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Thread: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

  1. #1
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    Default Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    We've been dropping a lot of pest trees on our new to us place, they're all going where asked to go, so far.
    This leaner is going to be a test for one twice it's size, I'm talking the half off to the right , photo at right angles to the lean. This about 10 or 12 metres.
    I've been making standard wedge cuts aimed at the direction of fall, doing a clean job of the cut, no bumps or hooks, back cut a couple of inches up for the hinge, been leaving some extra hinge on one side as I cut to steer on a couple.

    The question I have with this test tree, and you can see its clear around it, is this. To drop this at a full 45 degrees plus to its lean is there an advantage in angling the wedge cut off level?
    What do you think.

    20200706_083924.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    I am not really clear about what you are proposing, sorry. What do you mean by ' angling the wedge cut off level'?

    But I will say this about leaning trees. They have a smaller angle of persuasion...a neutral upright tree can be felled with persuasion just about 360 degrees...a tree leaning a little will only go inside 180 degrees, actually a lot less say about 90 degrees. A heavily leaning tree will go around 20 - 30 degrees (10-15 either side from its natural direction.)

    Also, there is a huge amount of tension in the back side where you make the back cut. BEWARE! Make a really small mouth cut, say, 20% of diameter and make the back cut slanting downwards to meet the hinge. Do NOT cut through the hinge, ever.

    Some leaning trees have so much tension in the back that a stab cut is used. You make the small mouth, then stab the bar nose right through the tree and cut out towards the back, upwards at an angle as previously described. As the very back is where the most tension is, you are essentially making the back cut from the inside out, finally cutting away the last part which is holding up the tree. BUT, stab cuts are dangerous, as you are burying the nose of the bar only right through the tree and the probability of a kick back when you start it off is high...and the longer the bar length the greater the lever, so if you never did this before, beware.

    Looking at the photo, the right hand part of the tree could be leap frogged over the shrubs by placing a rope into the left part high up, and then clambouring over to say 15 feet up the right hand section and lopping it off there. Then fell the remaining stump which will have much less leverage acting on it with the crown removed.

    What species is it, and why do you want to cut the leaning section?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    We've done a few leaners that just couldn't be allowed to fall where they wanted to by rigging ropes, with tension. You can't get them to fall against the lean. At least - I don't know how. But you can get them to fall somewhat close to the property line... when their normal path would be right across it, and onto the neighbor's garage. All this IF you've got something in the right spot to anchor a couple of ropes to.
    David G
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    My rule has been; if I'm confident with the job then do it, if I'm uncertain, then hand it off to someone that fells professionally. This has worked really well.


    Nice looking backyard
    We don't know how lucky we are....

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    There doesn't appear to be much under the leaning part, apart from what look like rhododendrons. In which case, smash the buggers.

    One can make a leaning tree go almost anywhere if you have ropes, heavy duty pulleys and a truck. But once the hinge is broken (normally at about 20 degrees, but depending on the species, some will hang on for ages, others snap readily) all bets are off. This hinge snapping is key.. If one tries to heave a tree over past vertical, the hinge may be past 20 degrees at vertical, breaking at neutral, in which case the bias weight in the crown will determine its new direction.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    The hydrangas are not a worry, it's all clear otherwise. I take the point about the tension at the back and that's interesting about cutting down to the hinge. I've see a guy do the plunge cut, I m thinking about that , thanks for the reminder and the points you're making.

    My question is whether the cuts should be made level or if there is advantage in canting the cut . ie , if the wedge cut was a mouth and you are looking straight at it, should one corner be down and the other up slightly, a wry face. Would that help steer the tree off its natural fall, off say 30 degrees. Or is this just plain not done , all cuts are level?

