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Author Topic: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees  (Read 2323 times)

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Offline YellowHammer

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I'm clearing some fence lines and coming up against lots of tall, skinny trees that have been getting sun over the exposed line, so are leaning toward the fence and also are limb heavy to that side, some actually bowed over the fence.  Many are 12" diameter or less, but tall, maybe 40 and 50 feet, and all want to fall on my fence.  I'm decent with wedges on bigger trees, but it seems the narrower the tree, the more difficult it is because there isn't much room to work in the kerf and the wedges just don't fit in the narrow tree.

I'm trying to get them to fall into the woods, and I don't have lots of room to get equipment between the barb wire fence line and the trees to get leverage to push to push them over.

So I've tried roping, and come alongs which is incredibly slow, I've tried doing back cuts with wedges, then doing the face cut, and I've tried the 1/4 wedge technique.  With all the experience out here, which technique, or tool, would you recommend or suggest that would work better?

I don't have a felling bar, but thinking of getting one, I guess, if it would work, but I'm not sure it would work on skinny trees this tall anyway.



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Offline Woodfarmer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2022, 08:27:55 AM »
Probably a small winch. Either capstan or lewis(which is what I have). No matter how you slice it, small trees are a pita.

Offline Firewoodjoe

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2022, 08:42:30 AM »
Come along. Hand type winch. Id hook three or 4 together and hook all those to one main line. Not sure if it would speed it up or not. Could you just cut them off high so the fall over the fence. Then cut the tall stump off. Good luck. Be careful. Stupid little trees get me in more trouble than the big ones. 

Offline Southside

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2022, 08:49:41 AM »
They make an excavator attachment for that.
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Offline Nealm66

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2022, 08:50:27 AM »
I run into that all the time. Just make your back cut first. 2-3 diameter with the proper aim. Then pull your bar out, smack your wedge or wedges in enough to hold it good, then make your face with the same aim. Basically the same as jacking a tree but using wedges to lift. Hope this helps you out 

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2022, 08:53:41 AM »
Looking at the picture, my method will probably fail. They need to be pulled or pushed to get through those limbs

Offline Oliver05262

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2022, 08:56:00 AM »
How much fence line? Does the fence need upgrading or repair anyway? It might be quicker and easier to take up the fencing and posts and then just drop the trees where they want to go and then put the fence back up on a clear path. 
  I have the same issue here except no animals. What fence is left is on my side of the stone wall. The center of the wall is the property line, and the field is grown in with many years of not mowing all the way to the wall. The longest windrow is the outside one (also the hardest one to dry). Might gain quite a few bales of hay if I got to clearing the overgrowth up.7
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Offline PoginyHill

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2022, 09:02:52 AM »
If the trees are close enough to the fence, you might be able to cut the stump above the fence and cause the tree to fall on the other side of the fence. If you are able to pull tension on the stem into the field/pasture and then cut it, it would likely be pulled several feet before hitting the fence or ground.
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2022, 09:03:56 AM »
I would do a face cut.  could do 10 trees first if you want to go all industrial on their little Ash ... tree.  then push or pull with your excavator (with or without chain or rope) and then make the back cut and pull the tree out of the way.
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Offline barbender

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2022, 09:07:04 AM »
I'm pretty sure I'd be using that new excavator to make them go where I wanted, in some form or another.
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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2022, 09:09:41 AM »
Yes, those are always a pain unless you can just cut and fall where they wanna go. I was taught a trick for these in a class once that has served me pretty well and I use it when I need it. I use it a LOT on mushroom log trees when trying to protect keepers, because by definition, they are no bigger than 10" or so.
 I cut the face notch but not too deep so that you don't remove good hinge wood, just deep enough to get the direction right. So on an 8" tree, maybe 2-3" deep. Then I go around the back of the tree, find the notch level and bore cut straight through the center of the tree coming out through the notch. While it in there, I move the saw head left and right a bit to widen the cut at the back of the tree, being careful to pivot on the notch side (front) and not widen that side much, if at all. Then I drive a wedge in that back slot and tap it tight. I use about an 8" wedge, or a 5" if I have one, but remember, for a leaner you need lift. Once the wedge is tight, I then cut the remaining wood on each side to create a normal looking back cut. Don't cut the hinge and make sure that hinge is thick enough. In this case, the tree wants to go backwards and will pull on that hinge to do so, so it could snap the hinge. Then I just drive the wedge. If I need more lift, I put wedges on the outsides of the first wedge and stack as needed. Sounds complicated, but after the first one, it only takes a minute or two more than conventional felling and works quite well.

