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Author Topic: Nobody got hurt  (Read 2869 times)

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Offline Fraxinus

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Nobody got hurt
« on: January 16, 2005, 03:19:33 PM »
Well, at least nobody got physically hurt but there is at least one man's pride which isn't in the greatest of shape right now.
First let me introduce myself.  This is my first post here though I've been lurking for a while.  I'm a forester/arborist for NH Electric Coop out of Plymouth, NH.  We have 15 or 20 contracted tree crews doing right of way work for us and I check on each of them at least weekly all around the state.
One day last week, one of our best guys lost a big oak that he was taking down.  I have a "before" picture of it but haven't figured out how to work the photo thing on this site and I don't have the oomph in my auld home 'puter to do what has to be done.  So here's a link to the picture, courtesy of Red Power Magazine. http://www.redpowermagazine.com/uploads/upload.cgi/Hale1.jpg

The foreman attached a long rope well up into the stub that you see him standing next to.  He snugged it up very tight with a comealong at the other end on a big pine well out into the woods.  He then took his skidder and put the blade against the butt to help things along.  He notched and cut.  But instead of heading for the woods, the hinge broke and the tree fell to the left.  One big leader that he had left on it hooked onto the pine you see standing next to the pole and rode it down to the ground.  That big limb caught on the electric, the cable tv and the phone wires and took them down.  They ended up on the skidder.
It turns out that the tree only had a "watermelon rind" of solid wood part way around the outside.  Here's a link to that picture.  http://www.redpowermagazine.com/uploads/upload.cgi/Hale2.jpg

Well anyway, like I said, nobody got hurt.  The cable and phone wire suffered a lot more than our wire did.  One transformer had to be replaced.  Might even have to replace a pole.  Considering the conditions these guys have to work under, I'm surprised this kind of thing doesn't happen more often.
Grandchildren, Bluegrass music, old tractors, trees and sawmills.  It don't get no better'n that!

Offline chet

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2005, 03:34:12 PM »
Welcome, I'm glad ya decided to join in.  :)  With many years in the business myself, I can sympathies with the guy you are writing about. Sometimes things just have a way of catching up with you, no matter how many precautions you take.
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the arborist

Online Ianab

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2005, 03:51:55 PM »
Welcome Fraxinus  :)

I think that one qualifies as a 'scarey tree'. The hingewood is basically non-existant  :o

So the question is, in hindsight, how should it have been done?.

A couple more ropes into the top from each side might have controlled the fall properly?
Allways makes me nervous when I cut a knotch in a tree and find something like that Worse is when the knotch doesn't quite reach the rot and you dont notice it untill 1/2 way thru the back cut.  :o At least you still have some hinge in that case.

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

Offline Fraxinus

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2005, 05:11:44 PM »
He would have been all right if only he had taken that leader that reached out toward the road and the wires completely off.  Then, even though the hinge broke, that leader would not have been there to ride it down the wrong side of that pine tree.
The thing had a little rotten spot in the butt, as you can see from the second picture, but he had no idea that it was as bad as it turned out.  He bucked it up into 4' sections and not until he made his 4th cut did he get into solid meat. :(
Grandchildren, Bluegrass music, old tractors, trees and sawmills.  It don't get no better'n that!

Offline leweee

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2005, 06:23:00 PM »
Welcome to the forum .... love that avatar ;D :D :D :D :)
just another beaver with a chainsaw &  it's never so bad that it couldn't get worse.

Offline Kevin

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2005, 06:23:16 PM »
Welcome!
The way I see the picture it looks like he should have seen the hole when he notched it unless I'm missing something.
I have said time and again to look at the wood when the notch has been removed, it will tell you the condition of the tree.
Before making any cuts you can use a tap test which is easier and quicker than a bore.
It will tell you if the tree is hollow.
Glad to hear nobody was hurt.

Offline DanG

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2005, 06:38:35 PM »
Hey, Les. Glad ya finally "came out of the closet." :D :D  Now I can welcome you publicly. I really hope you stick with us. You'll be a real asset around here, and we do a lot of assetting. ;D

In retrospect, do ya think that guy wishes he had called in a bucket truck and took that thing down a chip at a time?  I had the exact same thing happen to me last fall. Go to the Forestry & Logging forum and scroll down a couple-three pages to the "Scary Tree" thread. Those things can really surprise you. I got lucky, and that one only hung in another tree. The guy's house was only 10' away! :o :o  If I'd had access to a bucket, I would have used it to start with.  

Anyway, I'm glad you're here, and the other guys and gals will be too, when they get to know ya. :)
"I don't feel like an old man.  I feel like a young man who has something wrong with him."  Dick Cavett
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Offline Fraxinus

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2005, 03:33:51 AM »
Thanks for the welcome, Dan :)  I appreciate it.
He has a bucket on the skidder.  As you can see by the first picture, he had already pretty well whacked the top out of it.  That was a live tree when he started in on it.  I'm not sure why he didn't chunk down that limb that reached out over the road but he didn't.  
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, ain't it? :-X
Grandchildren, Bluegrass music, old tractors, trees and sawmills.  It don't get no better'n that!

Offline Kevin

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2005, 03:37:02 PM »
Les;
It appears as though it was more of a bad cut than an act of God.  :D
I'm guessing here again but with more wood on one side than the other I would think the tree would have pulled in the direction of the arrow along with the extra weight up top there was really no way to make that tree fall any other way with that cut.
Thanks for posting this story as many people can learn from it.


Offline Fraxinus

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2005, 05:49:46 PM »
Kevin, here's a link to another picture of the butt on the ground.  I think your assessment is probably right on.  
http://www.redpowermagazine.com/uploads/upload.cgi/Hale3.jpg

BTW, he was not trying to dump the tree straight out away from the road but more like a 45o angle, since that's where there was a nice little opening and also a big tree out in the woods to put the rope to.
I'm not so much trying to defend the actions of the crew but just saying that I think it's just part of the risk of being in this business that this kind of excrement occurs at times. :-/
Grandchildren, Bluegrass music, old tractors, trees and sawmills.  It don't get no better'n that!

Online Ianab

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2005, 06:10:45 PM »
Hi Fraxinus

The best value to be had from this sort of post is often to learn what went wrong, what could have been done different, and prevent someone else getting pancaked in the future :)

Thats what we are trying to figure out.

I know I've learnt a lot over the years by seeing others mis-adventures, and have learned enough to RUN AWAY from a tree like that  :D ( Rotton tree leaning over power line  = BAD )

Cheers

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

Offline 1953greg

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Re: Nobody got hurt
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2005, 10:15:00 PM »
dang, i cant find the scary tree thread.  where is it?  thanks  1953greg
good day    greg

Offline Jeff

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