    20200706_144608.jpg
    This tree is not a problem or a concern to me, the one it's practising for is getting up there. This tree is about deciding on the way the other and bigger one should be felled . And then the next three.
    Last edited by John B; 07-05-2020 at 09:46 PM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    mostly agree with seanz (hullo seanz!) except if i'm only uncertain i go ahead and do it, but holding my breath and with my eyes closed.

    be careful out there, john b.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Oh fer sure I'm being careful,Lee, nothing gets cut unless it's what I regard as being in my can do pile, the arborist will get called when I've done the easy stuff.
    I also don't cut anything on a whim, each one of these bigger trees gets quite a bit of thought , the smaller ones get used as testbeds. No hurry.
    I do use ropes sometimes but I am also aware of what lupussonic was saying about the effects of tension in a leaner, a rope can have the same effect if stressed up too hard.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Will reply later today, the forum is not letting me post images. I have a drawing of 'spearing' common in leaning trees, important you know about it.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    There's a good chance that when you're making your back cut the tree is going to want to barber chair (split up the middle before you have cut deeply enough for the hinge to bend). You may want to wrap the trunk just above your cuts with several tight wraps of sturdy line.

    If you choose to use the stab (bore) cut consider this. When the tip of the bar touches the tree it will kick back and it will continue to pull in that direction as it goes thru the trunk. Stand on the side of the tree that will cause the pull to be away from the face cut so as not to accidentally cut thru or too close to the hinge. I expect you can see examples of bore cutting on YouTube.

    Removing as much of the top as possible will reduce the tendency to split as well, the more the better. Can you get a cherry picker in there?

    It's also very important not to undercut when making the face cut. Undercutting is when you make one of the face (wedge, notch) cuts deeper than the other. If you do undercut the tree can only lean as far as the thickness of the kerf before it can lean no further but the momentum of the top will cause the trunk to split. The cuts must meet perfectly.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 07-06-2020 at 01:58 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Ok, seems to be working now.

    I have never done a mouth cut canted opposite (#3), I can't tell you why, but it looks wrong to me, although there may be a small advantage in that the hinge will be slightly longer, so there will be more wood in it, it may last longer before it snaps giving you more directional persuasion. I think it has little advantage and can be harder to get a nice parallel hinge as the angles are harder to judge when making the back cut to suit it. It is hard enough when it is level!

    I have always done either a a level cut (#1) or a perpendicular cut (#2), which are both acceptable and easy to get the hinge parallel as, in #1 the back cut (and apex of the mouth cut) is level with the earth (think spirit level), and with #2 the back cut (and apex of the mouth cut) is perpendicular to the tree. Both are easy to get right. As before, th hinge in #1 will be slightly longer than #2, so may have a longer hinge time, helping with direction.

    A trick is to make cuts at the side of the tree, at the apex of the mouth cut. They can either be simple scribe lines to help get the back cut right as they can be seen from the back, or can be deeper cuts which have the added advantage of preventing upward splitting at the sides. This is useful in commercial felling as there can be quite a bit of damage at the base from this splitting, but if the tree is firewood, who cares?

    IMG_20200706_080202_0.jpg

    'Spearing' is common with heavily weighted tree, and you really need to be careful. It happens when the tree is heavily leaning, and there is so much weight in it that the trunk splits upwards before the back cut can reach the back of the mouth cut. I had a terrifying moment once, watching a 70 year old fell part of a tree while standing 8 feet up in the crux. He made way too small a mouth cut, which meant his back cut took forever to reach the hinge...it speared and the tree came down, crown on the ground, butt bouncing on top of the spear which was approx 15 feet long, bouncing about 5 times. If it had bounced and toppled over to his side, he would have been killed as he was up in the crux with nowhere to go. Solution in that situation...much bigger mouth cut, plunge back cut, and tie oneself in, swing out of the way when it is going over. He was a VERY lucky guy that day.

    IMG_20200706_080213_0.jpg

    All felling requires one to get the hell out of it fast when the tree is going. Have someone else with you. Do some preparation...clear away and roots, bushes, logs etc from your escape path before you do any cutting of the tree. Have a felling lever with you right by your hand, and anything else you need, like wedges and a hammer. Fuel up before hand. When it is going, go! If the saw is stuck in it, leave it stuck, just get out of the way.

    BTW, if you are going to leave the left hand trunk standing, you should consider that you will weaken it substantially by leaving such a large wound. I don't know what species it is, and cannot see the base structure but it will take years to heal, if it ever does, which leaves the standing trunk highly vulnerable. Just my 2c, but you might consider felling that too, if you haven't already. Best of luck, stay safe.