 However, given your resources, I don't see why you don't just put the excavator bucket up as high as you can reach, put in a face cut, and back cut and push it over? Doing a bunch of these might make it worth putting a v-notch plate on the backside of the bucket to capture the tree trunk so it doesn't slip off during the push. Works fast with 2 people.
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Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2022, 09:16:53 AM »
I have about 3 miles, give or take, some is cross fence so I own both sides, and I can sometimes push from across the fence with my mini excavator.  The fence is so tight and close, that cutting the notch for one side then me crossing the fence several times to push over with the excavator is getting a little old, I even brought out a ladder to make it easier to cross the fences, although I can hear the deer and squirrels laugh in the distance. :D :D  However, some are property line fences where I can't get access to the other side with the machine.

The fences are 5 strand, high tensile Motto, in great shape, banjo tight, and I'd really want to limit any chances of damage.

If some get hung in the back trees, I can try to come down the line and try to push them to the ground from the side with my excavator or rope to the stem and pull them down from an angle with the tractor.

The main thing is I don't want them drop on the fence and since I have so many, I don't want to spend lots of time on each tree.  The bigger fence line trees are easier.  I wedge and fell them using conventional techniques, then come back and dig up the stump.  These little guys are a surprising pain.

I'be been using the excavator, the wedges, etc and they all kind of work, but nothing really works well, and I can help but think I'm missing the boat on something.  I've tried bore cutting but didn't think of using smaller, higher angled wedges.  Of course, some of my log wedges are shorter because they may (I won't admit it) have been trimmed with contact with the chain....

Lately, I've just been getting lazy and coming at them from down the fenceline with the excavator and pushing them over down the open line.  Use the bucket to cut most of the roots, but mindful of not cutting the roots that may help pull the tree back into the woods, "hinge roots" so to speak.  It's faster and I don't have to get out of the cab, but the other day I popped three wires when some side limbs hit the fence and I had to repair it. It may be that I just need more experience with the excavator, but it seems I should be able to do this with a chainsaw technique instead of having to resort to just brute force.  I'm always wanting to learn new felling techniques, and this seems like a good opportunity to do so.  

I do this kind of work alone, I know it's not a good idea, but most of the time, that the reality of it.  




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If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

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Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Offline doc henderson

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2022, 09:17:48 AM »
I can see Martha running the excavator with the boom and bucket just over your head as you make the cut.  you might make her breakfast on the days you are working together!   :)
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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2022, 09:23:07 AM »
I had an area when we moved here, that the kids called the dark forest.  just pulled many (up to 4 inches) with a chain over a wheel (for up lift) and loaded in the dump truck, or the car trailer prepared with a chain across it to use to pull the whole load off at the dump.  this was 20 years ago.  we now have a pool that we built.
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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2022, 10:05:12 AM »
I would just put in backcuts aimed at where you want the tree to go. Go right down the line cut as many as you can without getting pinched. Then follow with the excavator and push them all over. Some may barberchair a bit but from the safety of the cab it don't matter. 
 Don't worry about face cuts. The backcuts will control the direction just fine. And the front fiber will keep the tree on the stump so it won't wreck the fence.  And the excavator will be your wedge. Your not worried abut saving timber. It won't look pretty but that's how I would do it

Offline Rhodemont

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2022, 10:28:09 AM »
I have run into this along my pasture fences with maples coming up like weeds.  I have put a snatch block at the base of a big tree then used my Norse log winch on the back of the tractor to pull.  You could use the excavator to pull if you have a cable or a heavy duty rope.  The tractor on the pasture and the snatch block positioned to be able to move  the cable to several trees with out moving the tractor.  Cut/pull cut/pull cut/pull then move the snatch block and tractor for several more.
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Offline Nealm66

