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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If weather holds out (no rain or at least not a downpour) I hope to remove the three 100' plus yellow pines that are in need of removing due to Ivan, and all risks to my house will hopefully be over (unless I drop em on the house. One is approx 6 feet from shop and leaning pretty bad in the direction of the house so that it actualy is over the house, so I have to rig up lines to other trees and rope it out and drop it a section at a time. I'll probably use whats known as a fast line for taking it down. Thats where you run a inclined rope to another tree tied off up in the top, and anchor the other end of the line to as low a point on the ground as possible, forming an inclined rope. YOu use choker type slings, tie off a section of the tree, cut it and let it fall and allow the inclined line to grab it as its attached by the sling to the cut pieces, and once it springs back it slides down and out of the way. The give in the line acts as a brake, and when it rebounds it allows the cutoff to start sliding down. Pretty neat way to remove tree sections without having a bucket or crane, but you have to have sufficiently tall trees in the area to rig it to. The other two are perhaps 15 feet from house and limbs make em top heavy towards the house, so, they may be a bit trickey as well, but I am planning on dropping those two intact, as I want to have them sawed up into lumber at my friends sawmill. The leaner will have to be removed down to a height of approx 50 feet, then I should be able to drop it betwen the one shed and my fence line and power lines. The other two have a gap betwen the fence poles of approx 9 feet to lay em through provided they don't heel back on me and lay over the house:D

Then all I have to do is delimb em all and saw em up into 16 to 18 foot logs, load em on the trailer and haul em down the road about 2 miles.
Ought to get some pretty darn nice lumber out of them trees. If sufficient time remains afater I get the three on the ground,. I may take one huge oak down thats also a leaner over my barn, but if not there is always another day.

Been loading up on glacosime, MSM, and Celebrex to ease my aching damaged joints so I hope to be able to get up in that one tree and take it down. So right now I feel great and ready to climb.......got my climbing lines and gear all out and gave it all a once over, touched up my spikes and ready to go. Saws are all sharp and ready to make some chips......Man I love making chips fly as nothing smells better than 2 stroke exhaust and fresh cut wood, mingling in with goat or cow manure
:D

Then I probably will soak for an hour or two in the old hot tub.............but may have to make that a cold tub, due to this darn heat wave we have been having.......this weather is just unreal. Then again if I screwup on those trees, chances are hot tub will be history anyhow as its on the back patio , so I may just have to use my pond to soak in (or drown my sorrows in) , whose water temp is once again in the low 60's.
 

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Please be carefull out there!
 

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Green With Envy

Wish I were there Chip. That sure is my cup of tea. I have to go out in the yard and fire up a saw or two just to get some fumes after reading your post.
 

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Re: Green With Envy

Originally posted by slipshod
Wish I were there Chip. That sure is my cup of tea. I have to go out in the yard and fire up a saw or two just to get some fumes after reading your post.
There ya go Slipshod...time to take that winter vacation:lmao: You can load your stump grinder and give Chippy a hand:D
 

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I did something like this during the summer. I got about 80 ft. of 3/8's log skidding cable that had the choker end on one end that the loop end on the other and hooked the choker end to the tree as far up as I could get with a ladder and the other to my tractor. I then pull the cable as taught as I felt safe in the direction I wanted the tree to go and slowly cut the tree down with my chain saw. As I got closer to cutting all the way through; the tree gradually started going over in the direction I wanted. I also left about 3" of hinge for the tree to pivot on in the desired direction. I was pretty nervous about it too, but a friend helped me and it worked out fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Unless I have something pretty substantial I do not like to use a pickup truck or CUTS or smaller ag tractor for putting tension on a tree to help guide it. Thats a lot of leverage up there that can easily slew a tractor sideways.....but a lot has to do with the actual height and size and way the tree limbs are and one itemmost foks never give concern to, and thats the soil or dirt or grass. I can just breate hard and slip wheels on my grass as its sandy soil under it, so using it as an anchor point with a lightweight machine is looking for trouble........I doubt you could really apply much tension without it digging a hole in my soil anyhow....

