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Author Topic: Cutting down cottonwoods  (Read 1893 times)

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Offline Owtlaw

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Cutting down cottonwoods
« on: August 07, 2021, 11:40:20 PM »
Is it just me or are cottonwood trees miserable to cut?  The stuff was wet and gummed up my 395.  

Offline donbj

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2021, 11:55:15 PM »
Cottonwood is interesting. I was scaling cottonwood for a contractor on a sale in late fall in to winter. The faller had to be careful as the water in the tree would literally pour out the cut like a garden hose. We witnessed water gushing 2-3" out of the center of the stump when the tree was felled. Once the temp fell to -10c there would be a couple inches or more of ice covering the stump the next morning.

I fell about 20 of them on my own property and witnessed the same thing, water gushing out of the stump. The water table was very close to surface in both situations so that played into it I suppose.

The trees in this issue were all 20-36" in dia
I may be skinny but I'm a Husky guy

Woodmizer LT40HDG24. John Deere 5300 4WD with Loader/Forks. Husky 262xp. Jonsered 2065, Husky 65, Husky 44, Husky 181XP, Husky 2100CD, Husky 185CD

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2021, 02:04:16 PM »
I worked with cottonwood once, that was enough. It was miserable to handle and very heavy.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline donbj

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2021, 07:44:03 PM »
It is heavy thats for sure. The ones I cut on my property I milled the main trunks. Got some very beautiful lumber from it. Some tends to degrade as it dries but it was worth it. One guy bought a lot from me for trim in his timber frame house for trim. It was beautiful.

The scale job I was on they were after the main trunk for peelers. Ministry of Forests had some serious discussions with the contractor regarding waste assessment. Tremendous amount of waste. The issue was there was a great deal of canopy wood that made saw log dimension and they thought we should have sorted that out. It was ridiculous but scaling rules and dimensions set the conversation. Desk workers enforcing rules doesnt make sense most times. Not sure how it all settled out as I left when the job ended.
I may be skinny but I'm a Husky guy

Woodmizer LT40HDG24. John Deere 5300 4WD with Loader/Forks. Husky 262xp. Jonsered 2065, Husky 65, Husky 44, Husky 181XP, Husky 2100CD, Husky 185CD

Offline Owtlaw

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2021, 08:02:00 PM »
Seems like it really bogs down the saw.  Even the dry stuff smokes like a Russian power plant when you burn it.

Offline donbj

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2021, 08:38:45 PM »
Lots of ash too!
I may be skinny but I'm a Husky guy

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Online Skeans1

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2021, 09:59:19 PM »
Seems like it really bogs down the saw.  Even the dry stuff smokes like a Russian power plant when you burn it.
Lets see a picture of the chain.

Offline DHansen

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2021, 11:20:15 PM »
The first time I took down a cottonwood I was shocked by the amount of water in the wood.  From the waist down I looked like I just came out of a lake.  My chain on my 066 was spraying water out and behind like a lawn sprinkler.  Lots of hard work and extremely messy. 

Offline Ed

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2021, 11:24:00 PM »
Cottonwood? Easiest stuff in the world to cut.....after you buy full skip chain.

Otherwise, well, your already there.

Yes, this IS the voice of experience.

Ed

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2021, 07:49:07 AM »
Funny stuff .Green it's as heavy as lead, dried out about like balsa .Unless I'm mistaken a lot of it is sold as poplar trim .Historically it was used for rail road ties which were soaked in salt water in the building of the transcontinental rail road  which were replaced with oak after it became available .
The shortage of oak was a problem crossing the great plains, there were none .However around any stream or river the cotton woods were like weeds, they were every where .They just had to deal with what they had .

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2021, 09:51:32 AM »
As Ed said, .404 skip tooth square filed chisel and there's no issue at all. I've cut a lot of Cottonwood for customers....HUGE stuff that grows near rivers and water ditches. I posted pics on some of this work over on another forum.

