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How would you bring down this tree?

Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by Chris Cringle, Jan 7, 2019.

  1. Chris Cringle

    Chris Cringle ArboristSite Lurker

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    Welcome comments on how you all would safely harvest this broken White Oak for firewood. I also will be harvesting that bigger Red Oak behind it but should not have too much trouble there, just a bit of work. The White Oak is still quite green, it was broken over by that red oak blow down during Hurricane Michael in October. It is about 18 in diameter head high, and the break is a good 10 or 12 ft off the ground.

    As far as my experience goes, not much more than a novice, I have been harvesting firewood for about 4 years now, mostly down but have felled two or three dozen trees, mostly green. About four out of five fall the way I planned with the 5th being a little sporty. I have three saws, a limbing saw Ms 180, an ms271 farm boss, and an ms391 with both a 20 and 25 inch bar. The usual set of hand tools, saws, hammers, wedges, chains, a come along, peaveys, Etc.

    Thanks in advance for any comments. Chris 24903.jpeg 24900.jpeg 24904.jpeg
     
  2. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

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    Make your normal felling cuts, but drop it to one side or the other, whichever way it will go best. In other words, drop it 90 degrees from where it lays.

    Probably best to put a rope on it beforehand, as high as you can for leverage, so you can pull it over if it doesn't drop easy.

    Should not be a difficult task.
     
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  3. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

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    One more thing, and it's important. The base of that tree could have considerable stored energy as a result of its split. Go kinda slow and cautious on your cuts. Pay close attention to how the wood reacts. You don't want to be in the way of released energy if that thing pops. But if you understand what the wood wants to do, you should be able to position yourself safely.
     
  4. old CB

    old CB ArboristSite Operative

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    I would get it down to a thick hinge and then pull it. If you can get a tractor or pickup nearby to pull with, that's good. A comealong will do the job too--anchor it to a nearby tree.
     
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  5. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Operative

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    I like this idea and would attach the chain to the fallen horizontal section. When the vertical section breaks free you need to expect it to snap out with tremedous force, and I would not want to be on a tractor or near a comealong attached to the vertical section when that happened.
     
  6. Natster

    Natster ArboristSite Operative

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    Cut like it's got tension. Cut slow, watch the tension release. Might even cut top 1st.
    Those can make saws fly... And hurt you.
    N
     
  7. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    #1 question: Do you have to cut it? Is there anything wrong with leaving it for a couple of years? If you can, just leave it for a few years it will lose pressure over time and be a lot safer to cut. I've told a lot of landowners I work with "there is nothing in the woods worth dying over!"

    If you do feel it needs cut:
    *Certainly cut up the red oak first. It wouldn't take much from that to add pressure onto the white oak. Get as much pressure off as you can.
    *Next, I'd cut up as much of the top as you can safely (without cutting over your head).
    *Do you know how to plunge cut? That is the best way to prevent barber chair. Cut a wide open hinge either towards the lean or 90 degrees as suggested above. Then plunge in, leave a hinge and cut back.

    Or...set a fire around the base of it.
    :barbecue:
     
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  8. Bobby Kirbos

    Bobby Kirbos Scrounger of Cellulose Based BTUs

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    I agree, get the red oak out first and top the white oak as much as possible. Be careful, that broken trunk is quite loaded up. As you're topping it, be ready at any time for the trunk to pop up into your face.

    Also of note (using directions based upon your pictures)
    Because of how loaded up the trunk is, when you cut the vertical portion of the trunk, it will more than likely want to kick out to the left.
     
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  9. Jakers

    Jakers Owner - Arbor Jake's Tree Service, LLC

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    pole saw....
     
  10. bowtechmadman

    bowtechmadman Addicted to ArboristSite

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    As others have said get the other oak out of your way then take the top back as far as possible without using your saw above your shoulders. Notch 90 degrees from direction it's tipped now back cut leaving a good hinge then pull over.
     
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  11. beastmaster

    beastmaster Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Trees Like that can be real decieving . I'd start at the end(top) and work up tell I was sure where most the pressure was. As soon as it started lifting some, put a rope in it and drop it side ways like was suggested with a face cut. I my self would use a plunge with a trigger so I could get a way from it before the rope was pulled. It could go easy but it could go south in the wink of an eye too. Be careful.
     
