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Author Topic: Dead tree too near my sawmill!  (Read 1701 times)

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Offline MbfVA

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Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« on: August 31, 2017, 07:02:17 pm »
I've been putting an eye on this dead tree with its double poles for a while, and it isn't getting any less scary.   Not bigger huge, and no branches left, but it will fall right on the head of my sawmill by my calculation.  No no.

 Here are some photographs with annotations (it's not easy to get them in the right order adding photographs using the system here, but you'll get the point):
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm thinking of using my 24 foot painter pole and pushing a loop and/or my grapple up the tree a ways, maybe 10-15 ft, putting a snatch block on a solid tree in the other direction which is slightly downhill to boot, and going a safe distance away at a 90 angle and pulling it over.   Neither part of the tree looks safe to saw.  We may have to secure both shoots at once, since pulling one down might bring the other one down and in a different direction!

 Anyone got anything to suggest, the floor is open and I appreciate it.
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2017, 07:46:05 pm »
I'd move the mill then drop the deader half at the crotch followed by the other half.  Looks like Oak maybe?  Often the heartwood stays good long after the sapwood is squishy and rotten.  May even mill something out of the big half.   :)

Just don't be a ding dong like I was on a similar snag.  I cut it and confident what was going to happen, so I stayed at the stump and watched the snag break in half the limb of another tree and then the top half came back at me.  If I had planned my exit and taken a few steps away like normal... I wouldn't have a warning story.   ;)

Of course don't do it if you don't feel comfortable making the cut.  Dead snags release with less warning than a live tree.  More snap than creak if that makes sense.
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Offline mills

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2017, 08:31:08 pm »
Boy, the big question is how rotten is the heart wood. A lot of options if the center is solid. Only one if it's soft, and the pictures don't look promising.  :(

Not being there to study it, I'd move the mill and set up out of harms way. If that's not possible, move the mill and take her down where she wants to go. Trees that dead are dangerous and unpredictable. Don't mess with it if you don't have to.

Offline landscraper

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2017, 09:46:12 pm »
Can you get your Liebherr in there and just push it over? 
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2017, 07:01:13 am »
I won't do this for just anyone but if you promise to comp me a good meal here's what I'll do:

we'll bring the peterson up to my place here in Fauquier County, when you need to saw something you just pop up the road and get to work, nice drive right up 29/15. 

that is a nice woodpecker tree and your forest looks a bit light on good snags.  Just let it sit there and rot down.

when you feel safer about moving the saw back, say 8 years or so, we'll bring the peterson right back.  Don't have to move the mill pad or anything, it will all be sitting there waiting. 



Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2017, 09:43:03 pm »
 Can't afford the taxes
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 09:44:21 pm »
 I think you should come on down and help me push it over. I'm good for the dinner.  I'll call Don P to see if he can figure out the engineering angle.

 smiley_chop smiley_swinging_board

Laughs aside, my brother-in-law got his shoulder broken in 10 places or more, they kind of lost count, when a snag he bumped with an open station tractor fell on him.  Found out his boss did not have Worker's Comp. on him, but his boss was quite wealthy so no problem.

 Mike would probably come lock me up if he thought I was about to mess with something like this.
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Offline nativewolf

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2017, 10:49:37 pm »
Ochh, Open station and tractor are not a good combo in my opinion.  I've known 2 farmers to have died in rollovers.

If I come down I think we should eat first, so if it falls on me at least I'll be full and happy  :D

Offline Ianab

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2017, 11:32:21 pm »
Well first step would be moving the sawmill, it is portable after all.

After that I agree with attaching a nice long cable / rope and putting some tension / rocking on the tree from a safe distance. If it falls or even breaks into pieces, problem solved from a safe distance. If you try winching and rocking It, and it won't move or break, that suggests it's probably safe to saw. Release the rope tension and put some cuts in It, leaving lots of holding wood the first time. Then try the winch again. Repeat until it does fall down

The initial pull and shake is to find if the top is ready to fall on your head as you are cutting. If you can shake the tree and it stays intact it "should" hold together while you saw it. But only cut to the point where it can be winched over, then get a safe distance away and pull. A dead tree like that can snap as it falls, and the top 1/2 comes back towards the stump end.
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Offline DDW_OR

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2017, 02:09:40 am »
I'd move the mill then drop the deader half at the crotch followed by the other half

best idea.
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2017, 03:09:32 am »
You sound them with a hammer?

In any case move the mill first "just in case", but it dont look like it'd be any issue dropping it.  Drop a vertical bore cut in first where your front will go and that'll give you an idea of how solid it is. If its pulpy to the middle go get a big yellow wedge. If firm enough take the away lead first, humbolt notch and a big front then bore cut the back. If it goes as you're doing the front thats okay because at worst it might bend a bar but bars are cheap.

That leaves the second one thats leaning towards the mill. Swing dutchman on a humbolt notch and bore cut your way out the back again and he'll spin straight out the way. And with the mill aint there and he goes early again thats okay.