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2022, 10:56:19 AM »
Ive found in those size hardwoods and pushing or pulling with a machine that it works the best to make a deeper undercut while the machine or winch has the weight and then pushing or pulling it over without the back cut. Basically breaking it over. It seems to follow the face better. Not sure if your machine is large enough for this. But this works best when youre by yourself as well. Hopefully the lid on youre machine is strong enough to withstand some of those branches that might land on you. One thing to consider with that much ground and potential trees, repair as needed. You could spend all that time and effort for not

Offline Andries

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2022, 03:38:01 PM »
YH:
Ive copied from one of your replies:
it seems I should be able to do this with a chainsaw technique instead of having to resort to just brute force.  I'm always wanting to learn new felling techniques, and this seems like a good opportunity to do so.
.
My sons  tree service has to do this type of felling regularly: small diameter, tall and a narrow drop zone, plus bad machine accessibility.
We usually resort to a high pull line, a re-direct pulley and use the loader to pull the tree down a bowling ball narrow slot. The pull is coordinated by a comms link between cutter and puller, as the cut progresses, the pull increases which leaves the tree with no other option than to behave.
.
However, youre a one man band and have already said that you dont intend to fuss with ropes and come-alongs. Agreed; we have urban yards and you have miles of acres.
.
For your situation, what weve done is situated the loader and grapple where it can get its best push up on the tree. Eight to ten feet up, and in-line with the drop zone. Put enough push on the tree so that itll hold it in position as you use the chainsaw. Youre using the grapple or bucket as a hard hat to saw under, so get a good bite into the trunk up there with those new snake-tongue teeth that youve put on your bucket. Make an accurate opening cut, one third through the tree, using your saws sight line to guide your wedge cut to the drop target. The next step is going to be based on experience. Small trees might not need a felling cut (as Nealm66 described) bigger trees might need a conventional felling cut or a bore cut (described by OGH).
Saw only enough to be able to break the  holding wood with your mini-ex, which is positioned and ready to give the final shove. If the tree is located really awkwardly near the fence, a bucket side push might be enough to drop the tree. A v bracket might be the ticket for that, as OGH said, to control the trees fall.
.
The variables are endless, but Ill bet you have fun as you figure out the best way forward. 👍


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Offline barbender

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2022, 05:17:52 PM »
I don't care for working under suspended equipment. I've had to hand fall stuff that is too big for the harvester to drop. The operator reached up, over my head to give the tree a push, and I didn't like that one bit. The tree is enough to worry about, and I have a fairly good idea what it's going to do. 

 YH, we're I in your shoes I think I would make a small face cut, and if the tree is too small to put the backing cut in without it setting back on your bar, I would bore cut it at whatever angle from the normal horizontal was necessary to leave a holding strap on the back. You could set up a string of them like this, jump back in the machine and go along and give them a push. The only problem I see is the stump is left with a vertical wedge that would be murder on tires, so you'd probably want to go back and cut them off.

 
Too many irons in the fire

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2022, 06:15:41 PM »
There are several techniques you folks suggested that I will try, first off the ideas of making various cuts on several trees in a row and then pushing them over with the excavator.  This should also solve some of the hung trees issues and most times these little guys grow in clumps and I dont want to face or back cutting with another hung tree over my head.  Cut a few and push over a few, then move on, dropping them like dominoes.  If one sets back I can wedge it off the bar or even bore cut it to keep it from happening.  

With these partial cut techniques, it seems that they all have in common that I leave a thick hinge that I can push over, then I will have that much more directional control.  

Once they are down I can cut the stump off and dig it up, or even just dig it up with the stem hinge attached if they dont separate clean and fold them up and push them into the woods.

Good suggestions from everyone, thanks. 


YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Offline btulloh

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2022, 06:32:46 PM »
Leaner topic about a week ago

Adapt this general approach to your situation?  Food for thought. 
HM126

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #21 on: December 16, 2022, 06:54:40 PM »
Ive found in those size hardwoods and pushing or pulling with a machine that it works the best to make a deeper undercut while the machine or winch has the weight and then pushing or pulling it over without the back cut. Basically breaking it over. It seems to follow the face better. Not sure if your machine is large enough for this. But this works best when youre by yourself as well. Hopefully the lid on youre machine is strong enough to withstand some of those branches that might land on you. One thing to consider with that much ground and potential trees, repair as needed. You could spend all that time and effort for not
Hes kinda got the idea I would do. But this is what I would do to be safe and fast. Get a 50 cable or longer, a snatch block and chain and small recovery strap to put around trees for snatch block. Position the snatch block the way you want the trees to go, cable and chain trees. Hook to the excavator or skid and pull the direction you want them and you are safely out of the way! Simple and fairly fast. That cable thats swaged on each will come in handy down the road. Ill take some pictures of the block and tackle I use to move some monster walnut trees.

There is no way I would jack around with a jack or stuff like that with the big boy equipment you have to do the heavy lifting in any situation! 

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2022, 07:41:02 PM »
You know, if you weren't so dang flippin' far away I would happily trade you a day or two of my time cutting in front of your excavator for a day of watching you saw and asking questions. It would seem like a win-win, but the fuel costs alone really raise the cost of entry, plus the drive time. Too Bad.
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2022, 07:46:00 PM »
If you have miles of fence-line to do I would buy an Arbo head or hire a feller buncher. Those size trees are easily pulled or pushed but it would take 3 or 4 times as much time trying to do it by yourself.

Offline barbender

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2022, 08:02:34 PM »
YH, if you're going to dig the stumps up anyways I would probably just do it all with the excavator. You can directional fall by how you dig the stumps loose, too😊

This is how I was recommending to precut with a chainsaw. The tree is still well attached (still not to be trusted) until you come along and bump it with the excavator and snap that holding strap. I used to fall trees like this all the time with a forwarder, just a decent bump from the crane would snap the strap and get it on its way



Too many irons in the fire

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2022, 08:03:31 PM »
To be clear, the only reason to angle that bore cut is if the tree is too small to bore cut it normally.
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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2022, 08:24:59 PM »
Some Christmas ideas for your machines 😂. And the guys that have them love them. 
https://www.ryansequip.com/product/dangle-saw/




 

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2022, 08:43:05 PM »
That bore leaving the strap in the back and no undercut looks like it chairs every time? All of the chairs Ive seen dont necessarily end up exactly where you want them 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2022, 10:29:38 PM »
Nealm66, how would you modify the cut to not barber chair?  Are you saying make the lower cut on the face lower than then bottom of the angled bore cut?

I've never seen an angled bore cut like that, that's interesting, I can see that or even a conventional bore cut with heavy hinge would be something I can use the mini to push on the leaner at an angle to the hinge and but get it to fall in the direction of the hinge.  That way I could still keep the excavator in the clear fenceline, maybe at a 45 degree angle, and then use the hinge in the tree to redirect or pull the tree the remainng 30 or so degrees to get it out into the woods.  That's new to me.  Does that sound like it might work?

I do have some heavy tree pulling tackle, even a 3/4", 150 foot arborist rope with a 3 ton block.  Very heavy duty stuff, I used to brag I could bend a bucket sized tree nearly to the ground like a fishing rod.  However, all that stuff is good for "Home Base" clearing work, but way overkill and way too cumbersome for remote woods work, especially these little trees.  I think the rope alone weighs maybe 30 lbs and is a mess in the woods because it's so long.  For this stuff, I'd probably go to a smaller setup, maybe 1/2 tree puller and line, which I don't have now.  I could certainly use it as a last resort but....

I do have the largest Compact Track Loader Kubota makes, I'm not sure I couldn't just squash these guys down pretty good with it, and I do like the idea of the CTL Feller Buncher attachment.  Thats pretty cool, and would sure take care of these guys.  I may try and give them a push or two, with the bucket, but with all the mud here now, I'm not sure how much traction I'd get.

