Archive




TimberKing Sawmills



The Largest Inventory of Used Chainsaw Parts in the World

Toll Free 1-800-582-0470

LogRite Tools


Forest Products Industry Insurance

Norwood Industries Inc.

Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine



Wood Processing equpment. Splitters, Processors, Conveyors

Your source for Portable Sawmills, Edgers, Resaws, Sharpeners, Setters, Bandsaw Blades and Sawmill Parts

EZ Boardwalk Sawmills. More Saw For Less Money!

STIHLDealers.com sponsored by Northeast STIHL

Woodland Sawmills

Margeson Insurance

Peterson Swingmills

Pacforest Supply Company

 KASCO SharpTech WoodMaxx Blades

 Farmi Winch Direct

Comstock Logging

Forestry Forum Tool Box

Author Topic: Getting trees to fall in the right direction  (Read 7534 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Mathias

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Anderson, IN
  • Gender: Male
  • Born and bred Hoosier
Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« on: January 27, 2005, 04:53:43 pm »
  Iím getting ready to cut down 3 big old pine trees as soon as I get some halfway decent weather. They are up close to my house, which could do some major damage if they fell in the wrong direction.

 So I was thinking, since I have a tractor will a front loader, I could run the tractor up to the tree with the loader high and up against the tree, putting pressure in the direction I want it to fall, then make the cuts to drop it. That would reduce the risk of getting my roof crushed by it.

  Is this a good idea, or should I be slapped up side the head for thinking of doing such a dumb thing as this? ::)
Hand plane collector

Offline Black_Bear

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 281
  • Age: 43
  • Location: VT, NH, ME
  • Gender: Male
  • Licensed Professional Forester
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2005, 05:32:51 pm »
The tractor will not do you any good if you do not notch and back cut the tree correctly. It is all a function of how much experience you have and how good your insurance is!

Seriously, if there is no other way (cables or ropes to pull the tree, cut from the top down, etc.) this method will get the job done. We used to perform this cut on steep ground when the wood became too big for the feller to cut. The feller would apply pressure from the bottom and push the tree up the slope. I, or another feller, would then cut the tree. It's all in your notch and back cut, .. oh, and the amount of rocks in your head. Not OSHA approved I would guess.

BB

Offline Ron Scott

  • Forester
  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 6595
  • Age: 78
  • Location: Cadillac, MI
  • Gender: Male
    • Ron Scotts Web
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2005, 05:49:46 pm »
Have the work done by a professional tree service unless you are highly professional in tree falling techniques near buildings.

You could damage the tractor as well as the house. :P
~Ron

Offline rebocardo

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 2972
  • Gender: Male
  • Atlanta GA
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2005, 05:56:45 pm »
A very dangerous thing to do. Many people get killed or hurt doing exactly what you plan to do.

A better plan is to use at least two deadman lines and a winch line down the middle of the two deadmen lines to direct the fall. Plus, the proper notch and wedge.

The lines should be at least 50% up the tree if the tree is 100 feet (probably around 14-20 dbh) tall. If you are talking 200 foot trees, I would get a pro to take them out.

I have turned down jobs with 150 foot pine trees because there is a big difference between a 100 foot tree and a 200 foot tree near a house. A 200 foot tree will have enough weight and momentum to crush just about any house right to the foundation like a knife through butter.

It is simply a matter of 32 feet per second per second and having 2-3 tons of mass gaining another 3 seconds of acceleration before it hits something at 60-80 mph.

I am not willing or able to deal with that kind of mass around people and houses. I leave it to the pros. I had a locust tree that covered three houses including mine. I was very glad to pay someone to come in and do it right with a crane.

The other thing I have noticed about pine trees is the tendency of them snapping in 1/2 (especially vined covered ones) during the felling process or completely uprooting.