    Martin.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Thanks for all the replies and particularly Lupussonic for his cool drawing and explanations, much appreciated. I do understand the tension aspects of a leaning tree, and laddering and or spearing potential but it's great to have that included. My #3 canted looks wrong to me too but I had a question and that's answered . I'll stick with the level cuts as I've been doing.
    Seanz out of WBF retirement , get outa here! Do contact me if you get north Sean, we're 80 % in Kerikeri now.
    My wife has explained to me that we have guests for the weekend and dropping the wattle will generate a lot of work and the usual giant brush pile waiting for the hire chipper , so that one is shelved for a few weeks.
    We do have a 4 or 5 metre old trunk which could be 20 years since the front fell off, so we can deal with that this am instead. It's bigger'n my bar so it's slowly slowly catch a monkey.

    20200707_101551.jpg
    Last edited by John B; 07-06-2020 at 06:46 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    20200707_111048.jpg

    The back third was rotten as I discovered when I sounded it so I definitely was a bit hyper on the laddering potential ,even though just a trunk.
    But these black wattle are structurally pretty good with quite heavy and strong wood, so far even dead trees have shown no sign of the laddering split up.
    Anyway this one landed bang on and is gone now, place looks a lot better.
    Thanks again everyone.
    Last edited by John B; 07-06-2020 at 06:58 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    I have done some remarkable dumb stuff way up in a tree when I was younger. Got lucky. But with the advent of electric chainswaws, I’ve got this theory I’ve been noodling on about using a wooden sled and an electric chainsaw for dangerous cuts. Easier on the ground but do-able higher up. Rig up a simple 2x4 sled that will gravity feed the saw bar down the cut. Tape the switch, step away, and plug it in. Whatever happens, happens. Go clean it up once it’s on the ground.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    I generally just stay on the ground for trees, go up rigs quite a bit but that's with a drill not a chainsaw. Little extendable pole chainsaw is a valuable tool for us.

    What's important for our place is the preservation of the tree ferns and in particular , our Nikau palms. The ferns will come back if you save the trunk but the nikau are decades old and won't . So any felling is about how we can mitigate or avoid damage to those and other natives.
    That often involves a bit of limbing, I'm interested in some sort of rope saw I can toss over over a horizontal limb.
    There's a few that are going to do palm damage if they don't get taken off before we take the tree down.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I generally just stay on the ground for trees, go up rigs quite a bit but that's with a drill not a chainsaw. Little extendable pole chainsaw is a valuable tool for us.

    What's important for our place is the preservation of the tree ferns and in particular , our Nikau palms. The ferns will come back if you save the trunk but the nikau are decades old and won't . So any felling is about how we can mitigate or avoid damage to those and other natives.
    That often involves a bit of limbing, I'm interested in some sort of rope saw I can toss over over a horizontal limb.
    There's a few that are going to do palm damage if they don't get taken off before we take the tree down.
    Like these?
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/High-Limb-C.../dp/B0000AX849
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Boom

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    , I'm interested in some sort of rope saw I can toss over over a horizontal limb.
    I just bought one for a high limb that got, " fractured," in a big downdraft during a storm. It was drooping and needed to come down. It is a 6-inch diameter branch 25 feet up. The saw is very frustrating to use.

    For one thing, you have to get lucky and hope it "lands" teeth down on the limb. You can't get it to flip over. If it lands wrong, the only option is to pull it down and toss it over the limb again.

    Second, the strap handles on to which you tie your rope or line extensions are just thick enough to get pulled into the kerf. And get jammed there. Can't pull it through the kerf....and so much force is required to free the jammed handle strap that you end up pulling the whole saw down.

    I got my branch cut, but it took about three hours over two evenings.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    I just felled five junk trees in my yard a few months ago. All about 80 feet tall but the biggest was only about 14" in dia. I had a leaner that I wanted to fell opposite of it's lean. The lean was 1-2 degrees, not much. I tied the tree off to the front, I tied it to a heaver tree I just cut down, and then tied a second rope and had my girlfriend pull it around another tree to create a pully, told her to let go it it started to take her for a ride. So before I made my wedge cut I cut about a third through on the lean/back side and put two wedges in to the cut, gave them a few taps and then cut my wedge on the front. I then inserted my saw into the side of the first cut and cut to my hinge, stopping every half inch to drive my wedges in further. Little by little and it fell exactly where I wanted it, in between two fence posts, I had removed the fence from, that were 8 feet apart. Perfect. I got lucky, I guess. So, for the price of a $400 saw, chaps, wedges, a hard-hat, and some rope, $650 total, I saved $3000 cutting the 5 trees down myself and got about a half cord of wood drying for my trouble.