I do have a 28" excavator mounted tree mulcher, and I could easily take these trees down with it alone, but I'm not sure how to do directional felling with it.  So getting them down would be easy, but getting them to fall against the lean is something I've never done with it.  Generally, I just put the head against the side of the tree, grind a narrow hourglass looking slender spot in the trunk, raise and swing the boom and push it over from the side.  Sometimes it works and sometimes the tree wants to go the other way if I don't have enough power in the swing gear.  So I'd have to set up to use the head for pushing and I'm not sure it could take a dead stick push without doing some damage.

I do have to admit though, I'm intrigued by some of these chainsaw felling techniques I've not used before.  These are interesting, especially since I can do them in batches.
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Offline Southside

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #29 on: December 16, 2022, 11:33:31 PM »
So I am just going to say this and Robert you know why.  Your machine does not have a forestry FOPS cab on it, while I understand what BB is suggesting and can see it working - usually - what happens if something goes wrong?  You have no place to go, 40'-50' of tree is a lot more than 10' of log.  You are working on slopes, with unbalanced trees, and talking about using a machine in a way that it was never intended to be used.  One or two trees - yup I would do it.  Miles of them - I would find a better solution, and you know me - there isn't much I won't do if it needs to be done, but this - not so much.  
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #30 on: December 16, 2022, 11:37:15 PM »
I dont care what anybody says but I bore cut everything even if I want it to go a certain way and do make various notches to go the way I want it to go. So much control of having the center cut out and cutting the outside connecting points. I dont carry or use a wedge when you do it that way

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #31 on: December 16, 2022, 11:41:34 PM »
Bore cut the centers and mulch the outside and go up and push them over if you can get to them

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #32 on: December 16, 2022, 11:55:44 PM »
Southside makes a good point on safety. The big difference of doing it that way versus a drum or disk mulcher on a dedicated or skid is you have the push bar for leverage and containment. 

Another option I would be comfortable with on that size of trees is bore cut the tree and then put the bucket up high or mulcher the way you want it to go and get out and cut on the one side and if it doesnt go over it should when you give it a little more when you get back in and push 

Offline Ianab

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2022, 12:31:14 AM »
How old / good is the fence? This looks like the sort of job you would schedule with a fence rebuild. If you figure the fence is old and needs replacing anyway, then the directional falling isn't as important. 

If trees want to fall over the fence, then tip them that way, and clean up the mess later. 
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Offline Nealm66

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2022, 12:49:38 AM »
Southside voices my concerns as well. I dont see in the drawing where there was a face at all. Having the face lower than the undercut only helps give the tree a lip to push back against which is very important if youre topping through other trees so the butt doesnt come back and ruin your day. Does not prevent barber chairs. If I was hired to do your job I would build a simple dirt spur above at a safe distance the whole distance and pull /winch every tree using the method I described earlier with only a deep face and no back cut which will give you better aim to thread through the gaps and prevent hangers. I did a large job similar to yours for the city of eatonville for about a1/2 mile with a highway and major power lines beneath me and this was the method that worked the best. A simple dirt spur should be fairly easy with your excavator and much safer than your current plan of attack. Hope this helps

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2022, 01:49:35 AM »
One longer cable and various shorter ones will get you all the length that you need and shorter ones when a long one isnt needed. A good heavy snatch block or two will let you do about anything. The cable pictured is some I had and took in to a rigging place and had them swaged. With cables, chains, snatch blocks amazing things can be done.  

 

 

Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2022, 06:54:57 AM »
I would hire a man with a track feller / Buncher. Let the logger do his thing and make you a wide road for you. You can cut lumber and make $$. On a lot of trees, you will be using the swing motor on your new toy. Swing doesn't have the muscle like when you're pushing or pulling with the boom.

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Offline teakwood

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2022, 07:31:49 AM »
all good technics explained for small diam tree felling, but they only work if the tree has free space to fall. In your case where the small tree gets hung up on some branch on a bigger tree you will always damage your fence.  Or use cables and blocks and a machine to push pull but that is time consuming or just rent a bigger machine as suggested to lay down directionally and later clean up with your smaller machine. there is no clean way to do it. i fell lots of my trees on fence lines and there is mostly no way to get them down cleanly. i just drop them over the fence and we later repair the fence. it's alot better to fell the steam directly over the fence than trying to bring them down parallel to the fence and  some big tree push it over the whole fence with all the top and branches, then there is a mess to clean up.
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Offline slowmiller

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2022, 09:13:17 AM »
We were having similar problems with those size trees on our clearing jobs. I ended up buying a Jak 250 shear for my 8 ton excavator and have been pretty pleased with it. 8" in hardwood is about all it wants but I think my system pressure may be a little low. If the tree is bigger than 8" I just reach up as high as I can and snip it off. Makes a pretty good grapple with the blade removed also.