Bout 8 yars back a neighbor down the road wanted me to operate his tractor for him to apply tension to a huge oak, so it fell where he wanted it. His neighbor on the oter side of him had his tractor there as well. They already had chains and cables and ropes and nylon straps up in this oak, a fair ways up in height, and had both tractors situated about 20 or 25 feet apart to apply tension. Tree was top havy and leaning towards the road.......but if it fell any other way it was going into his pond, or on his house, or the road, so it had to fall in the direction of the tractors to do it safely.

Both tractors were applying tension with differential locks etc engaged (one a JD 2010 the other a MF185..........neighbor made the cuts on the tree, tractors started ot slip backwards somewhat when tree started to go after felling cut was made, but even though the tires did ot slip from excess power being applied it did it take that old oak long to overcome them, and in a split second both tractors were now rubbing fenders, and the MF185 wound uphalf up on the JD......4 nice big furrows were dug from those tractors trying to maintain traction and overcome that tree, tree eventually broke at the hinge (actually what little hinge there was as tree was hollow to some extent so hinge was esentially weak, even though he made a proper cut,) and fell towards the roadway (major 2 lane road), and in the process it finished flipping over that 185 on to its side. Tree laid clean accross that 2 lane road, and just missed a car that had been going down the one lane of that roadway............Just be carefull when using a tractor etc to fell trees, as when things get wrong and that final cut is made its nothing in this world is gonna change it. Guide ropes are used a lot, but its really a false sense of security. The key is in wedges and the notch, with it being made like it is supposed to and not haphazzardly. There should be no under cuts into sections of the tree, only what is actualy being removed for the notch should be cut, nothing more, , as any over runs with the saw can make the fibers rip or tear and reduce your hinge point. A notch should be no more than 20% of a trees diameter. Its amazing how large some foks cut these notches............Hinges should be the same thickness all the way across the stump. If the hinge is faced in the proper direction, using the site line of the saw, the tree will fall correctly. And how many of you new that a ot of saws especially commercial saws have sights on them...........come on raise your hands if you knew your saw has felling sights....... You can vary the thickness of a hinge from side to side to sort of allow a tree to sort of rotate in a different direction, but until you get some experience and practice in a safe area using these type cuts its probably wise to avoid them. Odds are though most folks hinge width and lineup is not going to be on the money anyhow as its somehting that takes practice and continual use of a saw in doing it time after time. Thats why a lot of trees seem to fall totally away from where the thought they should go all due to hinge wood. A tree with a rotted or hollow center can really make felling it a very interesting job..........large oaks are nortorious for being hollow or having weak heart wood fibers. I like to make a plunge cut deep into heart wood on large trees so I can see the chips and then tell if its hollow or good....its cheap insurance. A lot of saws made today are not suitable for plunge cuts, as it usually takes a symetrical bar to do a decent plunge cut, and most bars on consumer saws are asymetrical to redcue kickback. Using a asymetrical bar for plunge cutting is pretty darn hard on the bar and chain, especasilly when low kickback type chain is used. I make a pluge cut through the center of my hinge wood so the wood fiber does not get pulled out of the tree. So my hinge is basically like two equal smaller hinges in line with each other, and a 4 to 6 inch cut separates them dead center. This way the plunge cut severs the center fibers and eliminates pulling those fibers, which is important if you want to salvage as much of thaty tree as possible for lumber. If its only firewood I do not do this cut.

A lot of folks underestimate the power of a wedge and using it to fell a tree. There is a basic rule of thumb in regards to amount of wedge needed for each inch of movement per foot of height.

Another good and pretty safe way is using a pocket cut and hydraulic porta power. Make a pocket at the backside of tree large enough to fit a ram from a porta power, make the notch cut, then plunge cut a few inches from the backside and make a typical back cut up to the wood where your forming the hinge wood. Pull saw out, apply some pressure, then finish that felling cut from the backside to the pluge cut. Its good to have someone on the pump and one on the saw, but if you bow up n the porta power sufficiently it puts a good load and push to it, and tree goes over. Pretty good for leaners or setters,. You need to put some steel plates at the ends of the ram also so it does not dig into the wood, and DO NOT use a typical hydraulic bottle jack, as you have to get too darn close to the tree to use em and that can get hazzardous. I plan on using my porta power for the two I want to take down in tact.

