ArboristSite.com Sponsors
www.harvesterbars.com


Leaning Tree Methods / Advice

Nuzzy

Nuzzy

Trail Gnome
Joined
Dec 15, 2007
Messages
1,502
Location
North Bend, WA
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?



90° to the lean is physically possible. Given further modifications to the face, a tree can be swung even more so. HOWEVER, if you've never swung trees, this does not look like a good place to try your first.

That said, if you're feeling saucy and accept the risks, a 30° does give you more margin for error. I think I read in one of your posts (forgive me if it was someone else) that you had "The Fundamentals of General Tree Work" on order; if memory serves, there's a chapter dedicated to helping pull trees with a rigged line (which you said you were planning). At 30°, you might be able to get away with a full width hinge that is fatter on the tension side. *Might* because as always, it's hard to fully judge a situation without being there.
 
HuskStihl

HuskStihl

Chairin'em for the sound
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
6,163
Location
Hockley, TX
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
Unless Bitz, Bob, Randy, TS or NM says different, that tree ain't gonna turn much before it hits the ground. It's gonna fall straight down. If that giant horizontal branch hovering 30 feet above the fence weren't there, sure, but it is.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

The gyppo's gyppo
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
6,004
Location
western washington
Unless Bitz, Bob, Randy, TS or NM says different, that tree ain't gonna turn much before it hits the ground. It's gonna fall straight down. If that giant horizontal branch hovering 30 feet above the fence weren't there, sure, but it is.

Hot damn husk you hit it on the head...

That tree is leaning very hard... IF you get really lucky you might be able to pull it 20-30* with just cutting alone, but its very top heavy so its unlikely, it is a good canidate for a dutchmen and a siswheel, (look em up) but even all the tricks in the book your still relying on luck.

A better option would be to toss a line over one of them branches and anchor it about 45* behind where your cutting, towards where you want it to fall, and put some serious tension on it, preferably a 4x4 truck with some one pulling on it as it falls, but not before its starts falling, just put a little tension on it, once it starts to go then you can mash the throttle. Barring the truck some good 5/8-3/4 nylon rope tightened with a come-a-long will act like a big rubber band.

And by all means just a heavy chain around the bottom should be enough to prevent a serious chair, or a fast sharp saw... The tie downs tend to break pretty easy with that kind of shock load, they are meant to have a static load, hence the working strength of only 3333, where a chain would be somewhere around 7000 working strength and built for shock loads.
 
Hedgerow

Hedgerow

HACK
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
15,356
Location
Carthage, MO
yup, I agree. since it is a chair prone type, I doubt you will pull it that much before things go south on ya. if you could get that limb off that may change things. could you fall something else on the limb to break it off?
A straight grained Hackberry is the equivalent of an Ash tree.. I've seen them chair 12' in the air...
I know photos can be misleading, but that tree looks like it wants to see the ground in a big hurry.. I could swing it a couple degrees but not 30... Got too much junk up top.. Personally, I would employ mechanical assistance... By whatever means necessary..
 
chuckwood

chuckwood

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
8,681
Location
near the Great Smoky Mtns. Tennessee
yup, I agree. since it is a chair prone type, I doubt you will pull it that much before things go south on ya. if you could get that limb off that may change things. could you fall something else on the limb to break it off?

There's no way to fall something else on it. Can't get a bucket truck back there, so the only way I can think of to get the limb off is to hire a climber to do it. There's one other time consuming but fun trick I could try. I've done this a number of times, and everybody is probably going to laugh at me about it. I put together a mason's scaffold under the limb, and top the scaffold off with a platform consisting of a piece of 4x8 plywood. Two tiers will get me 12 feet up on the platform. I place another tier of saffolding above the level of the plywood platform, these serve as guard rails. Then I tie the contraption down with guy ropes so it won't rock while I'm on it. Then I use a pole saw to cut the limbs up into small pieces and drop them. I don't cut heavy or really long sections due to the risk of one swinging back at me. The thicker sections get cut into three foot chunks and will drop with no problems. Then I slice 'em in half for firewood.