 

 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2022, 09:25:19 AM »
Can you control the top after shearing it?  I'm always up for getting a new piece of hardware.

Well, I have to admit, I'm getting a master class in technique and options, that's for sure, and why I really like this Forum.  I'm also glad to know that I wasn't totally out to lunch, these little leaners are a pain, and I wasn't just imagining it.  As a matter of fact, what Teakwood describes is exactly what happened, I put a tree down along the fenceline with the excavator and although the stem fell in the clear area alongside the fence, the branches took out the fence.  Our fence is really high end 5 strand, high tensile barb wire, that took us 18 months to run, many, many thousands of dollars, only about a decade ago, so it's basically brand new and in great shape.  I can splice it no problem, but if I do a tradeoff on time, it makes more sense to spend the time running a rope or cable to pull trees than splicing fence.

I can see making a secondary spur up off the fence line to facilitate roping, that wouldn't be that hard, my woods are very open already and in many cases I can drive through it.

I don't have a ROPS on this mini, and safety is a good topic to raise, I don't want to wreck a machine or me, by doing this.  That would take all the fun out of it.  So good reminder on that.  As SS says, I am on some pretty steep slopes and cross slopes sometimes, very little flat ground.  I've already got a nice love tap on the excavator where I was pushing a tree over and I slid downhill and sideways into the fence.  Oops.  

I get the time lost thing, but when I turn off the mill at the end of the day, I like moving dirt and doing "farm stuff" and don't really consider it time lost off sawing because I'm done for the day and would be doing something else anyway, even if it was going down to the pond and catching fish.  Safety, though is a driving force.  I'm old and brittle.

I do know some independent loggers :D and I may see what it would take for them to bring out one of their machines to do this.  On the other hand, I once rented a D6 and it would crush these trees to the ground without even slowing down.  That's how I cleared some of this line to begin with, 20 years ago.  A D6 against a 12 inch tree is ugly and fun....

So...taking safety into account, I'm thinking if I had a smaller winch setup, one more handy and scaled down to 12 inch trees, picked a center rigging tree, then I could rope or cable several from the same point with out having to re rig the anchor.  Get them taught to keep them from falling on the fence, and try to push them over.  If that's a no go, just pull them over using the rope and bore cut method.  That would protect me and the fence, and wouldn't take too much time.  Since I can take out the big trees with wedges, they are pretty easy, and the smaller trees are very easy, it's these smaller midsize ones that are giving the issue, and they show upon in clumps, sometime maybe a hundred yards between them, sometime right next to each other.  

Is there a shortcut way to rig a rope up the tree, something besides a throw bag and string?  Something I could attach to the tree with the excavator and thumb?  Maybe even a big steel hook attached to a steel cable?  I don't think I've ever seen one of those for felling...but it's how to quickly tie to oil rigs for fishing in the gulf, they are called "rig hooks" with maybe a 2 foot throat and the boat is eased up the the oil rig, the hook is on a 10 foot pole, and is dropped over the legs or braces of the rig and then the boat is backed off a few feet, and done.  

Here is an example of one of my "problem trees", this is a picture of a fenceline I did this week, all the disturbed earth and limbs up the line are trees that I was able to remove no problem with the excavator.  Pull or dig out the small trees, reach up break off any overhanging limbs and crawl down the hill.  I've cleared maybe 15 or 20 feet off the fenceline at a decent clip.  However, the hickory tree in the foreground, right side of the picture is the kind I'm talking about.  Maybe 12 inch diameter, if that, tall to the sky, and leaning over and branches heavy over the fence because that's where it's getting sun.  I was able to squeak by it with the excavator, and just had to walk off and leave it standing, laughing at me.  You can see some of the other trees up the line and how the branches reach far over the fence to get sun.