Ok, sorry about my rant, I just love felling trees and working with a chainsaw, and doing removals, and just wished my body would be in a bit better shape and not have these old worn out knees and elbows that prevent me from climbing like I used to... I was going to get my best friend to do the climbing for me, but he has a broke ankle now, (broke it on Christmas day) and I need to have these trees removed. Here I waited all this time for him to get home from his tour of duty in the desert, he gets home and breaks his ankle........bummer.

Once I get the rest of them down I need to rent a stump grinder........
 

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I Carry

A pouch of felling wedges and when I drive them into my backside cut I use a permanent marker and number them 1-2-3 so when my helper is whacking wedges I just call out the number I want smacked. Since I started this practice I have limited my need for good luck. Chip makes a good point about the importance of the hinge being in line with your notch.
If there is no other way to apply pressure to the tree then using a tractor, make sure it is heavy enough for the job. I use mine quite sucessfully in some situations by using block and tackle . run a strap around the base of the tree long enough to give you the angle you need for the pull, snatch your cable through the block, snatch through a block on the tractor and anchor back to the block mounted on the base of the tree. This increases your mechanical advantage 3 times. The draw back is you need more room to make the pull. But once the tree goes in the direction you want it to you can stop pulling.
 

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We took down a 100' cotton wood tree and a few smaller yet leaning the wrong way trees a few years ago.I had a guy that was very expirenced falling trees or atleast more so then me to help.He did the cutting and I had a sling up in the tree and attached to a heavy cable hooked to a John Deere 9400.As he cut I idled it up slow and easy.When it started to go.He ran like Hell and I poped the clutch knocked it to high range and it landed with in a few inches of where he said it would land.Remember this tree was 100' tall.Thats why I poped it in to high range.I knew I was back far enough but when that tree was heading my way it looked like I might have miss measured the length of cable I was using by 10' or so.All turned out well with all 3 trees no wheel slip from the 9400 with triples.If something would have went wrong the tree would have taken out the over head power lines and a few poles and a transformer.If that would have happened.I would have wished I hired a pro.
 

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Wow, tremendous insight and information there, Chippy.
Wish I could make a road trip over there...I will plenty of time soon...certainly not as much help as Chief or Slipshod but I am sure that I can be of some use... Keep us posted!!!! Pics!!!!

:hooray:
 

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This is all greek to me. Sounds complicated, and I know there is a certain art to it. Last Saturday, I was in my back yard cutting up limbs from the once iced over trees. I seen my neighbor over at his neighbors, and walked over to see what they were doing. There was a limb, about 11" or so in diameter that was ripped diagonally, and was sure to come down sometime.

It was the first time I met my neighbor two doors down. He said he worked for SBC (phone company), and had a nice extension ladder, belt, harness type thing, a 25' gaff looking thing, etc. He fed the rope over the limb, and we tried to pull it down. It swayed up and down, cracked a bit, but would not come down. My neighbor grabbed the rope standing a safe distance away, trying to guide it away from his neighbor, who was about 20' up the ladder with a chainsaw. I felt compelled to hold the ladder, and even though I knew I would not be too effective with him at that height, I figured it would atleast make the guy a little more comfortable.

He started cutting from the underside, went about 1/3 the way through, then started from the top of the limb. The limb ended up falling sooner than I thought it would. Sawdust was flying all over my face and eyes, as I tried to squint. The limb fell, and was about the same length as the height it was at. Before I could say a 4-letter choice word, the limb swung down, with the ends of the smaller branches hitting me right on top of the head. I felt the sting enough to wipe my face to see if there was blood on my hand. There were wet marks from twigs from my shoulder, downwards towards my chest on my jacket. The home owner felt really bad, and asked me several times if I was OK.

It really kinda freaked me out, and I am glad it was only the ends of the smaller branches that got me. If anyone was under the major part of the limb, they would have been dead. It was supposed to fall at an angle to my right, but it didn't. I could not have let go of the ladder, as I could have had a middle linebacker lookin dude with a screaming chainsaw in his hand come down at me, but it happened too quick to react even if I wanted to.

I was just trying to help someone out, but next time, I will watch from my side yard. So like Bontai Joe says, "Be Careful"!

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ladders, trees and chainsaws are a dangerous mix...,most of the time. MAny a limb has been cut from a ladder with a chainsaw only to have it knock the ladder out from under the person up the ladder.