Offline Mathias

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Anderson, IN
  • Gender: Male
  • Born and bred Hoosier
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2005, 06:15:01 pm »
Hey, Black Bear! Welcome to the forum. Iím fairly new here too Ė do more reading than posting. I donít want to have to make a call to my insurance agent to tell him a tree made a nice big skylight in my roof. I guess I donít have too many rocks in my headÖyet.
Good advise, Ron and rebocardo. I donít feel comfortable taking these bigginís down by the house.  Iíll stick with areas that can do less damage. Besides, I just bought the tractor. Iíd hate to wipe it out right away.
:o
Hand plane collector

Offline Black_Bear

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 281
  • Age: 43
  • Location: VT, NH, ME
  • Gender: Male
  • Licensed Professional Forester
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2005, 07:21:41 pm »
Mathias:

What the other two guys said, especially rebocardo. Once that tree starts going it sure is tough to stop.

I've been lurking for awhile myself. I'm mainly interested in just talking (writing?) about forestry or logging. Sometimes my days as a cable pulling, tree chopping hillbilly sneak back into my head.

Good luck with the trees.

BB

Offline Frank_Pender

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 3337
  • Gender: Male
  • I need to edit my profile!
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2005, 07:36:00 pm »
Well Mathias, I guess I will be going against the grain when I mention the following:  I have done several dozens of trees in the manner in which you were thinking in your initial post.   ;D
Only one was a real problem and was easily solved without damaging life or limb.
   However, I have been falling timber for better than forty years and one thing I have learned for sure is: every tree is
DIFFERENT, FOR SURE.  I have also dropped and much larger number of trees with a snatch-block system.  The latter method is the safest by far.  The face and backcuts are very inportant.  I never fall a tree any longer without using the Humbolt face cut.

  The best coulcil is have professionals, experienced and insured fallers get involved.  
Frank Pender

Offline Ianab

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 9282
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Stratford , New Zealand
  • Gender: Male
  • Marmite on toast is a real breakfast
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2005, 07:37:45 pm »
Yeah.. the potential danger is that you are pushing on the tree below it's centre of gravity. If the hingewood lets go for some reason you tend to push the butt of the tree off the stump and then have the tree fall backward, squashing you, your tractor AND your house  :o

A rope 1/2 way up the tree is much safer, and extra guy ropes are added insurance. The local loggers here use D6 dozers with logging winches for taking down big pine trees in tight spots or against the lean. You need something solid to pull from.
Those dont sound like good trees to practice your technique on.

Ian
Weekend warrior, Peterson JP test pilot, Dolmar 7900 and Stihl MS310 saws and  the usual collection of power tools :)

Offline 1953greg

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 61
  • Location: mayfield ky
  • Gender: Male
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2005, 08:43:13 pm »
mathias,  simply put,  if you have to ask, dont do it!   sincerely 1953greg
good day    greg

Offline etat

  • Member*
  • *
  • Posts: 0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2005, 09:17:46 pm »
I only got one two cents worth here. 8)  If you do decide to go ahead and try it be sure to get someone to tape it  with a video cameras, safely out of the way..  That way you'll have the affair documented.

In the event it  were it to come over the top of the tractor and flatten your house (hopefully you'd be ok and no one would be in the house), I'd like to buy a copy of the video! :)
Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline OneWithWood

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 5283
  • Age: 60
  • Location: Unionville, IN
  • Gender: Male
  • I am happy!
    • elmhouseindiana.com
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2005, 07:25:40 am »
Before I learned how to properly fall a tree ( by taking the cutter courses thru the local forestry council) I attempted to do something similar to what you are suggesting.  I had a 90' tulip poplar close to my house with a lean in the direction of the house.  I placed the bucket of my JD450 ceawler against the tree at the maximum reach on the lean side and applied pressure.  I cut using a Humboldt notch but I notched the tree too deeply.  When I did the back cut I did not know to leave a hinge. The tree did not fall where I wanted it.  It simply rolled down the bucket (the bucket has BIG teeth on it!) and fell towards the house.  It missed the house by inches.  :o I would not do that again!
One With Wood
LT40HDG25, Woodmizer DH4000 Kiln
www.elmhouseindiana.com

Offline Mathias

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Anderson, IN
  • Gender: Male
  • Born and bred Hoosier
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2005, 10:31:24 am »
Thanks for all the replies on this topic. :)

