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Leaning Tree Methods / Advice

unclemoustache

unclemoustache

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I really enjoy these threads (until they turn to petty bickering about stupid stuff), for I learn a lot, but I've got a question here:

What is the point of a wedge in a front-leaner? Seems to me that the tree is already going in that direction, and I understand a wedge is to help push it in that direction, yet many of you say to use a wedge. What is the principle I'm missing here?
 
Nuzzy

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I really enjoy these threads (until they turn to petty bickering about stupid stuff), for I learn a lot,

Agreed. Unfortunately letting potentially bad info go unchecked can be dangerous for people reading to learn down the line.


but I've got a question here:

What is the point of a wedge in a front-leaner? Seems to me that the tree is already going in that direction, and I understand a wedge is to help push it in that direction, yet many of you say to use a wedge. What is the principle I'm missing here?


There isn't a point for a wedge in a front leaning tree, other then maybe to palm a wedge if it's a breezy day or something. The thread started off about head leaners and then somewhere along the way, people started talking about back leaners.


Edited to add: Unless I'm dead sure about lean and limb weight, I usually palm and snug a wedge. Hell of a lot easier to get one in before you need it.
 
jimbojango

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The point of the jack is to use a hinge to your advantage to not have it rock back on you. heavy headed tree falls "straight" down and the trunk goes backwards taking you with it... and your saw, and you die, or your saw dies, or both
 
Nuzzy

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The point of the jack is to use a hinge to your advantage to not have it rock back on you. heavy headed tree falls "straight" down and the trunk goes backwards taking you with it... and your saw, and you die, or your saw dies, or both


Wat.

Are you saying the jack is to prevent the butt from going back over the stump, rather than to redistribute weight and commit a back leaning tree to the face...?
 
jimbojango

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Wat.

Are you saying the jack is to prevent the butt from going back over the stump, rather than to redistribute weight and commit a back leaning tree to the face...?

no. I'm saying the hinge keeps it going away from the stump and the jack commits it to the face by pushing (using leverage) from the backside of the hinge. the hinge keeps it from rocking back, jack helps to "pursuade" it on over. If you don't leave a rather thick hinge then the damn thing will rocking chair back and kill you.
 
woodchuck357

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When the top of a heavy leaner hits the ground, most of the time the hinge breaks and the butt bounces up and back or to the side. I see this happening even if an extra thick hinge is left. An overly thick hinge means a chair is more likely.
 
Gologit

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no. I'm saying the hinge keeps it going away from the stump and the jack commits it to the face by pushing (using leverage) from the backside of the hinge. the hinge keeps it from rocking back, jack helps to "pursuade" it on over. If you don't leave a rather thick hinge then the damn thing will rocking chair back and kill you.

Okay, I give up.
 
northmanlogging

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Hi Randy!

Jimbo, Jango... You're not making any sense... just sayin...

Three things that can be done with leaners, Swing em, fall em with the lean, or try to fall em backwards, Swinging takes practice and more time to explain then I care to loose right now. Falling em with the lean you have 2 options Coos, or GOL (SSD) both work. Back falling well then you either get real comfortable with wedging, use a jack or get one of them big Yellow Diesel wedges.

And I have no idea how a jack would keep a tree from kicking back, most times the jack gets spit out as the tree starts to fall. You could be smart about it and raise your back cut an inch or 2.... that would prevent kick back...
 
ReggieT

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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
Impressive indeed...
 
jimbojango

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When the top of a heavy leaner hits the ground, most of the time the hinge breaks and the butt bounces up and back or to the side. I see this happening even if an extra thick hinge is left. An overly thick hinge means a chair is more likely.

I haven't seen that happen, but it might be more likely on certain types of tree's. The "worst" tree's we have for chair's are oaks and i've always used the jack to persuade it in the direction of fall with a couple wedges if its iffy. I like the big hinge, maybe it doesn't work for everyone. Whatever gets a tree down safely with no loss of men is a good way.The only other big tree's we have are cottonwoods and they don't make much for firewood anyway and fall pretty safely anyway because they balance out well enough to just use a wedge and hammer if anything.
 
northmanlogging

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A big hinge is useful for jacking, but within reason. The hold wood should be sufficient to hold the tree until its committed to the fall, but not so thick as to make wedging more work then necessary. On chair prone trees a thick hinge will cause a chair, you tip it over far enough to transfer the weight it will pop, and maybe take your head off while your messing around with the jack handle, who knows?

