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Leaning Tree Methods / Advice

Kafinlayson

Kafinlayson

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After reading the "mini barber chair" thread, I thought I would start another thread on leaning trees with a fresh start. On our farm, there are several leaning ash trees that are mostly 12" to maybe 20", and a couple of 16" to 24" oaks. Some of them lean quite a bit that are just inside the edge of the woods as they grew toward the light.

From what I gathered on cutting down leaners, there are three safer methods. (I am sure there are more but that was all that was mentioned in the thread) I am going to cut several of these down this spring/summer and am seeking advice on the safest way to do it. I could take pictures when out the next time if that would help.

One method that seemed to be accepted by the experienced ones on here was the 3 triangles (triangle Coos).

Then there was a regular facecut and boring the heart with leaving 2-3" on each side, followed by back cut. How far toward the opposite side of the face cut do you go?

Another method that I saw on youtube that looked to be a reputable cutter was to make the face cut and then plunge cut all the way through just behind the hinge and cutting away from the hinge. Leave a couple of inches at the back of the tree, remove saw and then cut the "trigger" with a regular backcut.

When would a person use one of these versus the others? Are they interchangeable? Any of the 3 safer than the others? Are Oaks different than Ash? I am not pretending to know how to do it but am seeking advice on how to cut some of these trees down safely.
 
Nuzzy

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*Note: these drawings are ways of dealing with moderate to heavy head leaners.


Here's some drawings of the examples you mentioned:

Side boring (some will cut almost out the back and then trip the strap from the outside slightly below the backcut level) (some will bore in closer to back and cut forward to hinge before finally tripping strap):




Triangle Coos (called side notching in this book):




Boring through the face:





The common theme is getting rid of wood so your back cut can progress as quickly as possible.

If there is slight side lean as well, leaving a narrower hinge on lean side and thicker hinge on the other will help pull the tree. There are further alterations for heavy side leaners, but probably best to keep those out of this thread.
 
Nuzzy

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**Now I'm certainly not saying you can simply read a book and then go out and act a pro... Just saying it has great info that you can practice and use to get better and safer.**


Plenty of great books out there. However, this is one of my favorites. It's short, to the point, and packed with good stuff for reference. East Coast/West Coast BS aside, the physics of trees are largely the same. Well worth the price to learn some fundamentals. :cool:

http://www.baileysonline.com/Forest...ional-Timber-Falling-Book-by-Douglas-Dent.axd

 
treeslayer2003

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only thing I can add to nuzzy's post is that I wouldn't nip the sides on smaller sticks using the face bore. you aren't cutting for grade any way and even if you get a small split out on the stump, it won't hurt the log.
ash can be splitty as can white oak, but trees are different in other regions.
 
Nuzzy

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only thing I can add to nuzzy's post is that I wouldn't nip the sides on smaller sticks using the face bore. you aren't cutting for grade any way and even if you get a small split out on the stump, it won't hurt the log.
ash can be splitty as can white oak, but trees are different in other regions.
Agreed. No need to worry about nipping corners in most all cases.


Eric are those pics from Dent's book?

Yeah Mike, those pics were Dent's. I love Beranek's book too, but Dent's just seems like the perfect easy read, and covers a lot of ground quickly and to the point.
 
CTYank

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I'm guessing that these procedures have evolved to prevent/minimize "chairing". In my limited experience, forest-grown trees are much more prone to "chairing" because of their narrow crown & long stem. Probably depends very much on species.

If any probabiity of "chairing" I'm guessing it'd be wise to put lots of wraps above the butt with high-tensile nylon slings- could even pre-tension them with a cable winch (one of my favorite tools). Chains would work, just lots heavier to jackazz through the woods.

Okay, disabuse me of these notions, please.
 
Nuzzy

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I'm guessing that these procedures have evolved to prevent/minimize "chairing". In my limited experience, forest-grown trees are much more prone to "chairing" because of their narrow crown & long stem. Probably depends very much on species.

If any probabiity of "chairing" I'm guessing it'd be wise to put lots of wraps above the butt with high-tensile nylon slings- could even pre-tension them with a cable winch (one of my favorite tools). Chains would work, just lots heavier to jackazz through the woods.

Okay, disabuse me of these notions, please.

Using the proper techniques, you really shouldn't need to worry about any wrapping with chains/cables/rope/whatever. Barber chairs happen because the tree attempts to fall while there's still too much holding wood. Thus, you use a technique to alleviate that issue, or make it so you can cut up the back cut in a suitably fast manner. Keep your chain sharp, and your saw properly sized for the task at hand.
 