I'm gonna leave it to someone else that is insured to do the job in case one of these trees doesn't want to go where I want it to. :o
Hand plane collector

Offline Mathias

  • member
  • *
  • Posts: 10
  • Age: 51
  • Location: Anderson, IN
  • Gender: Male
  • Born and bred Hoosier
cutter education
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2005, 10:35:36 am »
I was wondering where ya'll got your cutter/felling education from.  :P
Hand plane collector

Offline Ed_K

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1962
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Leyden,Ma.
  • Gender: Male
  • Leave it better than you found it. Ed_K
Re: cutter education
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2005, 07:30:38 pm »
 Twenty Five + yrs of trial & error. Then I got smart and enrolled in the Game Of Logging. After taking the GOL. I honestly don't know how I survived the 1st 25 yrs  ;).
Ed K

Offline Ed_K

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1962
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Leyden,Ma.
  • Gender: Male
  • Leave it better than you found it. Ed_K
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2005, 07:47:00 pm »
 It only take one wrong thing to happen, and your reduced to being a bystander watching.
 Example: I lost a double w/pine today. It went 90 degs sideways into a pond, all because the wood was frozen in 6" and I hit the wedge to hard, and it flew out. The tree leaned back and broke the hinge. The tree was 24" at the base and I had a 3" hinge, which would have held if the wood weren't frozen. I was reduced to being a moving bystander  >:(.
Ed K

Offline devo

  • Full Member x2
  • ***
  • Posts: 113
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Spencerville, ON
  • Gender: Male
  • Spencerville, ON
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2005, 10:17:24 pm »
Glad to hear you were a "moving" bystander. Its just so easy for it all to go suddenly wrong.
Crazy enough to try it! (once)

Offline Woodhog

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 366
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2005, 10:24:17 am »
Please dont anyone do this....

There was a fellow killed about 30 miles from my woodlot last year,
he was pushing with the bucket and the tree came back on the tractor...

I will not position my tractor within the falling circle of any tree that
I am cutting, even small stuff, eventually something will fall the wrong way, top will break off etc and the piece or tree will end up
hitting the machine and there goes your $$$ for a few weeks....

I use a winch Norse 400 and if anything  needs to be pulled on I make sure the tractor and myself are well outside of the trees length...

Its a dangerous racket.... even if everything is happening normally...

Offline leweee

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1388
  • Age: 62
  • Location: Lowbanks,Ontario, Canada
  • Gender: Male
  • Illegitimus non tatem carborundum
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #17 on: January 30, 2005, 10:45:47 am »
It only take one wrong thing to happen, and your reduced to being a bystander watching.
 Example: I lost a double w/pine today. It went 90 degs sideways into a pond, all because the wood was frozen in 6" and I hit the wedge to hard, and it flew out. The tree leaned back and broke the hinge. The tree was 24" at the base and I had a 3" hinge, which would have held if the wood weren't frozen. I was reduced to being a moving bystander  >:(.



Ed.... that sound of sudden hinge failer even makes an experienced loggers heart skip a beat... not to mention " fill your Huggies" :o ::) ;D
just another beaver with a chainsaw &  it's never so bad that it couldn't get worse.

Offline Ed_K

  • Senior Member x2
  • *****
  • Posts: 1962
  • Age: 61
  • Location: Leyden,Ma.
  • Gender: Male
  • Leave it better than you found it. Ed_K
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2005, 11:05:04 am »
Leweee, Your quite right. Because of this very cold weather, all the trees are frozen in 6" to 8" making it even harder to directional fall. I'm working in a maple bush, so any maple trees have to be missed. Very hard to do.
Ed K

Offline SwampDonkey

  • Forester
  • *
  • Posts: 33182
  • Age: 47
  • Location: Centreville, NB
  • Gender: Male
  • Large Tooth
Re: Getting trees to fall in the right direction
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2005, 12:55:33 pm »
I was gonna mention the same hazards as IanAb and Onewithwood suggested. It's really not a good idea to try that method. ;)

Pre-commercial thinning pays off. :)

'If she wants to play lumberjack, she's going to have to learn to handle her end of the log.'
Dirty Harry