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Author Topic: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?  (Read 1454 times)

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Offline BostonHandy

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Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« on: March 25, 2018, 10:57:10 PM »
Hi, I am just a handy homeowner with very little experience with a chain saw. I used to do construction for a living so comfortable using the saw. We just had a big storm and took down a few trees. So I just bought a 16" in 56 volt cordless chainsaw. Not working with a strong saw which concerns me with the damaged tree I have to take down.

When this tree fell it trapped a number of small branches underneath. The ends of these branches extend another 5 feet under the snow and seem to be under a great deal of stress or tension. I am concerned the limb can bind in both directions either up from the force of the flexed branches or down from the weight of the branch.

After I finish trimming the branch, how should I safely go from here?



Offline BostonHandy

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2018, 11:01:25 PM »
I appreciate any expertise you can share with me. 

John


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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2018, 06:39:02 AM »
welcome to the forum.





A tree like that can do alot of diffeant,dangerous things. I myself would start on the top of the tree and work my way back. But I have been slapped with a few limbs doing it that way too. The tree could/will roll towards you.
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Offline Weekend_Sawyer

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2018, 07:11:49 AM »
Can you cut off everything sticking up, trim the log down until you just have the log with the branches under the tree and pull it over with a truck or winch?

Jon
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Offline Roxie

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2018, 07:51:15 AM »
No pro here, but I sure would wait for the snow to melt so the entanglement on the ground is fully visible.  If you are concerned about someone getting too close in the meantime, put caution tape around it.

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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2018, 08:10:27 AM »
It sounds like you have a spring pole there. Is the trunk bending or did the rootball come up? How large of a tree is this?

No offense but a spring pole, lack of experience, and unknown hazards are not the conditions you want to learn in  via internet advice. 

Is there anyone around with feeling experience you can call and pay to just get it onto the ground? From there you can cut it up. 
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2018, 10:14:04 AM »
Only one way to learn.  Better if you had someone with experience to show you the ropes, but it' doesn't look too big.  (Guessing maybe 8" diameter near the trunk?)  Still big enough to damage you though, so keep your feet and body away from where it can roll or drop on you.

Then make multiple little cuts on the little branches that have tension.  Start with just a knick and get progressively deeper as you see how it reacts.  This will let it bend to the ground instead of break.  Just take your time as there is no rush.  Keep in mind a hospital visit would cost WAY more than hiring someone take this down.

Once the top of the main part is on the ground, start from the top and cut from underneath the branch upward.  I like to do this in 6' chunks or so.  Keep in mind the branch could drop here!  
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Offline BostonHandy

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2018, 11:35:41 AM »
Thanks for your ideas. I will go out and get some measurements and close ups of the trunk after work. The tree if still rooted solidly in the ground. Bringing a truck in would be difficult. My thoughts were to try and nibble away under the stressed branches but I think they will snap instead of folding and releasing. Other thought was to slide my heavy duty A frame ladder under the middle of the branch and take some pressure off and nibble away. But my sense is telling me to be overly cautious and maybe take out the hand saw until I get control of the tree again.

Thanks again for your insight,

John

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2018, 05:16:09 PM »
When in doubt, make a lot of pie cuts and fish gills.  These extra clearance cuts give you forgiveness from pinching and will relieve some but not all tension.  They help calm the situation.  
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Offline BradMarks

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2018, 06:01:35 PM »
I used to cut a lot of very branchy yew woods. If open grown the branchy crown would be on the ground with the butt up in the air. That there is a definition of spring loaded. Approach cautiously. The spring load on the branches should be pushing outward (lack of better definition) which can be relieved by cutting the underside of the branches (as if still standing) where the  load is. Some branches could end up with load the other way if they were growing downward. It was never full throttle wade into it. It's a "goose and go", meaning "touch" the branch under throttle and be prepared to scoot. You will never have to cut all the way through, it will snap first. Never got hurt, always cautious. Did I say be cautious! Also: I always cut from the butt toward the top, so the remaining branches on the tree were not in the way when maneuvering for the next cut.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2018, 06:47:01 PM »
Well the first and most important part is spotting the hazard. Those spring poles are most dangerous when you don't realise they are under tension and just cut through them. Then they whack you in the face or throw your chainsaw at you. :-\


Once you have had a good look at the problem, you work out what to. Usually it's finding a safer place to stand, then using Mike's "Fish Gills" to release the tension in stages. That's a series of shallow cuts a couple of inches apart. 

Or, if the access is better, whittle away at the compression side to allow the pole to bend gradually. 


Either way, spotting the problem is the most important step, then you can usually fix it with some careful whittling. 
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Offline BostonHandy

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2018, 10:19:05 PM »
Thanks for your replies and the videos. The main trunk is about 14" and the branch is about 9" I cleaned up the branch a little to get better pictures. Some of the branches are bent in 2 directions causing stress both ways. Should I work from bend closest to the limb and stay clear or work from the outside in? Also wondering once I remove the limb will I still be able to make a mouth cut on the opposite side of the damage a couple feet lower and drop in the tree in the other direction? Will the damage side cause a "double" hinge and buckle? I dont want to drop the tree in the same direct as the limb because it will come close to my deck and I have a large open field in the other direction.

Thanks again,

John



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Offline mike_belben

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2018, 11:00:55 AM »
Start at the tip and wack all the little limbs into kindling as you go.  The main stem will lay down easy as you whittle it down toward the break.  Youll be fine. 
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Offline BostonHandy

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2018, 08:59:50 PM »
I took a rope and pulled out the 2 really stuck branches underneath the limb and splayed out all the rest of the branches. Following the advice I got taking down the rest of it was easy. I believe I was so focused on using the saw I did not use my common sense besides stopping and asking for help. Thanks everybody. 

Now for the rest of the tree. 

 

 

 

 

 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2018, 10:51:40 PM »
Easier to cut it down now than in a few years when the butt end is full of rot from that rain funnel.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline BostonHandy

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2018, 04:19:19 PM »
I plan on dropping this as soon as I learn how.  8) My concern is the damage in the trunk collapsing when the tree starts to break or having the tree drop toward my deck. I want to make my mouth cut on the opposite side and a couple of feet below the spot of the damage. I'm hoping the tree is strong enough on that side to withstand the weight/balance when splitting and drop it where I want. But if I have to wedge it or pry it to start to lean I would be putting the pressure into the damaged side opening possibly making the tree drop the opposite way.

Any advice? should I change my drop angle to about 45* angle across the damaged "mouth" opening instead of straight back or directly opposite from the damage. Giving a "corner" spot to wedge from that still runs up the trunk without to putting most of the force into the damaged opening? Plus I have a lot of room for error  on the right side if it doesn't drop straight down. 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2018, 06:17:26 PM »
Do you have a buddy with more experience?   If not, how about an extension ladder, good 100ft rope and a cheap come-along? 


If so and you are concerned about hitting the house, consider tying it up high as you can then notching, cranking rope tight, and then starting the backcut so it goes wherever looks best.  The "mouth" is called the notch.   Watch some youtube tutorials first and be real careful. 
Revelation 3:20

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Where is the tension-how should I safely cut?
« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2018, 08:48:08 PM »
One additional concern with your suggestion there is the soundness of the wood below the split.  In the photo it looks like there might be water intrusion below the crotch which is quite normal as water has a place to get into the tree there.  If the wood is compromised then your notch and holding wood just became a whole lot more complicated given the potential if she goes the wrong way.  

Like Mike asked - do you know someone who has more experience?
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