For the record timber can and will chair at any given time during the back cut. Two big causes of a chair are too thick of hold wood, and stalling, not a wide enough face. And it doesn't matter whether the species is chair prone or not, bad technique or bad luck causes chairs, wedging or jacking does nothing to stop it.

And cotton wood is a very dangerous tree to fall, because its very brittle, You can tap a wedge and the hold wood will just snap off at 4-5" thick, and since you just started the wedge its going wherever it wants.

And if you're really worried about a chair put a wrapper on the damn thing, and chains are far more reliable then some crappy nylon strap, nylon can and will get cut by damn near anything, chains can snap but probably not from a chair if you use a proper sized chain, like 5/16 or 3/8.
 
jimbojango

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A big hinge is useful for jacking, but within reason. The hold wood should be sufficient to hold the tree until its committed to the fall, but not so thick as to make wedging more work then necessary. On chair prone trees a thick hinge will cause a chair, you tip it over far enough to transfer the weight it will pop, and maybe take your head off while your messing around with the jack handle, who knows?

For the record timber can and will chair at any given time during the back cut. Two big causes of a chair are too thick of hold wood, and stalling, not a wide enough face. And it doesn't matter whether the species is chair prone or not, bad technique or bad luck causes chairs, wedging or jacking does nothing to stop it.

And cotton wood is a very dangerous tree to fall, because its very brittle, You can tap a wedge and the hold wood will just snap off at 4-5" thick, and since you just started the wedge its going wherever it wants.

And if you're really worried about a chair put a wrapper on the damn thing, and chains are far more reliable then some crappy nylon strap, nylon can and will get cut by damn near anything, chains can snap but probably not from a chair if you use a proper sized chain, like 5/16 or 3/8.
aye! there is a reason they call them a LOG chain :) i carry 4 25' chains under the toolbox
 
Trx250r180

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I really enjoy these threads (until they turn to petty bickering about stupid stuff), for I learn a lot, but I've got a question here:

What is the point of a wedge in a front-leaner? Seems to me that the tree is already going in that direction, and I understand a wedge is to help push it in that direction, yet many of you say to use a wedge. What is the principle I'm missing here?


i use the wedge for lift ,and the hinge and face to steer what way i want to go ,wedges don't push normally if i am reading this right ,if you notice some guys will even stack wedges if needed for more lift ,as you lift with the wedges ,you can make the tree go the direction you want ,if i am making any sense ,i do not understand myself half the time ,it is amazing what you can do with those little plastic things for force
 
chuckwood

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And if you're really worried about a chair put a wrapper on the damn thing, and chains are far more reliable then some crappy nylon strap, nylon can and will get cut by damn near anything, chains can snap but probably not from a chair if you use a proper sized chain, like 5/16 or 3/8.

Ok, what do y'all think about this leaner? It's hackberry, but on inspection, it seems sound, not mortally wounded like my mini-barber chair hackberry. I've just bought two large nylon ratchet straps, 10,000 lbs. breaking strength for the strap part, 3333 lb working load limit. I'll wrap and cinch these straps on the top and bottom section of the main truck, with a 18 foot long 5/16" log chain wrapped with a binder on the center section. The natural lean of the tree will take it onto the fence, maybe break it down, and then the dogs get out. So I want to steer it away to fall in the area in front of the stack of pallets. I'll do this by attaching ropes to the two main upper branches, high up to get lots of leverage. Ropes will be attached to come-alongs to get pulling tension. Face cut in the direction I want it to go, and bore the rest.

Now what is going to go wrong? What is going to get torn up? The fence, my saw, myself, or a combination thereof. If I'm told to call a pro and get away from this tree, I'll think long and hard about it. hack beech 001 e.jpg
 
Trx250r180

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Ok, what do y'all think about this leaner? It's hackberry, but on inspection, it seems sound, not mortally wounded like my mini-barber chair hackberry. I've just bought two large nylon ratchet straps, 10,000 lbs. breaking strength for the strap part, 3333 lb working load limit. I'll wrap and cinch these straps on the top and bottom section of the main truck, with a 18 foot long 5/16" log chain wrapped with a binder on the center section. The natural lean of the tree will take it onto the fence, maybe break it down, and then the dogs get out. So I want to steer it away to fall in the area in front of the stack of pallets. I'll do this by attaching ropes to the two main upper branches, high up to get lots of leverage. Ropes will be attached to come-alongs to get pulling tension. Face cut in the direction I want it to go, and bore the rest.