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  12. Chris Cringle

    Chris Cringle ArboristSite Lurker

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    I appreciate all these responses. I was planning on what turned out to be the majority view here. Reduce it from the top as much as possible, fell the vertical with a felling cut 90° from the lay, apply some tension to pull it over, watch for the tension release. I will let you folks know how it goes.
     
  13. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Operative

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    If you can get video, you may become a youtube star. Be safe.
     
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  14. Wow

    Wow ArboristSite Operative

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    I've cut lots of trees like that. IF the top is loose, not pressing on the ground I'd maybe cut a few feet off the top and give it a push to see if it's hanging by the stump only. The weight of the tree is pulling the unbroken lower stump portion over toward the lay. It's definitely stressed that way. A wrong move and it could kick back and hurt you. If it were ME doing the job I'd clear around the broken tree very well which includes moving the downed tree. Then I'd put a Bull Rope high , maybe, just above the break on the tree right at the bend and with a Come along or a several Pulley purchase I'd apply side ways 90% to the bend tension making sure to NOT over tension the line. Just enough to keep it from leaning on my saw bar on the back cut. I'd make my Face cut. I like to cut a top angle that way you can level your bar for a straight face cut. Next lightly mark the edges of the top angle and cut flat watching the crack so you don't OVER cut. Clean out the face cut. 2 or 3 inches ABOVE the flat portion of the face knotch and directly behind it start a flat cut. To line up the back cut you can use the saw to gently mark the place where the back cut should be made. If your Bull Rope is tensioned correctly. Just enough to stablize the tree. And IF your back cut is level and above the standard knotch flat portion of the stump, you can slowly cut the back cut. I NEVER recommend an ANGLED back cut. Cut into the tree but stop leaving a thick hinge. Go gently tension the rope and see if the tree has give. Does it move toward the rope? If SLIGHTLY loosened does the back cut start to close? If NO, snug the rope pretty good and slowly cut into the tree. At about a 2 inch thick hinge stop, pull rope tighter and see if tree moves toward the rope. If not. DO NOT slack rope. Keep it tight and be prepared to kill saw and run as you began the final cut. The tree SHOULD fall 90 degrees to it's side. The stump portion SHOULD or MAY kick in line WITH the tree. As if you had a tree fall, jump the stump and kick back. Think Barber Chair.
    Your last cut should be to finish the back cut. IF your hinge is cut correct and IF your Bull Rope is tensioned correctly. The tree should fall over bent portion and all. BUT, this final cut is most important. Id slowly cut and watch the tree. It may sound cracking. Don't get in the way of the kick back zone and pull tree. A little cutting a lot of pulling and she'll lay down easily. Not knowing your skil level I tried to give you all the help I can. But, in the end falling a tree is TOTALLY your choice and responsibility. Frankly, I'd probably have just dropped it. You might not need this post but someone lurking might appreciate the details. If, anything needs clarifying or correcting please feel free. I'm past my bed time.
     
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  15. Colt Marlington

    Colt Marlington ArboristSite Guru

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    I'd surely do it the hard way
     
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  16. JanThorCro

    JanThorCro ArboristSite Operative

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    I'd wrap a chain around that vertical stem about the height of the orange tape in the middle photo, before I did anything. Even before I cut up the tree on the ground.
     
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  17. Jack Smith

    Jack Smith ArboristSite Lurker

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    I don't know about anyone else but I'm waiting for that video :)
     
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  18. Huskybill

    Huskybill Addicted to ArboristSite

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    As said cut the top but watch for the trunk to spring up. Then drop it. Those wood fibers looks like there under tension. A pole saw is a good idea to keep you farther from it when you cut.
     
  19. r1stgei

    r1stgei ArboristSite Operative

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    start cleaning around the area without touching that tree or anything its attached to or hung to....... it looks like there is allot of stored energy in that bind... then work your way in cutting it from the far end (end of tree)... depending on the stored energy and feedback you get from watching our cuts and doing a good assessment ... move your cuts slowly towards the truck area standing from a safe position. I think once you get half way it will slowly spring up if you left enough wood, OR it will snap up... I would not cut the trunk before you release pressure my friend....
     
  20. Huskybill

    Huskybill Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Second thought I’d chain the two tree tops together. Then cut the lower trunk on a angle starting from the rear cutting up. She will spring back but on that angle the saw won’t bind be ready to backup.
     

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