I've done my share of construction work on scaffolds, so I'm used to working on them and assembling them. This tree has pickup truck access, so this non-professional method of mine is doable if the scaffold measures out to get me within working distance. If I got to go up to an 18 foot platform, then I ain't doing it and I'm back to square one.
 
Nuzzy

Nuzzy

Trail Gnome
Joined
Dec 15, 2007
Messages
1,502
Location
North Bend, WA
yup, I agree. since it is a chair prone type, I doubt you will pull it that much before things go south on ya. if you could get that limb off that may change things. could you fall something else on the limb to break it off?

A straight grained Hackberry is the equivalent of an Ash tree.. I've seen them chair 12' in the air...
I know photos can be misleading, but that tree looks like it wants to see the ground in a big hurry.. I could swing it a couple degrees but not 30... Got too much junk up top.. Personally, I would employ mechanical assistance... By whatever means necessary..



Personal curiosity question for you gentlemen that deal more often with chair prone trees (not necessarily talking about the currently pictured tree as I know its lean is severe...):

If you are trying to swing a chair prone tree, would putting in a soft dutchman help more so than other more pliable trees? Or would it cause more trouble...
 
treeslayer2003

treeslayer2003

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
5,709
Location
Marylands eastern shore
Can't get a bucket truck back there, so the only way for me to get the limb off is to hire a climber to do it. There's one other time consuming but fun trick I could try - I've done before, and everybody is probably going to laugh at me about it. Put together a mason's scaffold under the limb, and top the scaffold off with a platform consisting of a piece of 4x8 3/4 inch plywood. Two tiers will get me 12 feet up on the platform. I place another tier of saffolding above the level of the plywood platform, these serve as guard rails. Then I tie the contraption down with guy ropes so it won't rock while I'm on it. Then I use a pole saw to cut the limbs up into small pieces and drop them. I don't cut heavy or really long sections due to the risk of one swinging back at me. The thicker sections get cut into three foot chunks and will drop with no problems. Then I slice 'em in half for firewood.

I've done my share of construction work on scaffolds, so I'm used to working on them and assembling them. This tree has pickup truck access, so this non-professional method of mine is doable.
could be an option. just be sure you can stay safe while doing this.
 
Hedgerow

Hedgerow

HACK
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
15,356
Location
Carthage, MO
Personal curiosity question for you gentlemen that deal more often with chair prone trees (not necessarily talking about the currently pictured tree as I know its lean is severe...):

If you are trying to swing a chair prone tree, would putting in a soft dutchman help more so than other more pliable trees? Or would it cause more trouble...
That's above my pay grade..
I don't use dutchman's...
Mike may...
 
treeslayer2003

treeslayer2003

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
5,709
Location
Marylands eastern shore
Personal curiosity question for you gentlemen that deal more often with chair prone trees (not necessarily talking about the currently pictured tree as I know its lean is severe...):

If you are trying to swing a chair prone tree, would putting in a soft dutchman help more so than other more pliable trees? Or would it cause more trouble...
well Eric, Randy or maybe bitzer could answer this better but imo, it depends on the tree type. I have personaly come across some that I think are best to just fall with the lean rather than try to pull at all. here that would be ash and some types of white oak but it does seem to vary by region. experience with what you are dealing with dictates course of action. in other words it just depends lol.
 
chuckwood

chuckwood

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
8,681
Location
near the Great Smoky Mtns. Tennessee
A straight grained Hackberry is the equivalent of an Ash tree.. I've seen them chair 12' in the air...
I know photos can be misleading, but that tree looks like it wants to see the ground in a big hurry.. I could swing it a couple degrees but not 30... Got too much junk up top.. Personally, I would employ mechanical assistance... By whatever means necessary..

By "chairing 12' " in the air do you mean the chair begins twelve feet up or *ends* twelve feet up? The photo pretty much says it like it is. The lean is extreme. These things are sometimes the first ones to auger in during bad storms. At least that's what the one beside it did, the tree just couldn't hold the limb anymore under pressure, and it split completely off. I'd guess that things inside trees like this are already close to the breaking point. I appreciate hearing from people who have experience with this tree. For some reason, many of the hackberrys I've seen are leaners. It's like they have some sort of tendency to grow sideways.
 
