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Leaning Tree Methods / Advice

bitzer

bitzer

Bullshit Timber Expert
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Jul 21, 2009
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Hardwood Country
Chuckwood- I would have to see the tree in person, but it looks like you would have a tough time at it with just a saw. I've swung some ugly crap like that pretty far, but its kind of a crap shoot. I don't really know how well the holding wood is in a hackberry. If you've got a good root to use to pull it around you may get it to go. I'd dutch off the entire far side. You will need a wedge in the back corner to keep the cut open so you can cut enough off. Then start cutting from the swing side to the pull side. If a tree is already half cut off the stump it won't chair. Hit the wedge to nudge it forward if you can. Nip a little bit of wood, etc. If the wood holds you (I) could probably get it there. Leave A LOT of holding wood and nip at it. Watch the top, nip, watch, nip. Hit wedge. If its starts moving the right way, let it. Swinging chair prone trees is not much different from swing any other tree. If half the tree is cut off before anything happens (movement) it won't chair. It might tear out and wreck the log (not an issue in your case), but it won't chair. In all honesty If the fence is important to you I wouldn't do it. I've gotten trees like that to go pretty far, but like I said it can be a crapshoot.
 
northmanlogging

northmanlogging

The gyppo's gyppo
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
5,999
Location
western washington
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...

It depends... For a heavy leaner, don't bother. For a medium leaner soft dutching works pretty well, couple it with a ssd or Coos, and a sis you can get some pretty good movement, just be aware that it could pop at and second. The key is to not let it stall, keep it moving. Or better yet don't try this at home.



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.

Not sure I would go with scaffolding... but then I own climbing gear.

Bob nailed this one, tie up the pups, knock down the fence and have at, should be done in an hour or two.
 
woodchuck357

woodchuck357

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Nov 12, 2012
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1,262
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arkansas
I would put a rope in it, anchored to the butt of a tree to keep it from falling toward the fence and another to help persuade it to fall where I notched it, aiming near the pallets.
But I'll go along with taking the fence down, THEN try to swing it with a thicker hinge on the tension side and wedges.
 
chuckwood

chuckwood

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near the Great Smoky Mtns. Tennessee
Chuckwood- I would have to see the tree in person, but it looks like you would have a tough time at it with just a saw. I've swung some ugly crap like that pretty far, but its kind of a crap shoot. I don't really know how well the holding wood is in a hackberry. If you've got a good root to use to pull it around you may get it to go. I'd dutch off the entire far side. You will need a wedge in the back corner to keep the cut open so you can cut enough off. Then start cutting from the swing side to the pull side. If a tree is already half cut off the stump it won't chair. Hit the wedge to nudge it forward if you can. Nip a little bit of wood, etc. If the wood holds you (I) could probably get it there. Leave A LOT of holding wood and nip at it. Watch the top, nip, watch, nip. Hit wedge. If its starts moving the right way, let it. Swinging chair prone trees is not much different from swing any other tree. If half the tree is cut off before anything happens (movement) it won't chair. It might tear out and wreck the log (not an issue in your case), but it won't chair. In all honesty If the fence is important to you I wouldn't do it. I've gotten trees like that to go pretty far, but like I said it can be a crapshoot.

Thanks for the ideas, but I've decided not to attempt any steering on this one and I'll remove the fence instead. My experience in steering trees is a bit limited, and as others have suggested, this is not a good candidate for learning on. I'll be getting plenty of practice steering trees this year in selectively removing various junk trees on the lot here. I plan on removing all of the box elders and hackberry trees, and I'm hoping to keep undamaged some of the beeches, oaks, hickories, wild cherry, etc. The fence is important to the dogs. If it gets all torn up, they get tied up, and they hate that.
 
Jere39

Jere39

Outdoorsman and Pup
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Mar 16, 2011
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937
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PA
Decided to add to this thread rather than create a new one. I have a triple set of leaners in the woods behind my house. I'm sure there are plenty others, and I usually just let Mother Nature finish the job. But, these three are leaning over one of my trails used regularly to transport firewood. So, while I can still get through the trail, I always feel like I am risking equipment and limb, if not life when I move through this area.

IMG_6987.jpg

The nearest one is White Oak, rotted at the base, and very slightly hung up high. The near horizontal one is solid dead Read Oak.
IMG_6986.jpg
It uprooted the remains of it's roots and pinched between the third tree and a live birch. It will be the easiest to take down, and the most likely to have good firewood to process.

The third, and largest, there in the background is a very deteriorated base that has broken off, and tilted into another large live tree.
IMG_6983.jpg
There is a large limb broken off up there near the hang that is just balanced and likely to fall any time. I think Scout doesn't even trust it in the wind.

Looks like I've hit a limit on photos, so, I'll continue on a next post.
 

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Jere39

Jere39

Outdoorsman and Pup
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Mar 16, 2011
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937
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PA
I tackled the easiest first. I took my GoPro into the woods, and mounted it for some good video, and discovered the battery was dead. It's hanging there on the tree, uselessly observing.

IMG_6989.jpg

I cut the tree off the stump, then walked up the tree cutting 6-8' lengths. Then I used my GT with grapple to haul the sections to my wood pile:

IMG_6993.jpg

(A little ride through the rocky, bumpy woods trails)


Finished bucking, and started splitting:

IMG_6997.jpg

Scout is a little too inquisitive, so I tie him to a tree at a safe distance when I run the saw.
 

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Jere39

Jere39

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Yesterday I went back for the second easiest, the White Oak. This time with an honest battery charge.
I approached this one carefully, cleared an escape route, made a shallow face cut, and within seconds of removing the face cut wedge, it tipped farther and hung more solidly up high. Once it settled again, I made a back cut. Then wedged it those last few straws to break this camels back.


I got less useable wood from this, maybe 8 blocks, and paid for it when splitting as it was tough and a little stringy compared to the Red Oak I usually split.
For the terribly bored, here a several minutes of bucking the parts on the trail:


That leaves the most dangerous one, and one I haven't yet decided to tackle. Maybe I'll just walk, work, and otherwise avoid this one till it comes down on its own.
 
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