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Author Topic: Cutting dead branches..  (Read 768 times)

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Offline realzed

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Cutting dead branches..
« on: August 05, 2022, 10:57:18 PM »
Since one of the recent topics here branched (no pun intended) off into adapting poles and saw blades for lopping off overhanging branches - it got me thinking - maybe some of you have good experience or ideas/suggestions as to how I might cut off some dead branches waaaay up where no pole saws or other devices will reach..
I have a couple of very old white Birch trees that are probably near 100 years old or possibly more, that like most in my area are starting to die off.
They always die from the top down and the ones have at my camp overhanging my field bed and lawn, have the top 15 or 20 feet dead now and threatening visually at least, to come crashing down at some point without probably much warning to anyone who might happen to be below.. like ME cutting the grass or trimming the hedge!
The trees are too old to support someone climbing anywhere near the dead portions as birch's often appear to be a lot more stable that they actually are - right up until all Hell breaks (literally) loose!
I'd like to be able to get a line up into some of the dead portions to try and pull or cut some of the smaller dead limbs off so the impact won't be so severe when and if a windstorm comes up and takes everything off at once.
I have a Stihl pole saw that works amazingly well but I can only reach about 20 feet up with it and these dead portions all start around 55 - 60 feet up, in this case.
Any good tricks or suggestions as to how I can (1) get a line up into the crown to possibly hoist a succession of thicker ropes up to try and pull at some of the branches - or (2) use some form of cutting tool (maybe a form of  carbide crusted cable or wire or even an old twisted up chainsaw chain) to saw through branches if/when I do manage to get a line up there?
In my younger days when the area wasn't so populated, I wouldn't have put it past myself to address the situation with a comfortable lawn chair and cold 12 pack, along with lots of rifled slugs or SSG shot shells for my 12 gauge and spend an afternoon plunking away - but that wouldn't fly these days despite how much fun it still probably would be!!
Any tricks to get lines up into trees firstly and suggestions as to what to use to cut with - if and when I manage it - would be much appreciated..  
Thanks - Randy

Offline fluidpowerpro

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2022, 11:12:46 PM »
Any white birch I have seen like you describe have not been around much longer. Might as well take it down now.
When it hits the ground much of it will disintegrate.
Change is hard....
Especially when a jar full of it falls off the top shelf and hits your head!

Offline rusticretreater

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2022, 11:22:49 PM »
Unless you have a crane/really good bucket truck or can fly like superman, cut em down.
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Offline realzed

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2022, 11:54:40 PM »
To both responses so far - all I can say is.. they have been slowly dying for the past 10 or so years now - and will probably live and shade well for another 5 -7 years before I have to get a bucket system or whatever to attempt taking them completely down in pieces as a way to finally deal with them..
Often these types of trees (birches) will slowly just fall apart and if not in a bad spot, pose not much risk to anyone.  
It's just that these two - or really at this point, one of them, is currently a problem - and would be even more so to try and fall it as there really isn't any good direction to have it come down that way without it hitting something important!
Thus my attempting to try and find a way to 'disassemble' it slowly somewhat..
Thanks!  

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2022, 04:31:48 AM »
 

 

this is an elm the back yard.  an upper dead branch broke and fell onto another dead branch.  my fav. tree guy coming on Monday with his bucket truck.  have about 5 trees with dead limbs waiting for a car to park under them to fall, or worse a kid.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Offline chep

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2022, 06:33:22 AM »
Search for arborist throw ball and throw line. Learn how to toss and i bet it will be kinda fun. I use a 14oz throw ball and zing it line. Can do a 75 ft toss pretty easy. Cradle throw from between the legs. I have become pretty accurate over time.  Would suggest 2 sets of line amd weights. 
I have always said that i make more money with the throw ball then climbing. Setting pull lines from the ground is a time saver, jaw dropper, and money maker. 