Kafinlayson

Kafinlayson

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Thanks for the pictures amd explanations. I just ordered one book and am thinking of getting the other. I have neither the desire to become a professional tree cutter or the crazy notion that reading a book or the internet can make me a pro. I just want to be able to do things safely, or as safely as I can.

I cut the last 3 trees about 4' from the ground so I would have some good stumps to practice some of these techniques on. I just bought an 036 with a 20" bar so I think I will be able to get the back cuts done a little quicker which seems to be a common theme also.

Thanks again
 
Nuzzy

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Thanks for the pictures amd explanations. I just ordered one book and am thinking of getting the other. I have neither the desire to become a professional tree cutter or the crazy notion that reading a book or the internet can make me a pro. I just want to be able to do things safely, or as safely as I can.

I cut the last 3 trees about 4' from the ground so I would have some good stumps to practice some of these techniques on. I just bought an 036 with a 20" bar so I think I will be able to get the back cuts done a little quicker which seems to be a common theme also.

Thanks again

:cool:


When I first joined AS, it seemed there were a few books (certainly Dent's and Beranek's) that were constantly referenced as being great resources. Haven't seen that much in recent years; seems a pity to me. Lotta great info therein.
 
stihly dan

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How often, or how much better are these other cuts? I don't think I would try any of the bore cuts, knowing me not seeing the tip, I would misjudge some part of the cut. how Equal does The T cut need to be? The triangle seems easy enough. Shoot just keeping a face or back cut level can be hard enough.
 
Gologit

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Using the proper techniques, you really shouldn't need to worry about any wrapping with chains/cables/rope/whatever. Barber chairs happen because the tree attempts to fall while there's still too much holding wood. Thus, you use a technique to alleviate that issue, or make it so you can cut up the back cut in a suitably fast manner. Keep your chain sharp, and your saw properly sized for the task at hand.

Mostly true. There can also be internal defects that an average eye won't see that will contribute to a 'chair. A top that's limb heavy to one side is another thing to watch for...especially if the wind is pulling toward the heavy side.

Here's a guy that thought chaining a tree was a good idea. I'd agree with him. See the binder on the chain? A loose wrapped chain isn't any good, this one is tight.
Note the block face and snipe and how the tree slides off the cut, slides on the snipe, and goes where it's supposed to go.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.391923794197812.93340.119465764776951&type=3
 
Nuzzy

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Mostly true. There can also be internal defects that an average eye won't see that will contribute to a 'chair. A top that's limb heavy to one side is another thing to watch for...especially if the wind is pulling toward the heavy side.

Here's a guy that thought chaining a tree was a good idea. I'd agree with him. See the binder on the chain? A loose wrapped chain isn't any good, this one is tight.
Note the block face and snipe and how the tree slides off the cut, slides on the snipe, and goes where it's supposed to go.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.391923794197812.93340.119465764776951&type=3

I would say those gentlemen earned the right to decide which trees they chained :D


Huge. Clangy. Balls. :bowdown:
 
bitzer

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the cuts mentioned are typical methods for head leaners. not needed for average trees. I am not convinced the coos is a good choice for a lot of hardwood but that is my opinion.
You just have to adapt it with other cuts to make it suitable. Its faster and there is a lot less chance of having the tree sit on your bar when boring the back cut. I never bore anything anymore. Back cuts that is. I bore heart wood all the time and the occasional buck. The "T" style coos is necessary for hard leaning hardwoods. The triangle style still leaves a lot of wood to cut.
 
Jon B.

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When you finish the back cut on a bored example, can/should you just keep cutting from inside through the holding wood? Is that worse than stopping the bore cut and then cutting the holding wood from the back? Seems like a "horse apiece" but I haven't any real experience upon which to draw. There are many leaners in my grove - old farm site, full of box elder trees with rotten centers.

Jon
 
woodchuck357

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The greatest danger, when boring the back cut, comes from the possibility of the last bit breaking and pulling out of the stump taking the saw with it. The chance of that happening is lessened when the tip of the bar is used to "trip the trigger" by making the final cut from the back. With trees that have pronounced flare at the base, some feel finishing with a downward cut is safer. I usually keep cutting out the back but pull the saw so that no more of the bar is in the cut than is necessary.
One thing that seems to be missing in this advice; a tree with a lot of lean or most of the heavy limbs on one side may get the butt pushed back over the stump and/or to the side when the top hits the ground, much more than a straight tree.
 
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