Nuzzy

Nuzzy

Trail Gnome
Joined
Dec 15, 2007
Messages
1,502
Location
North Bend, WA
well Eric, Randy or maybe bitzer could answer this better but imo, it depends on the tree type. I have personaly come across some that I think are best to just fall with the lean rather than try to pull at all. here that would be ash and some types of white oak but it does seem to vary by region. experience with what you are dealing with dictates course of action. in other words it just depends lol.


Perfect. :D :laugh:
 
Hedgerow

Hedgerow

HACK
Joined
Dec 20, 2010
Messages
15,356
Location
Carthage, MO
By "chairing 12' " in the air do you mean the chair begins twelve feet up or *ends* twelve feet up? The photo pretty much says it like it is. The lean is extreme. These things are sometimes the first ones to auger in during bad storms. At least that's what the one beside it did, the tree just couldn't hold the limb anymore under pressure, and it split completely off. I'd guess that things inside trees like this are already close to the breaking point. I appreciate hearing from people who have experience with this tree. For some reason, many of the hackberrys I've seen are leaners. It's like they have some sort of tendency to grow sideways.
My brother in law put too small a notch in one last year and it had some junk growing and hanging out of the top..
It split from ground level to over 12' up... And stuck up there.. Had it come off its perch, and landed to the left of the spire, it would have smacked him...

It had less lean than the one you need to drop. I left it up there for a couple days for the neighbors to admire. Had he just put a proper face in it, and hauled ass in the back cut, it would have just hit the ground hard and fast.
 
Gologit

Gologit

Completely retired...life is good.
Joined
May 19, 2005
Messages
16,371
Location
In the Redwoods.
Unless Bitz, Bob, Randy, TS or NM says different, that tree ain't gonna turn much before it hits the ground. It's gonna fall straight down. If that giant horizontal branch hovering 30 feet above the fence weren't there, sure, but it is.

Lock up the dogs. Take the fence down. Drop that evil looking SOB with the lean. Buck it clear of the fence line. Put the fence back up.

I can pull a leaner a little if things are right but I don't think I could pull that one far enough, safely, to do any good.

Don't forget to let the dogs out.
 
chuckwood

chuckwood

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
8,681
Location
near the Great Smoky Mtns. Tennessee
Lock up the dogs. Take the fence down. Drop that evil looking SOB with the lean. Buck it clear of the fence line. Put the fence back up.

I can pull a leaner a little if things are right but I don't think I could pull that one far enough, safely, to do any good.

Don't forget to let the dogs out.

Yeah, ..... about taking the fence down. After reading all the advice and stories here I realize I'm in over my head with trying to steer this thing any other way aside from where it wants to go. Tying cables onto it and doing all these complex steering cuts will be just as much extra work as just takin' the fence down. Dogs won't like not getting to go out for a while, but that's the way it's gonna be if I'm cuttin' this tree.
 
chuckwood

chuckwood

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
8,681
Location
near the Great Smoky Mtns. Tennessee
90° to the lean is physically possible. Given further modifications to the face, a tree can be swung even more so. HOWEVER, if you've never swung trees, this does not look like a good place to try your first.

That said, if you're feeling saucy and accept the risks, a 30° does give you more margin for error. I think I read in one of your posts (forgive me if it was someone else) that you had "The Fundamentals of General Tree Work" on order; if memory serves, there's a chapter dedicated to helping pull trees with a rigged line (which you said you were planning).

I've swung trees before, but they were all relatively straight ones. Good advice there, I don't have the experience and knowledge yet to try something like this - at the very least, I'd need to practice on some others than only have moderate lean. With something extreme like this, and with my lack of experience, failure is an increased possible outcome with this project.
 
HuskStihl

HuskStihl

Chairin'em for the sound
Joined
Aug 6, 2012
Messages
6,163
Location
Hockley, TX
Lock up the dogs. Take the fence down. Drop that evil looking SOB with the lean. Buck it clear of the fence line. Put the fence back up.

I can pull a leaner a little if things are right but I don't think I could pull that one far enough, safely, to do any good.

Don't forget to let the dogs out.
Alright, that's settled. Great thread guys. See y'all on the next one (cheers emoticon here)
 
Top