The "water" is only an issue here when the sap is running in the spring. They mill and use the wood here a lot for big trailers that haul construction/road equipment. It's a favored wood for the flooring. It also makes excellent bridge wood.

Kevin

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2021, 12:44:05 PM »
Cotton wood does have uses ,perhaps not timbers for a post and beam barn .However things like outrigger pads for bucket trucks and such as it dries out it gets lighter .Oak never gets lighter .For pads you just cut the cants a tad thicker .Plus unlike oak as it dries it doesn't seem to have the tendency to spit out on  the ends .
I've got a big one, a double a tad over 100 feet with the main trunk over 5 feet in diameter .I certainly hope at some time I don't have to remove it if it becomes a hazard .It would certainly make a big thump .

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2021, 03:41:29 PM »
It's considered a trash tree here and as I said, volunteers along the rivers, creeks and irrigation ditches. As they get older the branches break a lot in storms. Back in MO, Sycamores were considered the same and grew in the same kinda places with the same sort of issues.

Lots of big Cottonwoods in the lower elevations of CO too. I was asked to cut a lot of those 'nuisance' trees there once upon a time.

Kevin

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2021, 03:59:09 PM »
The last one I flopped leaned over my neighbors barn .I had to turn it by about 100 degrees .Tapered wedge and almost made it but hung it in a big hickory .I only had about a ten foot window to hit . A skid loader and some " fence posting " finally got it loose .Things happen but it wasn't on the barn roof at least .He burned it in his outside burner which will burn anything you feed it .

Online snobdds

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2021, 04:53:55 PM »
I have thousands of cottonwoods on my ranch.  They were planted as wind breaks along fence rows and irrigation ditches back in the 40's.  One fence row would have cottonwoods, the next one over would have spruce planted.  It made for a nice view over the years.  They are huge trees now and some are starting to die.  

I consider cottonwoods to be the most dangerous tree to cut down.  The wood fibers can blow apart if you hit the tension part of the tree while cutting.  Once down, they need a big saw to cut them up.  We never messed with the wood for fire wood, they just get thrown in a huge pit. 

We have a stihl 880 with a 60 inch bar to cut off the butt ends, but I feel an old McCulloch SP125 would be a better choice.  I have been looking for one of those forever, still haven't found any hiding around these parts.  

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2021, 07:56:07 PM »
You probably would do better to search e-bay from one of the Pacific north west states for a large McCulloch .A 125 brings a lot of money but every so often a deal comes around .One of mine came from Oregon and the other from northern California .These have became collectors saws . I bought both before they were as popular as they are these days .

Offline barbender

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2021, 11:39:37 PM »
Seems like it really bogs down the saw.  Even the dry stuff smokes like a Russian power plant when you burn it.
Smokes like a Russian power plant, I think I'll be using that one!😂
Too many irons in the fire

Online snobdds

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2021, 12:52:22 AM »
You probably would do better to search e-bay from one of the Pacific north west states for a large McCulloch .A 125 brings a lot of money but every so often a deal comes around .One of mine came from Oregon and the other from northern California .These have became collectors saws . I bought both before they were as popular as they are these days .
I have terrible luck with ebay.  I am always out bid even with nano seconds to go.  One day someone will lighten my pocket.  
 

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2021, 07:50:35 AM »
Eventually one will fall into your lap .However in my opinion a 125 mac won't have that much if any advantage over an 880 Stihl .In addition to the two 125's I have I also have a 2100S Homelite and a 084 Stihl .There isn't that much difference in any of them on long bars .To add to take those big guns don't see much action ,shelf queens .The novelty of running a large saw wans after about one hour on the trigger .

Offline Real1shepherd

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Re: Cutting down cottonwoods
« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2021, 10:39:30 AM »
Not sure of the efficacy in searching for a CP/SP125 when you could use something more modern like a Husky 2100/2101 or even a 3120 in big Cottonwoods......or dare I say some of the more modern Squeal big cc saws.

But hey, it's your money to spend..... ;)

Kevin


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