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Author Topic: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?  (Read 3834 times)

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Offline cutterboy

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Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« on: January 25, 2012, 06:57:46 pm »
Hi all. Two years ago in an ice storm a tree in my woods was uprooted and fell on another tree partly uprooting that one. Now one is resting on top of the other bending it over.

 

 

 

 
 
I want to cut them both down for firewood. Both trees are red maples about 12 inches dbh and both are alive.

What I'm asking is which tree should I cut first? It looks like both are under stress, what would be the safest way to go about this?

Any input would be appreciated.    Ralph

Offline Autocar

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 07:24:55 pm »
 Well here's my two cents I would wrap a log chain a number of times around the butt about one foot above the ground snap a bummer on it so it's good and tight. Do this to the tree thats on the bottom of the pile ,forget the notch and just start cutting from the back to the leaning side of the tree. Being careful the trees that are stacked on top don't slide down on you. With the chain tight around the butt this will keep it from barber chairing into your face it will barber chair but you have the control of it. Just the way I would do it ,it will be interesting to hear how other fellows do it.
Bill

Offline Autocar

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 07:27:37 pm »
Just another thought be careful theres not tension pushing back towards you like a tree thats its laying in that may spring it back at you when it comes off the stump. Its one of those tree that makes your hair stand up on the back of your neck till its on the ground.
Bill

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 07:56:00 pm »
I worked with that kind of blow down many years every day, my nick name was blown down for awhile. I know how i would do it if i was there, I'm not going to get in to do this, do that and get you all confused.

If theres a little bigger tree that you could drop on them, that would solve the problem.
Other wise follow Autocars instructions and be care full.
Third generation logger, owner operator, 30 yrs felling experience with pole skidder. I got my neck broke back in 89, left me a quad. The wife kept the job going up to 96.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2012, 07:57:02 pm »
Don't have a pic of the trees at the stump?
From the tops, looks like I'd do as autocar and take the lower one out first. But the stumps may be a hidden card here.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline cutterboy

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2012, 09:05:52 pm »
Beenthere, I don't know if this picture will help or not but this is the top tree. I don't have any stump pictures.

 

 

Autocar, thanks for the input, I might just go with that.

Lumberjack, There are some big trees nearby, I'll see if any of them can be felled on top of the other two.

Thanks guys,  Ralph

Offline beenthere

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 09:11:48 pm »
That is the pic I had in mind (at the stump).
Do as autocar suggested, and I'd forget the idea of dropping another tree on top. You could very well have three stacked up like that without the advantage of having one of them still fastened to the ground.
Carefully cut the one underneath, watching for any chance it is carrying the load of the one on top.
The one on top doesn't look like it will slide down the one on the bottom if the bottom one is cut off.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline SamB

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 11:37:44 pm »
Personally Iíd be more comfortable cutting the top tree first. With reference to the picture, my first cut would be on the right side of the top tree just ahead of the up rooted ground,  Iíd do a side cut taking approximately 1/3 the diameter. Then moving to the left side do the same type side cut opposite the right side taking approximately 1/3 diameter. Now if I havenít got my saw stuck Iíd make a plunge cut thru the heart from the left side cut and if I didnít feel any tension Iíd cut out to the bottom side. If I still havenít got the saw stuck Iím going to try to determine where the tension is by the gap from my cuts and go after the holding wood from either top, bottom or left side. Root ball is probably going to go back down and top tree may or may not slide off bottom tree if cut off is successful. If top tree is still hung Iíd start making bottom to top cuts on trunk of top tree from left side until top tree slid off or Iíd taken off enough weight that I could put line on the top tree and attempt to pull off.

Offline donny hochstetler

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 11:44:49 pm »
with a good sharp saw start  a very small shallow notch from the front side keep chewing wood enlarging the notch little by little once your about halfway through youll notice the tree weeken just step back n watch it lay down real easy keep in mind this is all done from the front side no backcut at all also need to keep an eye on the one above you

Offline sjfarkas

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 12:12:58 am »
From what I see I would cut the top tree first.  It looks like you might be able to get it to slide down the bottom tree.  The safest thing is that it slides down and then you are not under anything.  If it hangs up then cut the bottom tree like he said.  when the bottom tree goes it will fall away from you and take the top tree in that direction also.  I haven't been doing it as long as many of you, but I've had a few situations similar to that before and no close calls.
Always try it twice, the first time could've been a fluke.

