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Leaning Tree Methods / Advice

chuckwood

chuckwood

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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

Wow, Bailey's has a hot price on this book. Out of curiosity, I just checked Amazon and they are asking around thirty dollars for used copies of Dent's book. One vendor wanted 27 bucks plus shipping for a book that he warned had been damaged a bit because he took it with him in the woods all the time.
 
bitzer

bitzer

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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.
The biggest pain in the ass when boring the back cut is having the tree sit down on you just as you poke through the other side. Then you are just wasting time. Boring the back cut also takes nearly twice as long as other methods.
 
woodchuck357

woodchuck357

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If the tree sits on your saw, you must have cut thru all of the hinge wood.
Boring takes less time than either coos bay cut(works more often, too).
Heavy leaners, about the only trees I bore cut, DON'T NEED wedges!
 
Nuzzy

Nuzzy

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big thing I see is not being able to wedge. I know you can put um in close to hinge but no where near as much leverage that way.


I agree, boring trees for the sake of boring GOL style just seems stupid and slow. That said, if you really wanted a wedge in there, you could offset your strap to make room for a wedge close to the normal spot. Seems dumb to me to go through all that on a wedging tree, but it's certainly doable.
 
woodchuck357

woodchuck357

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This is how I go about making a bore felling cut in the woods; make a notch on the side of the tree that it is leaning toward (trees can be swung to the side of the lean, but I won't go into that here) bore into the tree well back from the hinge, cut toward the hinge until it is the proper thickness, then cut toward and out the back. All cuts are usually made from the same side, often without moving my feet on the smaller (less than two feet diameter).
On really small trees being dropped in the direction of the lean, I often skip the notch and just bore into the middle, cut toward the lean stopping a couple of inches from cutting it off, then cut out the back.
The bit left strips down the stump as the tree falls.
Working in yards close to buildings, cables, snatch blocks, ropes and pulling equipment are generally used to make trees go in directions other than the lean, if necessary.
 
jimbojango

jimbojango

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I use a bottle jack. i face cut it start in from the back, drive 2 GOOD wedges in deep (on a big tree) and then once i have a 3 to 4 inch or so hinge left i take my 441 back to a "safe location" and set it down. Then i get my 20 ton bottle jack and 261 and plunge cut about 10 inches in about 14 inches (the hieght of my jack) above my other cut, wedges will be on either wide of this. Then i plunge from the side and knock the block out. Its usually triangle shaped because i really don't care if its square. Then i put the 261 behind ANOTHER tree and put the bottle jack in and start pumping. I've never had a tree go the wrong way and i'm sure if you really really want to control it use 2 jacks instead of 1.

BTW if you want to save a LOG instead of just firewooding the tree cut BELOW you traditional felling cut for your block you knock out instead of above. I don't think you actually need the wedges either but i like them because it keeps everything on the same page. Also if you start jacking and your tree top doesn't move take your smaller chainsaw (if possible) and cut into your hinge a touch more, then jack more. Its slow, but its the safest thing i've found and i know thats how they dropped redwoods back in the day if they didn't have the overhead cables and pullies ect.
 
Nuzzy

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I use a bottle jack...

...I don't think you actually need the wedges either but i like them because it keeps everything on the same page.


If you are using a bottle jack, I would definitely be using wedges to help distribute the load. Tree jacks have a large surface area for a reason, and they still usually have wedges assisting.
 
jimbojango

jimbojango

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If you are using a bottle jack, I would definitely be using wedges to help distribute the load. Tree jacks have a large surface area for a reason, and they still usually have wedges assisting.
Maybe i wasn't entirely clear, i have a transmission jack plate i use part of the time if the tree is over lets say.. 36" ... but thats why i suggested 2 jacks instead of 1.
 
Gologit

Gologit

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I use a bottle jack. i face cut it start in from the back, drive 2 GOOD wedges in deep (on a big tree) and then once i have a 3 to 4 inch or so hinge left i take my 441 back to a "safe location" and set it down. Then i get my 20 ton bottle jack and 261 and plunge cut about 10 inches in about 14 inches (the hieght of my jack) above my other cut, wedges will be on either wide of this. Then i plunge from the side and knock the block out. Its usually triangle shaped because i really don't care if its square. Then i put the 261 behind ANOTHER tree and put the bottle jack in and start pumping. I've never had a tree go the wrong way and i'm sure if you really really want to control it use 2 jacks instead of 1.

BTW if you want to save a LOG instead of just firewooding the tree cut BELOW you traditional felling cut for your block you knock out instead of above. I don't think you actually need the wedges either but i like them because it keeps everything on the same page. Also if you start jacking and your tree top doesn't move take your smaller chainsaw (if possible) and cut into your hinge a touch more, then jack more. Its slow, but its the safest thing i've found and i know thats how they dropped redwoods back in the day if they didn't have the overhead cables and pullies ect.