Here is a true story of a fellow co worker that used a ladder, well actually 3 stories 3 seperate co workers.

Co-worker #1, seemed like a pretty intelligent individual. Had a large oak limb that overhung his patio, and wanted it removed. He drags out his extension ladder, places it up on the limb, towards th trunk side, climbs ladder with his Poulan 2000 chainsaw already started up and runing, as his saw was in need of adjusting and hard to start, so he got it started on the ground first and climbed ladded continually reving it up to keep it running. Made an under cut first (at least he was smart enough to make the undercut to keep limb from peeling back, made top cut, down comes limb, up goes remaining portion of limb still on tree, .....oooooops ladder was just barely long enough to lay on limb to begin with, now with weight off remaining limb springs up a bit, allowing ladder to be suspended in air. He was quick enough to grab hold of stub end, approx 20 feet in the air, but he soon lost his grip and fell breaking both ankles, an landed on his saw, which broke 4 ribs. Luckily saw quit runing from the time it was dropped until it hit the ground or it could have been worse.

C0-worker #2 climbs up a 40 foot extension ladded, with intentions of topping out a huge pine, Of course this fellow was known to indulge in more than just a few brews all the time. Once up to where he considered the limbs were thick enough to hold him, he started to tie himself around the tree with a rope. Limb he choose to perch on during this process was dead, and snapped. He broke his shoulder, arm and leg (2 places) in the abrupt stop when he met the ground.....He has since been discharged from the military with a medical as his body is having problems healing properly, and bones are failing to mend properly in his leg...........and he is only in his early 20's.........

Oh, and this one #3..........My best friend, who is about as safety orientated and a strictly by the book kind of guy. If a job is done by him you can bet your life its done correctly. A very thourough kind of guy. An Avid wood cutter and outdoorsman, he seleced a nice tall straight trunked oak approx 18 inches in diameter to cut down. He sets about clearing all around the tree to make cutting safer and easier. (something lots of folks don't do, is cleanout work area of brush etc). Then he sets out to clear a pathway to retreat on once felling cut is made. Cool have nice clean work area aound tree with a nice escape path. Then he takes out his little woodsman axe, and commences to cut away all the dirty bark in the area he is going to cut, so his saw chain is not in this junk........ Studies how he is going to make his cut, checks for overhanging tree limbs which may hang the tree when it falls, and puts his saw to work. Makes a perfect notch and back cut, and about the time he pulls his saw from back cut it dawns on him he forgot to move his 1 week old Ford F250 4WD pickup out of the way, and it was right in the fall zone...........Tree centered the truck on the hood, over the roof an pushed it all down to even get the bed, he layed that oak right down the centerline of that Ford. He said it was bad enough laying the tree down on his truck, but then he had to get up and stand on what was left of the truck to cut tree off truck so it could get pulled out.....He tried his best to keep this accident quiet, but it failed and word got out. The giveaway was when we went on deployment about 1 week later and a lot of use drove our own POV's and he wound up car pooling.......He loved his truck and no one could understand why he elected to leave his at home. It was only after we were gone for a few weeks we got a phone call at the place we were deployed to and it turned out his wife called and wanted to tell Clifford the body shop and garage was finished with his repairs........Needless to say everyone else found out his truck was repaired before he did! We figured his wood cost him over $1000 a cord that year.:furious: :furious: But at least no one was hurt on that screwup except for some feelings and pride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: If You Guys

Originally posted by slipshod
Want to see the real deal in loggers supplies go to. www.baileys-online.com
Yep, and here is another good source of arborist/chainsaw/vermeer chipper/climbing supplies.

http://www.wtsherrill.com/

Another is Madsens up in the Pacific Northwest . Don't have their URL right now.

Between those three you should be able to get anything and everything you could possibly need for woodcutting etc.

Baileys Woodsman chain and bars is some really great stuff. Its actually made by Carlton Chain for them, and is top quality. Carlton Chain was formed years back and is a spin off of Oregon products, formed by a few 9investors and engineers that went on their own. Carlton chain IMHO is better and easier to maintain and lasts longer as compared to Oregon and is cheaper to buy......

Madsens is good for Stihl saw parts as well.
 

