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Author Topic: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees  (Read 1797 times)

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Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2017, 10:15:33 am »
I hope you're right, but I've cut into some logs with lots of rot before and sometimes you need a new chain after just 1 or 2 cuts. Fortunately I have a Maxx chain sharpener. Until about 5-6 years ago I always sharpened by hand using a file, but then I had an employee who even after being shown how many times, did not ever get a chain sharp, and with arthritis getting bad in both thumbs I got the Maxx sharpener. It does a perfect job. When I use it, I generally have 10 or more chains to do, I run all on one side, then change to do the other side and do them. It takes longer than many shops do, because I adjust to cut the minimum off so the chains last longer. Many places using them remove way more than needed so they run short on the tooth length long before the rivets start to get loose.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline ScottAR

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2017, 01:22:04 pm »
My grandparents had a giant pin oak on their place that was probably 5ft at the base and hollow at least 15ft up the tree.   One year it didn't put out any leaves.  We built a big brush fire under it and burned it.
Took 3-4 hours but it went down.  We had the luxury of open area all around so it didn't matter where it went.   Not much help to your situation but may fit someones. 
Scott
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2017, 04:39:57 pm »
Not an option here. The 2 trees are surrounded by lots of trees, sugar maples, hemlocks, beech and a few black cherries. The ground also is far from flat, with a bunch of pot holes, so much that it's a chore to walk. I can't even drive my 4x4 tractor or excavator in there. The pot holes are generally about 3-4 feet deep with no high ground to stay up on. It the bottom of the pot holes it is wet, usually standing water. About 50' away in the direction I'll drop the trees it levels out and there it is wet in all but the driest time of the year. That is where I'll have my brother with his ASV 85 (18" wide x 7' long tracks in contact with the ground ). Out there it opens up much more so he can drive to get way more as needed.
One of my maple tubing mainlines runs about 10-12' away from the maple to be taken down, I'll cut that line and pull the loose end back into the woods where there is a large area of high ground and open hardwoods. That "high ground is about 4-5' higher than the knoll where the problem trees are, and about 7-8' higher than the wet area we'll pull the trees towards. That's about the extreme spread of this woods elevation wise. That's why I chose the name maple flats.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2017, 07:50:26 am »
One down, one to go. I screwed up  on the maple. Since I was not sure how rotten or big the rotten area was, I left too much hinge. I also decided to use my excavator to push at about 12' up, rather than use the ASV with the Fransgard winch attached to pull. The tree came down and no one got hurt, but the wood where the oversized hinge was turned out to be solid. I actually got a 3' high barber chair. Obviously a 5" hinge on a 31" diameter at the cut tree is too much.  Once I saw it going and as the barber chair started, I backed the excavator so there was no incident. Then I bucked the 2 but logs and pulled them out before remembering I was going to get pictures. The first cut I bucked about 1' above the highest fungus growth. The rot/hollow spot on that one was only about 6" across but it went up the entire 13' of that butt log. I then stuck a stick up in the hollow to see how much farther it went, I bucked a 2' length, but while not hollow at that cut, still punky. That's where I quit for the day.
In preparation for dropping that maple I had to drop a soft maple (12" DBH), then a Hemlock (24" DBH) and then 2 smaller hemlocks (about an 8 and a 10" DBH) just to have an opening to put the maple in. Some of the wide spread limbs took out a few more smaller hemlocks 2-6" DBH, as the tree missed the intended fall zone by about 10' as it barber chaired. The best part is that no one got hurt and it is on the ground. Now I have a real mess to clean up. Since my new shed is coming tomorrow or Friday, I just left each where it fell, the only thing I cut off and removed is the 2 logs off the maple butt because they were totally in the way to drop the cherry which comes down today.
When I cut the cherry, I'm again going to use the excavator to push up about 12' high. I'll leave less hinge. Will let you know how well that goes later. I'll get a few pictures after of both the maple butt log andthe cherry, along with the big mess I have to clean up in the next few weeks.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2017, 09:54:36 am »
Glad your okay.

Thought for the next cut:  your saw is a rotten wood probe.  Sever out your pie cut from the face and get down to investigate real good for condition of the fiber there.  If its not rotten plunge cut the center of the hinge straight and and 2/3 of the way into the trunk watching for chip color.  We are looking to "hit" the rotted out center if it has one.  And also weaken the hinge so as to reduce chair tendancy.   If the center isnt rotted youre in pretty good shape.  Most of the time i will plunge cut into the sides to define my hinges rear edge and also pay attention for chip condition or any spots that cut too easy.    If it all cuts looks normal ill treat it as normal. 

If hinge and holding tab are sound it doesnt take much wood to keep a vertical tree standing on a calm day, however do scan real hard for major missing limbs.  If the tree is straight but had a 14" major limb snap off years back, its out of balance and just not showing you yet.  Thats the only tree i ever had just totally go over backwards. 

Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2017, 04:15:54 pm »
It's on the ground and nobody got hurt, but it wasn't pretty. After studying the tree, I decided the lean was enough to not try to drop it in my originally planned direction. That way I was going to need to push the tree about 5' at the top of the stem before it could fall in the other direction. I decided to go with gravity, which meant I was then making my notch on the side of the rotted/missing center (looking down after it was cut, the stump looks like a big letter C. I cut the notch at the top of the C, after dropping 7 trees that ranged from 5" to 14" DBH that were in the way for the cherry to fall in an opening (All firewood to make more maple syrup, except the biggest will make lumber). Then I raised the bucket of the excavator about 10' up and put a little pressure on the trunk. Next I plunge cut into the trunk, about 6" solid the rest was either rot or already gone due to rot. I then defined the hinge and once the hinge was ready (3.5" thick X about 16" wide). I then cut from the plunge cut  out the the back side releasing the tree. With all of the trunk gone on the open side of the C shaped trunk, when the tree started for tip, it barber chaired bad. The top hit the ground but the trunk was up about 10', held up on the barber chair back. In the process the excavator bucket was lifted so the tracks facing the stump were about 14-15" off the ground, held up by the trunk on the chair back. While I took the big maple down, from the excavator seat while my grandson ran the saw (Husky 365 with a 34" bar/ full skip chain), on this one I used my Husky 359 with a 24" bar because the center and open side of that C were not there, thus I could use a lighter saw, on this tree, thinking something like that could happen, I applied pressure using the excavator from the ground, I had my grandson stand back, and once the saw came out the back I shut off the saw, handed it to my grandson and just as I was going to push more, the trunk split and the trunk lifted the bucket of the excavator. I think if it had split a foot or 2 higher, the excavator might have flipped backwards. As it was, I had the blade away from the trunk, and planted on the ground. When things settled, the blade and the then elevated trunk trunk were holding the tracks fully off the ground. I very slowly raised the main boom, allowing the tracks to touch the ground, but at that point the trunk was trying to move towards the excavator, I then put some pressure on the trunk. With that I could lift the blade and move slowly back. The trunk moved towards the excavator for maybe 2 feet before it came to rest. I could then, move the excavator to one side, and push the trunk away, it finally broke loose and hit the ground. It was fully resting on the ground and nobody got hurt nor anything got broken.
I then checked how the tree landed, I looks lift a 4" diameter limb caught in the crotch of a beech and snapped off (widow maker). I think after I've cleaned up the cherry, I'll drop the beech, right now the limb is pretty much horizontal and about 25-30' up. I'll drop the tree rather than wait for that limb to tip one way or the other where it's more likely to come loose and fall on someone.
Next I've got to get some pictures but after that much excitement, I was done for the day.
I was removing the trees in this thread to make it safer for a large storage shed with is now to arrive tomorrow morning. Now all trees that can reach the shed, are healthy and if I decide any need to come down it can be done without risking damage to the shed, they are all 16" or less DBH and all are healthy at this time.
I'll check tomorrow, after the shed is in place to see how far up the rot extends on the trunk, the point where the barber chair split ended was about 2/3 of the way up the opening and then the visible rot on the one side. I noticed there is a hole on the stem maybe 6-8" in diameter, where a limb likely used to be, that is maybe 25' above what was the ground level when the tree was standing. I'm thinking the trunk will have rot all the way to there, and above that the tree has 2 crooks, and a curve between the crooks, then after the upper crook the stem has a few remaining branches. Over the years the rest have fallen off, while the tree still had leaves this year, it only had a few on maybe half of the limbs that remained.

P.S. Thanks mike_belben, the hinge was all good wood, but probing that area from the mostly hollow, I could tell I only had about 5" thick good wood on that part of the letter C shape I described above. I cut the wedge only about 1.5" deep and left the 3.5 as a hinge. Then most of the rest as I cut away from the hings, I was only cutting 6-8" of hard wood, the rest was all rot or missing.
I hope I never have to take down a tree in that condition ever again.
Your suggestions came after I had the tree on the ground. I now think I might have been better off taking a HD 2" ratchet strap to help hold the trunk together, or even 2 or 3, I own 5 or 6 of the heavy ones, but I didn't think of that until after it barber chaired. Once I got in about 6" on the plunge cut, the chips were very dark brown, indicating rot. Even before I started I used a piece of rebar and probed thru the open side of that letter C shape. I knew at best I had 8" wood, except a little more on the last side, where I finished cutting going away from the hinge.
I'll get some pictures to show this better in a day or 2.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline rasawing

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2017, 04:48:50 pm »
Nice job getting that one down.

If it's real tricky I normally get someone to drop them for me. If that's all they have to do......and there isn't something they have to miss (like a building).....it can be pretty cheap. Over the last 15-20 years, I've had them drop a few for prices ranging from $150-300. One time they had to miss a building so it was about $500. (This is in South Carolina so the price may be higher where you are at.)