    I watched a lot of youtubes learning how to do it, my gamble paid off.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by Breakaway View Post
    I just bought one for a high limb that got, " fractured," in a big downdraft during a storm. It was drooping and needed to come down. It is a 6-inch diameter branch 25 feet up. The saw is very frustrating to use.

    For one thing, you have to get lucky and hope it "lands" teeth down on the limb. You can't get it to flip over. If it lands wrong, the only option is to pull it down and toss it over the limb again.

    Second, the strap handles on to which you tie your rope or line extensions are just thick enough to get pulled into the kerf. And get jammed there. Can't pull it through the kerf....and so much force is required to free the jammed handle strap that you end up pulling the whole saw down.

    I got my branch cut, but it took about three hours over two evenings.

    Kevin
    Two of the chains on that Amazon page have teeth both back and front, so they cannot land upside down. Sell yours to someone that you don't like and buy a better model.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  21. #21
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    The Throw-Saw is a rope saw that is probably as good as it gets. This is a professional tool, designed and developed by some of the most experienced forestry instructors in Sweden.



    http://www.throw-saw.com/
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Two of the chains on that Amazon page have teeth both back and front, so they cannot land upside down. Sell yours to someone that you don't like and buy a better model.
    I've no need, the job is now done. But others reading may want to consider that option.

    Thank you, Oyvind.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I'm interested in some sort of rope saw I can toss over over a horizontal limb.
    .
    Get some sturdy 5-6mm braided line with a weight on the end...mine is a lead shot throw bag, but even a steel carabiner will do. Throw it over your limb, and wiggle and roll the rope until the weight comes down the other side, then attach a more meaningful rope (climbing line or bull rope if persuasion with a truck is in order), and pull that back over.

    If you want a fixed climbing line, you can attach one end to the trunk, and SRT up the (now) static line which is over the limb. Most tree climbers actually use an extended loop of rope, but lets not get too technical. If you are talking about a bull rope to pull over a tree, put a bowline on a bight around the first part of the rope, and then slide the knot up to the limb, lasso style.

    Don't go there, if you can throw there.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    I do that for roping now, thanks. What I meant was the tool Oyvind linked to in the video, a chain on a rope so as to limb a standing tree before felling. We have a few I'd like to do that to so as to limit damage to native trees in the vicinity. Don't know anything about it, haven't researched it yet.
    The video is helpful thanks Oyvind.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    I do that for roping now, thanks. What I meant was the tool Oyvind linked to in the video, a chain on a rope so as to limb a standing tree before felling. We have a few I'd like to do that to so as to limit damage to native trees in the vicinity.
    Seems to be effective. You'd want to clear the ground area where you stand and have a spotter to warn you when the limb is starting to go. Start low and work up. Otherwise, the limb can hit others as it falls, and spring or spin off in an unpredictable way.

    I used to fell hazard trees in campgrounds and along trails. Had a few scares.

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    That's a good description, I'm going to use that. I've been calling them the priority trees because they are or will become a hazard soon. Much as I'd like to be dealing with the ones that I just don't like or don't like their position, we keep coming back to establishing an order down to hazard. There's one that's clearly going to fall on the driveway when it goes, that's next really. Don't want to, it's going to smash up some ponga.
    I've been researching the pullerbear from the other thread, did a test with vice grips and a grubber for proof of concept. That thing could transform what we're doing here, we may need to buy a competitive product though because of availability.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    The Forest Service calls trees that present a risk to people, buildings, etc. hazard trees. We would inspect campgrounds when we disinfected and flushed the water systems to see if any trees needed taking down. The forest there is mostly conifer. One common issue was red rot, that weakens the heartwood. That can cause a tree to crack or split without warning, or spin on the stump as it falls– pretty spooky. Soil erosion would cause some trees to lean so that a strong wind could bring them down.