Offline jd540b

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 05:25:57 am »
cutterboy, Do you have a machine there that you haul them out with?  If so try to push them the rest of the way over and onto the ground first and get rid of most of the tension.  Just another thought. 
If that little voice in your head is AT ALL leary or uncomfortable with cutting them-leave 'em be.  Looks like plenty of other trees there for firewood. :)

Offline leeroyjd

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2012, 06:22:21 am »
Ralph,you should leave them.Other than knocking them over with a machine ,preferably with a cab,there really is no safe way to do this,even for a pro.Not worth an injury or burial.
  They will make it to the ground eventually.Even then be carefull.
Leeroy( Logger since'86)

Offline cutterboy

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2012, 07:42:25 am »
jd540b, I have an old Massey Ferguson tractor I use to haul friewood and logs out of the woods.

 

 

However I can't get close enough to do any pushing. Soft ground. I can get close enough to get a long chain on the trees once they are on the ground so I can pull them out to an open place I can work on them.

Thank you all very much for taking the time to help me. You've given me a lot to think about.

Leeroy, don't worry, If I don't feel comfortable about it...I will walk away. I have more trees on my farm than I can cut in my lifetime. It's just, you know, the challenge.

Offline Autocar

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2012, 07:56:10 am »
I don't think your tractor is heavy  enough to push them over safely and like jd540 says if theres any question at all in your mind just leave them stand it's not worth getting your self killed or hurt for life. Things can happen lighting fast and your never hear the thunder. Becareful no matter what you decide to do Bill.
Bill

Offline ahlkey

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2012, 08:37:05 am »
Safety should be your primary concern but it seems that top tree is a reasonable distance from the bottom tension tree so I would cut the top tree first with a plunge cut similar to what has been suggested.  If it didn't roll off the bottom tree then put a cable or chain on it and pull it down from a safe distance with your tractor to the ground.



Online Corley5

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2012, 08:46:22 am »
  From looking at the pics I'd cut the bottom tree first.  You'd have absolutely no control over the top one once it was cut and maybe sliding off  or teetering on the bottom one or the added weight my push the bottom tree to the ground which would be good.  It could be a very unpredictable event  :)  Make an upper cut on the bottom trunk until it's almost beginning to pinch your bar but don't get pinched  ;)  Then cut from the top with control.  Don't just lop it off, let it down.  A ratchet strap wrapped around it and tightened above your cut will keep it from splitting if you'd like to use one.  I probably wouldn't  :-\  Make these cuts at a spot on the trunk about waist height or where you're running the saw in a standing position not bent over.  If you need to get away it's faster if you don't have to stand up first  ;D and keep an eye on what the top tree is doing.  That's what I'd do from looking at the available pics but it's also hard to read the entire situation from a couple pics  ;D :)  If you don't feel comfortable walk away.  They'll fall down on their own soon enough  8)
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Offline oldaxman

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2012, 09:36:28 am »
The only safe way is fall a big tree on them as someone else said but if you miss your mark or the big tree isn't big enough you run the risk of building an even worse TP. Unless you are very experienced I would wait for a big winter to take them down, that looks like death or worse and.

Offline shtickhead

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2012, 09:53:25 am »
I would put your chain near the top,then notch and back cut to the direction you're pulling with the tractor. Leave lots of hinge, if it barber chairs you don't have to split it.

Offline lumberjack48

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012, 12:19:11 pm »
OK,  i took a good look, the #3 pic shows more then the first two. You can see the tree underneath isn't up rooted, this means its keeping the tree on top from falling. So the tree underneath  has the weight of the top tree on it, this puts a lot of spring in it [ very dangerous ].
Cut the tree on top first, about 4 feet up from the stump, notch underneath just like you going to fall it, be very care full not to get your saw stuck. Looking at the pic start on the right hand side, notch it, then on the side cut in about 2 or 3 inches, do not touch the top side of the tree. Then walk around and do the same on the left hand side of the tree cut in about 2 or 3 inches with out touching the top side. Now your on the left hand side, make sure you have a good path cut to get away. Now make the last cut on the top side, be ready to get out of the way, it might be top heavy, this means the butt end may go 10 or 15 feet in the air. Its going to drop down and slide down the other tree, with that done you go to the other tree.  Make the same style cut in that one, again be very care full when making the notch not to get your saw stuck. This style cut is called a box cut, it keeps it from splitting or barber chairing on you. I used this style cut many thousand's of times in blow down or heavy leaning timber.
Now its up to you, if your not sure of your self, leave those two trees on till nature takes them down. I did this for living i had to get-en down.
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Offline reride82

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Re: Two problem trees...how should I cut them down?
« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 01:28:25 pm »
If you can reach the tree with a chain/cable, why not just tie onto the top tree and pull it off of the bottom tree? If it is a fairly long distance as you say, then you are out of harms way if the trees start doing anything funny. Just make sure you are not putting to much strain on your pull-line. That is the approach I would take with the information given.
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