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2022, 07:04:32 AM »
Chep in Kansas that is referred to as a granny throw!   :snowball:   8)    :)
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Offline realzed

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2022, 09:34:08 AM »
Search for arborist throw ball and throw line. Learn how to toss and i bet it will be kinda fun. I use a 14oz throw ball and zing it line. Can do a 75 ft toss pretty easy. Cradle throw from between the legs. I have become pretty accurate over time.  Would suggest 2 sets of line amd weights.
I have always said that i make more money with the throw ball then climbing. Setting pull lines from the ground is a time saver, jaw dropper, and money maker.
I have used a weight and throw line previously for lower branches on some cedars I needed to trim and while it did take many 'throws' to get it done it did work out well finally.. patience was the key - and no beer!
Also considered buying a small bow and arrow type of deal - hopeful it could be a bit more accurate, but that remains to be seen..
Practice I'm sure would improve accuracy over time, 75 feet or so is a long throw for any sort of weight even with a light line attached but maybe that would be my best choice at this point!
Have some relatives staying out at my camp for the next few weeks so I've got some time to try and round up some materials before I begin experimenting and practicing with any materials and technique(s).
I certainly don't need or want an audience and 'helpful Peanut Gallery' around to test my patience any further than it already will be while attempting to do this..
Thanks..

Offline Log-it-up

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2022, 07:55:12 PM »
I would fire up the old Remington 7600 and make some noise might not be the most efficient but it would be fun

Offline realzed

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2022, 10:03:47 PM »
Fun certainly - I shoot, the neighbours yell, the cops come - it gets embarrassing..  :D

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2022, 06:15:10 AM »
My next door neighbor is a sheriff deputy, and across the street is a federal court house security officer.  both former military.  when we start having raccoon problems, they tell me, If they hear something, they will know that a car backfired on the nearby highway.
Timber king 2000, 277c track loader, PJ 32 foot gooseneck, 1976 F700 state dump truck, JD 850 tractor.  2007 Chevy 3500HD dually, home built log splitter 18 horse 28 gpm with 5 inch cylinder and 32 inch split range with conveyor powered by a 12 volt tarp motor

Offline realzed

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2022, 06:50:14 AM »
I was caught out in a rainstorm addressing just such a problem late one night, as I stood in my neighbour's drive trying to get a better 'perspective' of one of those masked intruders..
The neighbour came home after attending a party and stopped halfway into turning in to his drive and sort of just sat there with wonderment in his bloodshot eyes, not quite processing what he was seeing.. a guy in his shorts out in a rainstorm near midnight holding a rifle with a flashlight tied to the stock staring up into the wet foggy darkness.
I just said "go inside and ignore what will sound like just another show (I did pyrotechnic display shows for a local friend's fireworks business nearby - and everyone near me was accustomed to seeing me loading explosives into and out of my truck before and after shows) in a few minutes when I get a good opportunity to finish this up before I catch pneumonia and all will be good"..  
He quietly gave me a perplexed look and staggered off as suggested and once those beady little eyes appeared over the crown of the roof all Hell broke loose and the issue settled back into just another quiet rainy evening again..  
The rain and fog dampened much of the din thankfully!
The racket of Mr. Raccoon trying to pull the aluminum soffit under my eave off to try and make my attic his new home, was what woke me - and provided him with an opportunity to stage his own demise! 
Off topic from cutting branches I now realize - but it seemed to me that it fit in to the conversation somehow..  :) 

Offline chep

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2022, 04:05:06 PM »
Yes GRANNY TOSS! Haha. A couple swings and let it fly. 75 ft is actually not that outrageous. It takessome practice. But you will be surprised how high it gets flung ! Guys can do well over 100ft with accuracy.  Ive seen it myself. 
Also look up the arborist bigshot. A big ol slingshot. 
The best advise given to me was to aim just above what you want to hit; be it limb or crotch

Offline realzed

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2022, 06:20:27 PM »
Never considered a slingshot deal - that sounds intriguing..  
I'll have to go out shopping around to see what's out there in the way of something like that!
That sounds like it would be a bit more fun than dodging a metal weight bouncing back at me..  
Thx..

Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2022, 07:13:03 PM »
OK, I'll bite. I've ben reading along, but never had time to post here. 
 I use a 30# recurve (Ben Pearson) bow and the lower section of a fishing rod with a spinning real. On the bow I use flu-flu arrows with a rubber dummy point and a little 6 inch piece of 5/32 drill rod taped to the tip for weight. (It suits me.) Here's how it works:
 I slide the rubber tip off the arrow (which has no point) and I take a tied loop from the fishing line and drape it over the arrow tip and pull it tight, then I slide the rubber tip back on to hold it in place. I prop the rod up so it is pointed in the general direction I am shooting and close to me. I open the bail on the reel (this is kind of important). I ensure that the line is not laying on the ground nor entangled around the rod in anyway, just a swoop from the rod guide up to the arrow tip. I choose my target and aim a little high. Flu-flu arrows loose speed fast, you have to compensate a bit. I fire and as soon as the arrow clears the target crotch or branch I grab the top of the rod and choke off the line feed. The arrow drops, usually not exactly where I want it, but I often pull it back up to the target crotch and then let it drop straight down. I take the arrow off then tie a piece of paracord on and reel that back. Then I tie some decent line on the paracord and pull that back over. After that, it leans toward your purpose as to how to proceed.