  



 
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Offline Nealm66

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2022, 01:23:11 PM »
Have you considered a Lewis winch? Ive used them a lot and pulled some large hard leaning trees off theyre lean but I climb up a ways with spurs. I have used a tree service slingshot with success but its much faster to climb. 

Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2022, 01:24:40 PM »
Its your place and you want what you want but I would stick to a clearing a driveable/mowable trail along the fence and let the canopy close. Unless you clear-cut a tree length swath on both sides you will be fixing fence anyway. Alot less mowing on a shady lane. You got the mulcher to handle the encroaching branches and if the canopy closes there won't be many of them.

Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2022, 06:14:11 PM »
I would hire a man with a track feller / Buncher. Let the logger do his thing and make you a wide road for you. You can cut lumber and make $$. On a lot of trees, you will be using the swing motor on your new toy. Swing doesn't have the muscle like when you're pushing or pulling with the boom.

The right tool for the right job.
You might get it all done for $2.000 to 3,000 short money
He might as well hire somebody else to run his sawmill while he has coffee 😂. With the equipment he has that would be crazy to hire somebody else!

I understand everyones safety concerns but this is getting way over complicated. A little common sense, safety and a game plan will get that job done just fine with the equipment he has. Sometimes you have to graduate from diapers to big boy shorts 🩳 😂.

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #43 on: December 17, 2022, 06:29:50 PM »
.....

I understand everyones safety concerns but this is getting way over complicated. .......
But that's what we DO here! :D :D It's our job and we are dang good at it. ;D ;D
Sometimes taking things out to the absurd is a good way to expose new ideas that lead a trail back to a truly innovative solution.
We all know YH is a really sharp guy with good gear and I think we all expect he will pick what fits for him best and knock out those trees in fine order. He could easily do it without any help, but I think he may have picked up some tid-bits to help him think it through and perhaps a few things he hadn't considered right off.
I know that's how it works for me when I have a quandry and ask for help here, I do get a lot of stuff that 'does not apply' but I also get a lot of stuff I hadn't thought of and it all works together.
It's the beauty and the frustration of the forum all at once. :D 8)
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Offline doc henderson

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #44 on: December 17, 2022, 06:44:29 PM »
yes WB, but sometimes you have to go to the house early to change the big boy shorts.  :D  It is part of the fun to be efficient.  We kinda all like to think out loud!  Merry Christmas and God bless.   :christmas:
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #45 on: December 17, 2022, 06:44:59 PM »
You couldnt have said it better Greenhorn!! 👍 and Doc !! . Absolutely ideas ideas 💡 

Offline btulloh

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #46 on: December 17, 2022, 06:55:41 PM »
lol lol  lol

Dont forget the other part - helping someone else spend their money. YH sounded like he was warming up to that new felling head.  

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Offline Hilltop366

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #47 on: December 17, 2022, 07:19:39 PM »
I had a excavator knock down some spruce trees for me, he pulled them towards him with the tree on the RH side of the boom and as it started to come down he pulled and turned at the same time. The first tree had a dead top so he did more turning as he did not want the top to land on the cab if it broke off. 4 large spruce trees in 12 min. 

This is a 25 ton excavator.



 

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #48 on: December 17, 2022, 09:33:37 PM »
You guys know me too well, I'm getting predicable!

You are correct, when I'm asking for information, I like to get a firehose and I will try to take it all in and see what works for me.  I have already learned things I didn't know and that's half the fun and why I asked in the first place.  You guys know your stuff and I know the information I get for you is real and backed by experience, so I take it all in, try stuff out, and see what works for me.  

I do like new toys, and they are never out of the question.  A skid steer feller buncher is way cool, and something I hadn't considered, so it's definitely on the table. ;D

Some of these techniques you guys have talked about are new to me, and today I was talking to another professional sawmill operator who is reading this topic and he said it was equally interesting to him, and he's learned stuff too.

The end goal is to do this myself, as I said while learning is half the fun, the other half is doing it.  I have plenty of time, and the excavator has a heated cab and radio, so working in it is better than sitting in the house watching TV.