If somewhere between firm enough and really pulpy a staggered front is a good bet. Prolly got some other name but your front is a series of horizontal cuts each one deeper then the last and as it goes it kinda compresses them down.Steadies it up a little and you can keep an eye on your tree looking for movement as each cut is deeper then the last.

Still prefer big yellow wedge though in every case, but thats because I'd rather sit on one of them then a chainsaw any time ;D

 WHAT YOU NEVER WANT TO DO is do anything that involves banging on wedges in rotten trees. Thats an easy way to get real dead real fast... vibration travels up the tree and next thing you know the whole top is on its away down to meet ya...




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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2017, 04:46:02 am »
Lots a' information, thank y'all very much
What is the yellow wedge, I think I'm missing something in the translation from down under, there?
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Offline Neilo

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2017, 05:09:28 am »
A bulldozer

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2017, 05:39:28 am »
Griphoist?
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Offline TreeStandHunter

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2017, 06:25:21 am »
By the look of it im surprised its still standing. Bring that mill over to my house for safe keeping while you get the tree on the ground  :D

In all seriousness move that mill before you end up replacing the railing on it after it gets a good size dent.
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2017, 11:29:45 am »
As one of my fellow Virginia residents joked, I do have a 953 sized track loader, but the swath of destruction to get it in there would be  like a mini cyclone.  Before the sawmill was here, another tree fell over very nearby, and hit our house, no major damage.  It was pretty solid, unlike the instant case.  Rain softened root ball.

Between the leaves & sticks in the gutters and the hazard of falling against the house, we're going to make sure no trees are within falling distance of our new home & equipment/buildings at the farm.


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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2017, 11:37:32 am »
One of the difficulties of the current location of the mill is the very uneven ground it's on. It was a bear to get the sawhead on the tracks & in fact to get the tracks down and level to start with, would've been much easier if the mill has been ATS instead of WPF.  Wife is not keen on laying down sawdust elsewhere, but she had to help me get the mill where it is so I may win that argument.  The mill is going to go to the farm soon, and there's no more free wood around the house/restaurant here to cut, although based on experience it's only a windstorm away.

Many thanks for the advice so far.  I will be sure to post pics of the tree in detail on the ground for the benefit of those who might encounter this situation  in the future.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2017, 03:09:41 pm »
If you only move the mill and leave the blocks and cribbing in place you should be able to lay it back in exactly the same place in minutes. If things go bad and your supports get knocked over, it's just going to take a bit longer, but nothing important gets bent.
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Offline longtime lurker

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2017, 05:01:24 pm »
Big yellow wedge usually means a bulldozer; but a 953 class drott will do. :D

If i had the machine, a mill set on uneven ground, and an issue with trees dropping around the mill site. .. well let's just say that the path of destruction would be wide and catastrophic, and there'd be room to swing a road train in the mill yard.  Just sayin
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Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #19 on: September 03, 2017, 07:25:34 am »
I cut a maple similar to this awhile back except one fork was still good. Rot in the bottom but I could salvage a couple of good logs out of the green side. Don't remember exactly but my first cut was down thru the fork. Somehow got saw hung and got my other saw. Know things went from bad to worse. The rotten fork had a good lean in the direction I was trying to fall it but it somehow swung around and I had to drop the saw and make a hasty exit.

Not very experienced but I might consider putting a couple of straps or chains around them to hold them together. Then tie a line off and give it a good pull in the direction away from the mill. Put a pulley on a tree in the desired direction of fall and run the pull line thru it and then off to the side and take a comealong and snug it up. Then try cutting from the stump taking both down at the same time. Maybe after making the face cut tighten the line a little.
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #20 on: September 03, 2017, 12:42:42 pm »
 connecting the two, that sounds interesting. Using the snatch block on another tree and so forth is what I thought, too.   The tree is approximately 35 feet tall, and it's 25 feet from the mill.   A local guy who hunts on our farm is going to come over tomorrow and look at it with me. He's a chainsaw expert.   i'll share everything I've been told here with him as well.   please don't hesitate to share if anyone thinks of anything else.   Thanks to all of you 🌲🌲🛠🛠
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2017, 02:55:15 pm »
 Jay came over this morning & down she came in 2 pieces.  He was convinced there was no risk to the mill and started by taking down the one that was leaning solidly in a safe direction, as several of you advised.  Then we tied a rope to the more risky stem up high using the painter pole and a short roller.  You can see the results.  In the end, we used the rope to pull the 2nd stem over after some cutting.  Jay was confident and did not want to use a snatch block for the rope, but if I ever do it myself, I will definitely use one and get a little ways farther away at a 90 angle.

 One  Bad guy down, right direction, as planned, no problems:
 

 

Next, we shimmied the rope up the tree using 2 painter poles, see the circle.   High enough to ensure that in worst case of some sort of lateral fall, anything that broke off could not hit the mill.  I had to unscrew the roller cover holder at the top from the pole when I couldn't get it out from under the loop.  No problem since it cost less than two dollars, sacrificial if necessary ; I'll know next time to make sure I leave it looser, to easily get it unscrewed; little bit of a struggle this time around:

 

 

Jay cut through most of it, very carefully, and then we pulled it down using the rope.  He was very comfortable feeling his way through the cut, watching for any problem. I wish I could use telepathy to get all his years of expertise into my head.

