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Author Topic: The issue with a high stump?  (Read 1864 times)

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Offline rasawing

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The issue with a high stump?
« on: August 09, 2018, 06:14:21 PM »
I am a property owner who is typically cutting trees for firewood or when they come down. Once in a blue moon, I have to get a guy to drop a tree for me because it's near a building or whatever and I don't climb them anymore. Ok, sometimes they've seen my handy work and I always get a comment or two about "high" stumps they see (that I haven't bucked yet). The comment is that I dropped it too high. 

Well, what is wrong with that? I typically make my cut about waist height where I am standing straight up....and that makes getting away much faster than if I am bent over.

For loggers I know they want every inch of it for the mill......but I don't get a tree service guy saying that. That is, unless he thinks it's just easier to drop it with the rest. (But bucking a stump is easy to me.) 

Anybody know? 

Offline BaldBob

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2018, 07:06:28 PM »
Since you are just cutting for firewood, and will be bucking off the stump later, I see nothing wrong with what you are doing and it is probably somewhat safer than  cutting while bent over with your head down.  I suspect that those criticising your high stumps either don't know that you will be bucking them off or are just repeating the mantra against high stumps without understanding the reason for cutting low stumps. In fact there are some times that it is far superior to leave a high stump, eg. suspected metal in the butt, plans to push stumps out, heavy soft rot or hollow in the lower portion of the butt that clears up further up.

Offline rasawing

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2018, 07:18:37 PM »
Thanks BB. The safety aspect is especially important to me as I am typically dropping a dead tree......and their behavior is hard to predict.


Offline John Mc

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2018, 07:58:31 PM »
With dead trees, high stumps are generally a good idea - especially if the condition is questionable. If dead branches drop, you present a much smaller target than when bent over (and hopefully much of that target is protected by a hardhat). Also, as you noted, escape is quicker if something goes wrong. Once the tree is safely down, I usually go back and take down the stump, unless I'm going to use it as a bumper tree or a place to anchor my snatch block.
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Offline DelawhereJoe

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2018, 08:04:30 PM »
Thats typically where I cut all of mine at, about waist high, but I cut just for firewood. The problems that plague most of my trees are them being hollow and me cutting them at 3-4' it gives me more holding and edge wood to play with.
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Online thecfarm

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 09:20:09 PM »
Nothing a matter with a high stump,as long as I don't have to work around it. ;D If I do cut one high,it gets cut off before the tree gets hauled off. I don't need my Father giving me holy oh you know what.  He never had to,I listened to him for many years. My land is very hard to work on. Between the trees I want to leave,knolls,wet spots,dips and rocks,there is no way I will leave a stump high to drive around.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2018, 10:16:35 PM »
Haha. I've got to go back and tidy up three high cypress "stumps" where I've been cutting. 

To be fair I had good reasons. One had a suspect punky looking first 4 ft, so I cut that high to make sure I was in sound wood. The next was a "hockey stick", that straightened up after about 4ft, and the last one is still holding up the old fence. Fence is being replaced, which is why the trees came down, but landowner isn't quite ready to start that job yet, so the tree continues to prop the old fence up  :D

But if you are firewooding the trees, there's no rule that says you can't lop them off at waist height, and tidy them up later. 
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Offline Ianab

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2018, 10:24:27 PM »
These stumps were a bit higher than normal.  :D



But to be fair, they were horizontal when I cut them to clear the track in the foreground. The rest of the tree then stood up again.  :D I was sorta expecting it, so was standing out of they way. 
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Online Skeans1

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2018, 10:35:21 PM »
Dead or not we cut as low as possible with a deep humboldt or block face once theres started Ill clip the hinge or set them up for pushing with another tree.

Offline chevytaHOE5674

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 07:47:15 AM »
Most of the trees I cut on the farm are in areas that I would eventually like to clear for cattle pasture so I leave the stumps about 3 or 4 foot high. That extra leverage makes them easier to pop out with the backhoe.

Offline dsroten

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 11:55:36 AM »
Fallers for the forest service are taught to cut high.  Smaller target for falling limbs as mentioned above, faster to get away if something goes wrong, and more comfortable and less tiresome throughout the course of the day.  Of course I dont fo that when cutting timber, but on a fireline, absolutely. 

Offline rasawing

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 02:52:14 PM »
Agreed it's probably just something they were taught that they've carried on.

I have to admit.....the first few times i heard it I was thrown for a loop. I told them that there isn't a whole lot (internally) going on at the base that isn't going on about 3' up. (In terms of tension and compression.) My day job is as a structural engineer, and after one more time of hearing it I crunched some numbers and still didn't see what they were getting at. After hearing it this last time....I decided to ask here.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

Online Magicman

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 03:59:12 PM »
 

 
I seldom get to decide how high to stump a tree, but I can assure you that the lower ~3' of this tree will be seriously compressed and will be virtually impossible to saw straight.  Jump butting the butt log 4' should eliminate the affects of this compression. 
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Offline Grandpa

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2018, 05:08:18 PM »
With our northern hardwoods I can't cut too low into the buttswell if the tree has much side lean. It seems like the fibers get brittle and the hinge will break if I get too low. Softwood is a whole different story. Most of our softwood has rot in the butt

For cutting firewood, I would cut at waist height and then lower the stump.

Just my .02 cents.

Offline TKehl

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2018, 03:36:11 PM »
For firewood, it doesn't matter.  We always try to cut either low enough a brush hog won't catch or high enough to be seen through over underbrush.

We raised pigs outdoors for years and we would always cut the trees above where a hog could rub to avoid embedded grit.  

Plus on the smaller stuff, the extra height was usually enough to pop them off at the ground with the tractor after a few years.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2018, 04:02:42 PM »
In the woods I cut stumps low as possible so when skidding them out, I dont want to have to go back and get the shorty.  It also gets me more butt log so is a money thing.  

In a non skidding, non sawmilling scenario, I always seem to cut mine higher, about knee high, just for convenience.

Of course, safety trumps all, and it gets cut where it needs to.  Around here in Bama, the high stumps are left in place and used as decorative plant stands for flowers.  We also use tractor tires for the same purpose. :D :D

   
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Online mike_belben

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2018, 06:15:23 PM »
Ive seen some very nice tire retaining walls.  I use em in the garden so that i can jam a bunch of stuff together yet uproot one crop without upsetting the root system of the other.  Tire keeps em separate.
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Offline Cub

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2018, 11:17:39 PM »
It was always pounded in my head to cut em as low as you can so you can drive over them with equipment if need be. So thats what I do. How you want to get it low is personal preference. Cut it where your comfortable and then cut a piece or 2 of firewood to get it low. 

Offline WDH

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2018, 07:17:59 AM »
Around here in Bama, the high stumps are left in place and used as decorative plant stands for flowers.  We also use tractor tires for the same purpose. :D :D

  
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Offline Mooseherder

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Re: The issue with a high stump?
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2018, 07:45:28 AM »


 
High stump providing hangout perch for groundhog.
The hog has moved on.  The stump will be there a while longer.
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