The end goal is to get enough room for my pickup truck to drive down the fence.  The canopy may close over, and that's fine, it will keep the underbrush from growing up.

Here is one of the new roads I did this week.  The trees are cleared, and I've cut in the side hill to get a relatively level surface.  This was all roughed in with the excavator, and I'll go back over and dress it up with the CTL and stuff and hopefully it will last another 20 years.



  

YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust

Offline Ianab

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #49 on: December 17, 2022, 10:22:43 PM »
You are correct, when I'm asking for information, I like to get a firehose and I will try to take it all in and see what works for me.  I have already learned things I didn't know and that's half the fun and why I asked in the first place.  You guys know your stuff and I know the information I get for you is real and backed by experience, so I take it all in, try stuff out, and see what works for m


100% agree. There is all sorts of ways of dealing with problem trees, and the more of them you know, the better you will be able to chose the better one.  My "sacrifice the fence" suggestion is just based on  a planned job here. 3ft dia cypress leaning and weighted over the fence. Even with Blair's 20 ton excavator, they are going to take out the fence. They are hairy enough to drop (real risk of barber chair), without trying to steer them as well.    
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Offline Walnut Beast

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #50 on: December 17, 2022, 10:55:34 PM »
Looks Fantastic YH. You have a beautiful place! 

Offline Skeans1

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #51 on: December 17, 2022, 11:08:19 PM »
Can they be set up to domino parallel to the fence?

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2022, 07:34:25 AM »
Skeans, you left out the second question to go with that thought: "Do ya feel Lucky? Well, do ya?!" :D :D
------------------------

 In the interest of having a comprehensive set of suggestions I should add you could try this making the notch above the top fence string with a deep enough tenon, the trunk will sty on the stump after the fall and you can pick it out with the machine, or whittle the log down.


 

 I only do this rarely when the tree MUST fall where the hole is. To help make sure the tenon stays in the slot, you should use a humbolt opening on the face. I have seen arborists use the method to keep the trunks from hitting the ground near the stump to protect sidewalks, curbs, and other stuff.
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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 Nealm66

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2022, 12:47:03 PM »
The best way Ive found to avoid barber chair is ti cut in on both sides before starting the back cut. This of course if youre not trying to swing( falling the direction of the lean). This has proven helpful while topping or on very steep ground with blow down and no escape path. Ive also noticed a Dunbar helping if swinging is necessary. Hope this helps 

Offline reedco

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #54 on: January 15, 2023, 09:50:07 PM »
      pull the staples and let the wires lay on the ground?  Just another idea.
Not many trees

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #55 on: January 16, 2023, 05:17:23 AM »
Nealm66,I always cut on both sides.
My Father cut a lot of trees for firewood and I had no idea what a barber chair was. He cut on both sides too.
I went to work with a guy that was clearing a lot for a nursing home when I was about 16. I found out what a barber chair was.  :o
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline YellowHammer

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Re: Directional Felling Techniques for Narrow Tall Leaning Fence Line Trees
« Reply #56 on: January 16, 2023, 08:47:24 AM »
Some feedback, I have not dropped a tree on the fence line since I learned these techniques on this post and done probably a half mile maybe 3/4 mile or so - Thanks!

I've tried several, and have been trying as many as possible to get some practice on them.  The one I've seem to settle on most is a shallow face cut directed to a gap of trees in the woods, generally at a 45 to the fenceline, away from where my mini excavator is sitting parrallel to the fenceline.  Then I do the back cut, and I try to stop just before the kerf starts to sag and I leave it a little hinge heavy on the upstream (excavator) side for a little extra pulling wood to the woods.  Then I ease up on it with the Kubota excavator parrallel to the fence line and push and swing at the same time into the woods and the extra hinge helps pull it off the fence and swing it more than the shallow, parallel angle I can push from the fenceline with the excavator.  At that point, the top either drops clear to the ground or hangs a little, but either way its clear of the fence and in no danger or hurting it anymore.  Then I'll just finish the drop pushing it down through the canopy with the excavator if its hung, and done.

Thanks again.  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wont roll, its not a log; its still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyre burned, and you cant fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust


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