    I did fairly well at it. Only mashed a few picnic tables and one outhouse.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Plans change don't they
    20200816_093838.jpg
    This area was nearly jungle like, you wouldn't walk through it.
    The original post was about using another tree as a test for much bigger ones but as it happened 2 out of the 6 in this cluster of taller trees confirmed my identification as hazards by falling down themselves in 2 seperate storms .
    So we had to clean up 2 x 16 or 18 metre units and since they destroyed so much coming down, time for the others to go too.
    Really pleased with how it went apart from one hiccup. I carefully chose the order, cut a really precise wedge on the first one and back cut it, just hanging onto a bit of hinge to steer leftish, and it dropped within a couple of ft of my mark. About 20 degrees off it's lean, really controlled, plenty of time to stroll well away. But the second tree had a branch tangle way up and it came down too, nothing much of anything holding it up.Its the uprooted one in the middle. It went it's own way so 20 to 25 degrees off where I wanted it. Took 4 tree ferns with it.
    Hazard trees definitely.
    The last one was a full 40 off its lean but went there no sweat, in fact hit the target stump I was using for a marker, I was amazed. Being really careful cutting the wedge cleanly and working at aligning it works like a dream.
    Last edited by John B; 08-17-2020 at 09:38 PM.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    A couple of days hard work cleaning up 6 trees and getting some out. But all the wattle are all gone from that corner now, it can revert to a ponga (Silver fern)Grove.
    As I am a tractorless man I must use what is to hand , as long as it is not more than 750 kg unbraked or 1.2 tonnes braked.
    20200817_132111.jpg

    20200817_133735.jpg
    Last edited by John B; 08-17-2020 at 09:43 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Quote Originally Posted by John B View Post
    Plans change don't they
    20200816_093838.jpg
    What's the story with that tall stump on the right with what appears to be a saw kerf below the felling cuts?

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Hi JP, I knew someone would notice that.
    I began to flush the stump at the end of the day but both me and the blade weren't as sharp as we could be. I've discovered a couple of things , one being the saw will run off when it's getting blunt. The second is that when I first began to sharpen it ,one side is easier to sharpen than the other. I think I did a biased job over a few sharpenings and that contributes to run off. I'm more careful now I'm aware of what to watch for.
    So next morning I honed it up and lopped the top off easily. It's been a learning curve.
    I think I'll buy a better grade of saw with a decent bar on it and keep this little unit for branching and firewood, been great as a starter machine.

    20200818_125754.jpg
    The stumps can stay, it can revert to a jungle now
    Last edited by John B; 08-17-2020 at 10:42 PM.

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    I have taken down a lot of trees, really a lot, but never ever got near them with a saw.
    Usually the stump also wants removal and it never gets any easier than with Archimedes helping out!

    AC1B5768-1B86-4C3E-BC0B-9CD33DE9A48B.jpg

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    Hahaha, must get one. Don't let Lee see that.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    You can rent a dozer or excavator by the day, week, or month. At some point if you have real pioneering work to do they are worth every penny

    Falling trees scares the bejebus out of me. Spent too much time cleaning up and hauling logs out of the woods. "Fallers" here are itinerant, very good at what they do, and paid by the bf. They come down from Wa and Oregon with a camper/trailer and living in the woods for our short season, roughly from Easter through Oct 15 when the roads have to be closed and water-barred. A good man might go home with 100k at the end of the season. Daylight controls the show. It is a high risk occupation.
    A 100ft Coastal redwood is nicknamed a "pecker pole" and usually left behind, unless it is a casualty. Now at 200 feet, 36-40" d from the butt to 100 ft.up, we are in the money (coastal redwoods have very little taper)
    It was not uncommon to haul 50 feet long logs. The weight limit was 80,000 plus a little as an (log) exemption for the front axle. One summer I worked from dawn to dusk 100 mile round trip and averaged 7000 bf per load, 4 trips per day. I was one of the first to build a cab-over log truck... maybe 1980?
    Any way, I hire it ( trees) down and done, pay them well and respect their knowledge.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Bay of Islands,N.Z.
    Posts
    28,087

    Default Re: Hey lupo and other tree guys...

    I have the luxury of time to ponder each one, I'm quite enjoying it, and the learning curve. The variety is proving to be quite stable , I sound them and look for the stress. There are some on the property that are just too big or need boughing first, I'll call an arborist for them.

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