 Almost lost him and his wife to a horrific motorcycle accident near Las Vegas in 2015. He & she were in the University of Las Vegas hospital/rehab for months (he was in awe of the quality of care he & wife got there).  Still rehabbing, and I'm not sure the shock of it has totally left him.

Success.  I'll have to say the wood was pretty worthless, likely Hickory from what we could tell. More bugs, chaff and holes than wood:

 

 

The stump, likely no good slabs there, ant food:



 

 Thanks again to everyone who helped with advice. I took everything into account, discussed it in detail with Jay before we started.   We did not move the mill, but I can't say that everyone should follow me.  The risked expense was pretty heavy if we had made a mistake .
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Did I mention, a very small bank account?

Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2017, 05:27:42 pm »
Glad you got it down. I looked once but sort of forgot where is your restaurant? While up that way if not to far was going to drop by. I do some work for a company and travel. Spent a week in Charlottesville and about three in Richmond and two in Fredricksburg.  Did do a two night job in a local community about 20 minutes west of Richmond and north of 64. But it may have laid on both sides of interstate. Cant remember the name of it.
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #23 on: September 04, 2017, 06:46:14 pm »
 :laugh:
2210 River road west
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Send me an email or a text before you come in, and I'll send you a discount note for 25% off.  That offer is good for anybody on the f forum.  I can't begin to tell you how much help I've gotten from all of these folks.

This area is also home to a lot of good Mexican restaurants as well; I can guide you if you like.  The Virginia head of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is a long-term friend,  former owner of a top Mexican restaurant, was my student when I taught accounting back in the late 70s.

You have got to try Joe's Inn on Shields Avenue in R (Fan District) as well.

Have you been to The Homeplace north of Salem & Roanoke?   They helped us get started over 30 years ago.  Truly wonderful folks.
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Polaris 4 seater, JD old gator
Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?

Offline luvmexfood

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #24 on: September 04, 2017, 09:04:42 pm »
Is the Homeplace sort of up on a mountain a little. If going North on 81 it would be on the left and up a road. Didn't get to go but it was recommended to me. Ment to go but we were working nights and I slept too late to go. There is a Salvadorian/Mexican restaurant in Fredricksburg that I try to go any time I am up there. Everything is made from scratch. Little hole in the wall place. Nothing fancy, a woman runs it and does most of the cooking for the restaurant as well as a food truck her husband runs. No chips etc. Just walk up to a counter and order. They don't speak very good english. Good food at a reasonable price. Best refried beans I ever had.  Carne asada (steak) is like 10.99 with two or three sides. Two pieces of steak each a little bigger than a slice of bread.
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Offline trailtrimmer

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #25 on: September 06, 2017, 08:43:33 am »
Good to see it down safely. 

My favorite way to deal with rotten junk or leaners is my maadsdam rope puller, throwball and an assortment of wedges.  If the tree has no branches for the throw ball, a pole saw hook works to set the rope. 

I just tension up the rope, then drive the wedges in the back cut till they stop moving, add tension to the rope, hit the wedges again.  Work back and forth so neither is doing all the work.  You can keep better control of rotten junk and pull some heavy trees opposite of the lean if you are patient and take your time.

Offline TKehl

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #26 on: September 06, 2017, 10:16:40 am »
Very rotten!

Glad to see all ended well and safely!
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Offline MbfVA

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #27 on: September 06, 2017, 10:28:28 am »
thanks for the well wishes,  these things are  never simple.

 to my friend from southwest Virginia, yes The Homeplace is located at the intersection of Virginia 779 and Route 311.  To my knowledge they have never had a website, but do have a large Facebook presence,  put up I think by customers rather than the owners.  Very simple concept, and very popular.
www.ordinary.com (really)
Always learning & questioning authority
Peterson WPF 10" Hi-Lo
Dougherty RS3000 Tree Saw
Liebherr 621C, Bobcat A300, 430
NH TN90F, Kubota B3000
Polaris 4 seater, JD old gator
Ford/Chevy/Porsche
and a few more...
Did I mention, a very small bank account?

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Dead tree too near my sawmill!
« Reply #28 on: September 07, 2017, 11:18:18 am »
Glad it went well. 

I do the same as trailtrimmer.. Gaff up it to set a high line with a 200' bull rope, park the fork about 150' away and maybe 20* off from the targeted landing then pretend im cutting natural with a pile of wedges, but make certain theres a little extra encourement to go my way every time i curl back a little.   When the wedges stop moving in its ready for a little more tension or a little more cut. 




There were two on my last job backleaned at neighboring house.. One was hollowed out like cutting an upside down bucket.. Dont think i could have done it any other way.