Sounds interesting. How about some pictures of how you do that?
 
chuckwood

chuckwood

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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... .
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.
I just checked Home Depot website, and they have 2 inch wide ratchet strap tie-downs rated at 5 tons. Straps are 27 feet long, used for securing loads on trailers. They only cost fourteen dollars each. I'm going to buy a couple of these for my next leaning hackberry take down, and I'll also use my log chain and I'll use a binder this time with the chain. I figure with the heavy duty ratchet straps, you wrap all 27 feet of strap all around the trunk and then cinch tight. And if need be, I'll buy more straps. My way of thinking is this, I'm not a pro, there's no boss telling me to hurry up and get the job done, and I don't need to impress anybody with how tough I am- there won't be anybody watching so I won't be embarrassed about my strapping job. My concern is safety and peace of mind. If it takes all morning to strap up a tree, then so be it. Then I can proceed with the bore cutting. If I hurt myself, I'll lose far more time and money in the hospital.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/EVEREST-...railer-Strap-S1021/203566760#customer_reviews
 
chuckwood

chuckwood

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Maybe i wasn't entirely clear, i have a transmission jack plate i use part of the time if the tree is over lets say.. 36" ... but thats why i suggested 2 jacks instead of 1.
I've never heard of this before, but you are saying that this was a common procedure in the old days? So basically, it does the same thing that wedges do but with far more force and efficiency. I have a 50 ton Harbor Freight bottle jack I used once for jacking up huge structural beams on a sagging dairy barn. It's been sitting in the basement ever since. With a piece of half inch steel plate, maybe I'm ready to take down my next big scary oak?
 
Gologit

Gologit

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I've never heard of this before, but you are saying that this was a common procedure in the old days? So basically, it does the same thing that wedges do but with far more force and efficiency. I have a 50 ton Harbor Freight bottle jack I used once for jacking up huge structural beams on a sagging dairy barn. It's been sitting in the basement ever since. With a piece of half inch steel plate, maybe I'm ready to take down my next big scary oak?
You need to make it a point to get Jerry Beranek's book...Fundamentals of General Tree Work.
Jacking trees can sometimes cause more problems than it solves if a guy doesn't have a good basic knowledge of how the tree can react to the forces involved in using jacks.
I've used jacks quite bit, regular tree jacks, and they can help you out of a tight spot if you know how to use them. Use them wrong and they'll make a bad situation worse.

Just don't fall into the trap of "if I do this, the tree will automatically and every time do that". It doesn't work like that. It never will. There are some basic procedures that you can take from tree to tree but each tree is unique.
They don't read the rule book, either. And they don't care if they kill you or not.
 
Nuzzy

Nuzzy

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I've never heard of this before, but you are saying that this was a common procedure in the old days? So basically, it does the same thing that wedges do but with far more force and efficiency. I have a 50 ton Harbor Freight bottle jack I used once for jacking up huge structural beams on a sagging dairy barn. It's been sitting in the basement ever since. With a piece of half inch steel plate, maybe I'm ready to take down my next big scary oak?
Please listen Bob on this. Not that you shouldn't always listen to what Bob has to offer, but make a special point this time. Using mechanical advantage in a situation that isn't properly set for it can cause big problems.

Yes, they used jacks in epic redwoods, sometimes...

Yes, some trees now warrant jacks. But there's a hell of a lot more to it than sticking your car jack in there and going to town worry free.



You need to make it a point to get Jerry Beranek's book...Fundamentals of General Tree Work.
Jacking trees can sometimes cause more problems than it solves if a guy doesn't have a good basic knowledge of how the tree can react to the forces involved in using jacks.
I've used jacks quite bit, regular tree jacks, and they can help you out of a tight spot if you know how to use them. Use them wrong and they'll make a bad situation worse.

Just don't fall into the trap of "if I do this, the tree will automatically and every time do that". It doesn't work like that. It never will. There are some basic procedures that you can take from tree to tree but each tree is unique.
They don't read the rule book, either. And they don't care if they kill you or not.
 
bitzer

bitzer

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The funny part about this jack talk is my avatar. Maybe its not that clear to those who haven't seen it before.

Hard maple about 32" on the stump. This was a harvest tree on a boundary line. There was a shed across the property line about 15 ft behind this.
Maplejack.jpg

Ash about 30" on the stump. The landing was just behind this one.
Jacklift.jpg

This is a 30 ton stubby. The next time I make one the jack plate will be machined to fit the top of the ram and 4 heavy duty sprigs will be mounted between it and the base. The pivot I built for this jack works well, but it will fail eventually. You can see in the picture how its bent. The bolt is also a weak link. I've sheared one off already. If you don't have a pivot a bottle jack can just spit out of the back cut on you as the tree tips more forward. Also these jacks don't have a pressure gauge like a traditional tree jack and are not meant for this. They could blow out on you and probably maim and maybe even kill. Jacking on windy days is interesting to say the least and my trees aren't even tall like in the PNW. Always keep wedges snugged up just in case something were to happen to the jack. Really the jack should be to help wedge the tree not the other way around. Like pound wedge, pound wedge, pump jack, pump jack, pound, pound, pound, pump, pump... Like Gologit said a lot of things can go wrong.
Jack2.jpg
 
bitzer

bitzer

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This is how I go about making a bore felling cut in the woods; make a notch on the side of the tree that it is leaning toward (trees can be swung to the side of the lean, but I won't go into that here) bore into the tree well back from the hinge, cut toward the hinge until it is the proper thickness, then cut toward and out the back. All cuts are usually made from the same side, often without moving my feet on the smaller (less than two feet diameter).
On really small trees being dropped in the direction of the lean, I often skip the notch and just bore into the middle, cut toward the lean stopping a couple of inches from cutting it off, then cut out the back.
The bit left strips down the stump as the tree falls.
Working in yards close to buildings, cables, snatch blocks, ropes and pulling equipment are generally used to make trees go in directions other than the lean, if necessary.
This GOL stuff is all well and good, but it falls shy of the real knowledge of how to control a tree. Also on trees less than 12" on the stump I usually just snip em right of. Unless I really need them to go a certain way. If they are leaning hard then its a no face coos bay.
 
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