 I have been shooting lines like this for well over 30 years, mostly to hang wire antennas for ham radio, but plenty for tree removal and as safety lines to make sure the tree cannot fall where I don't want it, or as pulls lines during the fall. I have had neighbors stop and eventually ask what I am doing. I tell them I am bow fishing for flying fish. :D

 I find throw lines work fine up to about 20-25' and are quicker then it gets very frustrating. With this setup I have hung antenna wires as high as 80'.
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OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

Offline beenthere

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2022, 08:49:50 PM »
Quote
I use a 30# recurve (Ben Pearson) bow and the lower section of a fishing rod with a spinning real.

DanG.. Tom copied me right down to the Ben Pearson recurve. But use a Shakespeare closed face spinning reel.   8)

Now as to the Granny toss.. my Granny wore a long dress and like the Tom Sawyer story (gave himself away when wearing a dress and caught something by bringing his legs together, whereas a woman would open her legs to catch the item in their skirt/dress) wouldn't toss something from between their legs.  ;D Must be Scout lore.  
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Offline Old Greenhorn

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2022, 10:37:43 PM »
Well I don't know nothin' about the granny toss, but I do know if my granny tossed something, she generally hit was she was aiming at. Usually one of us kids. ;D
 I was going to make a disparaging comment about the choice of a closed faced reel, but then I realized it is probably the better choice.
 We had a job one time with the radio club (just prior to desert storm) where we had to get ham radio into our two local hospitals E/D's to help coordinate "something".  One hospital was already set, but for the other one I had to fabricate some stand off brackets to hang off an existing tower on the roof, then we had to run several hundred feet of coax over to the elevator, down the shaft and then horizontally to the E/D. I made and hung the brackets and the antenna, and anther guy was to come up with a way to run the wire. For the record I didn't mind being up on a 50' tower, but I did not enjoy the view of the sidewalk 5 stories below the base of said 50' tower when I was on top. So anyway, we had no trouble getting the 'hard part' done and got the wire down to the lowest floor where the e/d was, but then we had a 250' horizontal run over the drop ceilings. This is where the other guy came in. He had a CO2 pistol with a closed face spinning reel clamped to the trigger guard and a 3/16" (turned down to .177) rod in the muzzle he would attach the line to, then shoot it across the ceiling and we would attach the haul line and pull it through. We had a little hiccup with hospital security and some other issues we had to work out, but we got the line run, got the equipment installed and working and were done in about 6 hours of work. The 'gun thing' was an issue, but we pulled out the 'national security' card and they called the hospital administrator who gave us carte blanche (with a security escort) to get it done. Apparently, he got the same memo we did. ;D
 I thought the CO2 gun worked neat, but probably not at height, shooting upwards. Definitely my choice for hospital work, every time though. :) :D

 By the way, we had such short notice on this project that we had to move fast. The only stuff I had on hand to make those stand-off tower brackets was the angle iron from an old bedframe I had waiting to go to scrap. 30 something years later I drive past that hospital and still see my old bedframe hanging off the side of the tower.
Tom Lindtveit, Woodsman Forest Products
Oscar 328 Band Mill, Husky 450, 562, & 372 (Clone), Mule 3010, and too many hand tools. :) Retired and trying to make a living to stay that way. NYLT Certified.
OK, maybe I am the woodcutter now.
I can work with wood, but I am NOT a Woodworker, but almost.

Offline lxskllr

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Re: Cutting dead branches..
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2022, 02:00:53 AM »
If you don't mind spending money, an apta is a fun way to set a line...

APTA: Air Powered Tree Access

Wouldn't be terribly difficult to make either. They were cheaper when I bought mine, and with the tools I'd have had to buy, the price premium was worth having someone make it for me. I've shot over 100', and it should be able to hit 200'. Might as well get a throwline cube while you're buying stuff. I like dynaglide line. 1000# test, and slips well over branches.


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