The way I see it, that is a heckuva lot cheaper than medical bills (or a funeral). So when in doubt, that is what I do.

EDIT: By the way, always be careful with hollow ones. I typically save them for very cold weather. Sometimes there is a surprise in there. (I.e. hornets.)

Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2017, 08:13:08 pm »
The problem with this was that there is no way they could get to the tree to take it down and even a climber would have likely declined because of all the dead limbs. I would had needed to doze off about 50' long old farm dump (mostly old rusted tin and lots of broken glass) then I have had to remove 3 large trees that I didn't want to lose. I guess had it gone real bad my widow would have wondered why I even tried it, especially being there was a fatal local logging accident this week.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline rasawing

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2017, 09:01:21 pm »
Definitely in a tricky spot. But a note on dead trees/limbs: they've climbed dead trees for me before......just as long as they haven't been dead too long. They just take off the limbs as they go up and never stand on them. (They don't go too high either.)

One I'll never forget is when they dropped this dead White Oak for me (near my house)......and these guys definitely trusted the strength of the limbs: they slung a rope over one of the highest limbs, and got the guy to the top by tying the end of the rope to the (front) bumper of a truck (the other end to a climber) and backing the truck up until the guy got to that limb!  :D

Pretty wild to watch. (Glad I always ask if they have insurance.)

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2017, 09:06:33 pm »
You ever try climbing a tree with 30lbs of gear? 

Its pretty exhausting!

Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2017, 07:04:31 pm »
Not me, I'd like to climb (live not dead trees) but everytime I tell my wife I'm buying the gear and equipment, she says no. At my age it would likely not be pretty.
Pictures, I took 2 today of the butt log of that maple at the top of this thread and just tried putting them in my gallery, the phone won't do it. I just got a new phone and it is a flip phone, unlike my smart phone it will not send pictures to my computer nor let me upload them directly. I'll need to get out my wife's digital camera and get them, or maybe I'll try the old cell phone. It has no service but I believe the other functions will still work. I'll charge it tonight and see how that goes tomorrow.
By the way, at the cut, the maple turned out to be 31" and the cherry was only 29" in the longest direction across the cut. My guesses were off a little.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2017, 07:08:06 pm »
Drill a hole in the bottom, but a 5 pound jug of tannerite in it, and shoot it with a 30.06 from 100 yards out. Problem solved.
That sounds like it would have made me move my other shed and my sawmill, both within reach from either bad tree
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2017, 09:52:01 pm »
The first time you have a gaff-out and freefall all of 6 inches until the lanyard faceplants you into the trunk is usually the moment of reflection where you question what on earth you were thinking.  Once you get passed that it gets easier.  Until you gain 30 lbs or so, then it stinks again.

Offline Abethetenacious

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2017, 06:32:25 am »
Put a ratchet strap 2 feet up the trunk. That way you remove the possibility of watching a tree come down in 2 directions. I believe the term is barber chair.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2017, 08:51:54 am »
The first time you have a gaff-out and freefall all of 6 inches until the lanyard faceplants you into the trunk is usually the moment of reflection where you question what on earth you were thinking.  Once you get passed that it gets easier.  Until you gain 30 lbs or so, then it stinks again.
Too late, I already gained 30 lbs and then some.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #35 on: November 12, 2017, 08:55:12 am »
Put a ratchet strap 2 feet up the trunk. That way you remove the possibility of watching a tree come down in 2 directions. I believe the term is barber chair.
Sorry, that's what I meant all along, I guess I never re read the posts to proof read them, thanks for the correction Abe...
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Ed_K

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #36 on: November 12, 2017, 05:55:04 pm »
 maple flats, my flip phone won't down load to my puter so I send the pict to my son and he re sends the pict directly to the puter. I'm to old to figure out how he does it but it works.
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #37 on: November 12, 2017, 07:31:49 pm »
Thanks, if my old phone won't do it, I'll try that. I'm not very computer savy but both of my sons are computer techs and one daughter is great on them too. My flip phone just doesn't offer the option. I might however be able to upload them to a thumb memory stick, then put them in my gallery from that. The phone does have one option, to upload to an SD card, if that's possible I see no reason (yet) I can't use a thumb instead.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #38 on: November 13, 2017, 08:10:06 am »
connect the phone to PC with a usb cord
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Offline maple flats

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Re: Looking for a safe way to drop 2 problem trees
« Reply #39 on: November 13, 2017, 09:36:39 am »
Bill, that was how I tried it, but I could not get into the phone from the PC nor could I send the pics to the PC. I have a meeting tonight, but my son can help tomorrow night if it is even possible. More likely I'll have to send him the pics to his phone (smart phone), then from there he can likely put them in my gallery or send them to my PC where I can then do it.  Sometimes the simplicity (and cost savings) of a dumb phone creates issues, especially after having had 3 or 4 smart phones before this dumb phone.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed,  Peterson ATS upgraded to WPF mill, maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.