine where gravity and other factors will pull/push it, and take care not to be in the line of fire.

Most of this stuff is best learned from experience, the kind that can't be imparted thru the internet. Take your time and think about each cut and its likely results. It's the folks who just tear into it without thought who most often entertain us on YouTube.

Hope this is helpful.
Thanks for the replies. I do have a tractor ( a 32hp and a 75hp) that I can get back in there and I have some heavy duty chain. I wasn't even thinking about the tractors (duh). Thanks again!
 
old CB

old CB

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Joined
Jul 4, 2011
Messages
600
Location
CO
I like Del's suggestion about leaving the deadfall in place across the creek. There's something in us that wants to "clean up" the landscape, when actually nature loves a mess. Dead trees in the landscape provide wildlife habitat. (I constantly ask homeowners to leave snags where possible, when they want to hire me to remove them.)

Fallen dead trees across creeks are especially worthwhile. Like Del points out, wildlife will use them for highways. Also, such deadfalls slow water passage and help to fight erosion, and help to stabilize stream banks. Much of our "clean up" in the woods is actually contrary to nature's design.
 
old CB

old CB

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Messages
600
Location
CO
Just got looking at the pics of the tree that's still attached and realized it's right above a gully it looks like, or maybe creekbed. Regardless, unless that's prime firewood that you need, I'd just sever that tree from its attachment and take the tractor to roll it into the gully or creek bed. Decomposing tree parts are more valuable than you'd think in the landscape, and especially anywhere that water runs.
 
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