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Originally posted by Fusion1970
This is all greek to me. Sounds complicated, and I know there is a certain art to it. Last Saturday, I was in my back yard cutting up limbs from the once iced over trees. I seen my neighbor over at his neighbors, and walked over to see what they were doing. There was a limb, about 11" or so in diameter that was ripped diagonally, and was sure to come down sometime.

It was the first time I met my neighbor two doors down. He said he worked for SBC (phone company), and had a nice extension ladder, belt, harness type thing, a 25' gaff looking thing, etc. He fed the rope over the limb, and we tried to pull it down. It swayed up and down, cracked a bit, but would not come down. My neighbor grabbed the rope standing a safe distance away, trying to guide it away from his neighbor, who was about 20' up the ladder with a chainsaw. I felt compelled to hold the ladder, and even though I knew I would not be too effective with him at that height, I figured it would atleast make the guy a little more comfortable.

He started cutting from the underside, went about 1/3 the way through, then started from the top of the limb. The limb ended up falling sooner than I thought it would. Sawdust was flying all over my face and eyes, as I tried to squint. The limb fell, and was about the same length as the height it was at. Before I could say a 4-letter choice word, the limb swung down, with the ends of the smaller branches hitting me right on top of the head. I felt the sting enough to wipe my face to see if there was blood on my hand. There were wet marks from twigs from my shoulder, downwards towards my chest on my jacket. The home owner felt really bad, and asked me several times if I was OK.

It really kinda freaked me out, and I am glad it was only the ends of the smaller branches that got me. If anyone was under the major part of the limb, they would have been dead. It was supposed to fall at an angle to my right, but it didn't. I could not have let go of the ladder, as I could have had a middle linebacker lookin dude with a screaming chainsaw in his hand come down at me, but it happened too quick to react even if I wanted to.

I was just trying to help someone out, but next time, I will watch from my side yard. So like Bontai Joe says, "Be Careful"!

Greg
I wear a hard hat equipped with a face shield and ear muffs when I cut with the saw. I have been whacked and always wear it now. If I am cutting alone I alway wear safety chaps to protect my legs and keep the cell phone VERY close as well as let someone know where I will be cutting.

<img src="http://onlinestore.forestindustry.com/baileys/images/items/35700.jpg">

Safety Chaps & Pants
 

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common mistake

One mistake made by inexperienced guys is not using wedges in your back cut. The main reason is you can dictate the directoin of the tree when it is falling. But another maybe more important reason is that certain tree will run on your hinge and the wedges will support the weight of the tree on the back side of the hinge.
When I was a youngster I took a job removing 14 very tall Lombardy Poplars. The first thirteen trees made it to the ground exactly where I wanted them. The fourteenth tree was a 4 part stem that was split at about five feet off the ground. Wrangled the first tree legs of this tree, no problem. The fourth leg had a slight lean towards the landowners home. I decided that a tie back was in order and at the time they did not make those nice nylon felling wedges I have now. There was only one way to drop this tree as behind it was the homeowners garage, to the left was the neighbor's one car garage and to the right was the house.
I had left a stump tall for the express purpose of using it to tie off this leg of the tree. Now here is where I made my mistake. Using a line tied high in the tree I slinged the stump and put a come-a-long between my sling and the tie line. Knowing how important it was that this tree felll in the right direction I put a good pull on the come-a-long. Took my notch, lined up and started my back cut. Was no more then just past the widest diameter of the tree when the pressure from the come-a-long caused the tree to split vertically . The split must have run twenty- five feet up the tree when the tree started down. Now my hinge was twenty-five feet in the air and the butt end swung up like a catapult taking siding, sheeting and a complete window, casement and all out of the homeowners garage. From hitting the garage with the butt the direction the tree fell changed, it made a sharp left. I could not have measuerd for the center line on the roof of the neighbor's one car garage any better if I was a movie maker. The tree hit and imploded this building.
As it turns out I got real real lucky. The reason the trees were cut in the first place was to add on to the garage, so I did free demo. When I called the owner of the one car ,he was delighted. He said I always hated that building, his tenants were too lazy to take thier garbage to the street and now I have rats. I got the clean-up job.
The point is if I would have used wedges in my back cut instead of a pull the tree would have been no problem. No one got hurt or dead from my mistake, Thank God!
 
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