Now what is going to go wrong? What is going to get torn up? The fence, my saw, myself, or a combination thereof. If I'm told to call a pro and get away from this tree, I'll think long and hard about it. View attachment 335502


is there room to fall it where you are standing taking the pic ? so it does not hit the fence ?if there was i would face the side you are looking at it and use a wedge and force it that way
Ok, what do y'all think about this leaner? It's hackberry, but on inspection, it seems sound, not mortally wounded like my mini-barber chair hackberry. I've just bought two large nylon ratchet straps, 10,000 lbs. breaking strength for the strap part, 3333 lb working load limit. I'll wrap and cinch these straps on the top and bottom section of the main truck, with a 18 foot long 5/16" log chain wrapped with a binder on the center section. The natural lean of the tree will take it onto the fence, maybe break it down, and then the dogs get out. So I want to steer it away to fall in the area in front of the stack of pallets. I'll do this by attaching ropes to the two main upper branches, high up to get lots of leverage. Ropes will be attached to come-alongs to get pulling tension. Face cut in the direction I want it to go, and bore the rest.

Now what is going to go wrong? What is going to get torn up? The fence, my saw, myself, or a combination thereof. If I'm told to call a pro and get away from this tree, I'll think long and hard about it. View attachment 335502



can you reach that limb to the right with your pole saw ? get some of the weight off of the chair if you are worried about it popping ?
 
Nuzzy

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Ok, what do y'all think about this leaner? It's hackberry, but on inspection, it seems sound, not mortally wounded like my mini-barber chair hackberry. I've just bought two large nylon ratchet straps, 10,000 lbs. breaking strength for the strap part, 3333 lb working load limit. I'll wrap and cinch these straps on the top and bottom section of the main truck, with a 18 foot long 5/16" log chain wrapped with a binder on the center section. The natural lean of the tree will take it onto the fence, maybe break it down, and then the dogs get out. So I want to steer it away to fall in the area in front of the stack of pallets. I'll do this by attaching ropes to the two main upper branches, high up to get lots of leverage. Ropes will be attached to come-alongs to get pulling tension. Face cut in the direction I want it to go, and bore the rest.

Now what is going to go wrong? What is going to get torn up? The fence, my saw, myself, or a combination thereof. If I'm told to call a pro and get away from this tree, I'll think long and hard about it. View attachment 335502



How far do you need it to fall from the lean? 45°...? 90°...? If closer to 90, you're no longer dealing with a heavy head leaner, you're dealing with a heavy side leaner. I don't know that I'd be boring a heavy side leaner (heavy head leaner with a slight side lean could be good candidate to bore); especially one you're trying to assist with pull lines.
 
Nuzzy

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I have a feeling I'm going to regret posting this. (But in keeping with the theme of the thread...)



Heavy head and side lean is often dutchman territory. When the lean is too much and altering the holding wood thickness across the hinge won't do enough, you can go more drastic and purposefully sever the holding wood on the lean side. As you progress your back cut, the kerf on the lean side will close and hopefully stall (given you still have enough holding wood); at this point, ideally the tree having no more ability to fall towards the lean, will shift weight and swing towards the face.

The key is knowing when and how much holding wood to cut off. This is not rookie territory. Only practice can make it useful. Swinging too much or not enough is constantly a concern. Practicing in an open area with no collateral damage is best. Not sure I'd be trying it for the first or second time with structures around in the danger area...

Also, this is bar pinch paradise if you don't have good control and presence of tip.













Illustrations again courtesy of:

 
chuckwood

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How far do you need it to fall from the lean? 45°...? 90°...? If closer to 90, you're no longer dealing with a heavy head leaner, you're dealing with a heavy side leaner. I don't know that I'd be boring a heavy side leaner (heavy head leaner with a slight side lean could be good candidate to bore); especially one you're trying to assist with pull lines.

I can get by with a minimum of 30 degrees or so to the lean, it will then miss the fence. So which is best. I'm not sure cutting at 90 degrees to lean will be safest. At 90 degrees to lean, won't there be a tendency for the hinge to start ripping out on the tension side and then the tree goes where I had not planned for?
I think I'm going to wait for Dent's book to arrive before I proceed any further.
 
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