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Author Topic: tipping a leaner  (Read 1410 times)

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Offline oldbones

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tipping a leaner
« on: December 25, 2013, 04:47:13 PM »
How much can you tip a tree with a little lean in it?

My kid and I misjudged yesterday and ended up pinched, with a chain. (An old one, fortunately.)

We were trying to get a 24-inch white pine with only the slightest hint of lean to go over the other way. The tree wasn't having any of it. I don't know whether ice weighted needles from the recent storm are a factor in the equation.

In any case, I'm curious how much success guys have steering a tree against its natural inclination.

Offline CCC4

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2013, 04:59:57 PM »
That's a pretty vague question. I assume it sat back on you? You can get away with alot on pine with a lean or sweeps. It depends on what kind of ground (sloped or not), depends on the type of lean (head or back lean), depends on where the lean is (body mass or top lean), there are tons of variables that can come to play.

Could ya give a better layout of your scenario?

I just re-read your post, if you have ice in the tops, thats adds an entirely different scenario! Ice can override lean for sure! You have really got to pay attention to where the ice is in the tops. I fell a strip of pine a few days after an ice storm here a couple weeks ago. It's pretty tricky and layout of your timber is shot to the wind. When the sun comes out and melts part of the ice off....that is again a whole nother ball game! Ice covered tops are about as bad as you can mess with IMO.

Offline Huskstihl

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2013, 05:33:53 PM »
I wasn't there so I don't know what I woulda done for sure, but on a back leaner you want to get a wedge in the back cut ASAP.  If it's leaning more than a little, I'll actually make the back cut first in order to get a few wedges in before pinching becomes an issue

Offline oldbones

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2013, 05:37:47 PM »
Well, nothing here is entirely level. Getting trees to fall uphill is usually futile, but often you can succeed getting the stem to go sidehill. The slope goes down to the east.

The tree was in a relatively flat spot, and it "seemed" straight. There was an opening to the south, and we figured we could tip it.

Wrong.

I suppose it is possible the with the opening to the south, more ice could have melted on that side, creating an imbalance we didn't figure on.

In any case, I don't have much success tipping trees. I never thought of starting with a partial back cut.


Offline shelbycharger400

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2013, 06:48:14 PM »
Chain cable and come a long,  a lot better chance to get em to go where you want

Offline thenorthman

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2013, 12:45:55 AM »
This is a pretty loaded question... It all depends on what each tree is telling you.  Some don't want to be tipped, some want to be pulled, others need to be swung, everyone is different.

However...  with wedges I've moved the top upwards of 6 feet (we're talking some tall PNW timber here...) more if you stack the wedges.  With a jack I've pushed one about 12' to fall where I wanted it, jacking is not for the faint of heart though...

Swinging trees gets a little more interesting, with wedges and the proper cuts you can easily park it 90 deg from its lean, more if your better at swinging them,  Think the farthest I've swung one without a wedge was around 110 degrees, not quite a full 180 but way more then 90...

If your anywhere near buildings or ahem high value collateral targets, rope it off and pull it where it needs to go, often times even if its leaning the right way I still want a rope in there...

And you should just get in the habit of sticking a wedge in as soon as there is room, even if its leaning the right way, at least then if it does sit back all you have to do to fix the situation is beat on some wedges.
well that didn't work

Offline jd_odell

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2013, 01:40:11 AM »
A decent and easily understood article on utilizing wedges for backlean: 

http://www.forestapps.com/tips/wedge/wedge.htm

Offline John Mc

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2013, 04:01:31 PM »
Oldbones -  I see you are in VT. What town? (I'm in the Champlain Valley, Monkton, to be specific).

You might want to look up "Northeast Woodland Training".  They're based in Chester, VT and put on "Game of Logging" classes throughout the state, as well as in neighboring states. They can show you some great techniques for putting trees exactly where you want them, including "leaners". (I have no connection to the company, other than that of a satisfied customer.)

If you are not to far from me, I'd be happy to give you a demonstration.

John Mc

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline celliott

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2013, 04:28:30 PM »
+1 to what John Mc said.

The beauty of the GOL method is that you can set your hinge (borecut), set your wedges, and the tree is still safely attached to the stump. You can add 2 (or more) wedges, tap them in, and then if the tree does lean back when you cut the holding wood, it won't sit on your bar, it sits on the wedges. You can then proceed to hammer the wedges in, and "wedge it over". Stacked wedges can make a hard leaner go right where you want it.

The GOL method (or swedish felling technique, open face bore cut method, what have you) may not be the fastest way to get timber on the ground, but IMO it is the safest way to drop trees with a chainsaw.

If you are the Northern VT area (I'm in Danville) the Northwoods Stewardship Center in West Charleston offers GOL classes every now and then, all 4 levels. I also would be happy to demonstrate the method to you, depending on where you are located in our great Green Mountain State  8)
Chris Elliott

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Offline John Mc

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2013, 06:25:24 PM »
The classes offered at the Northwoods Stewardship center are taught by Northeast Woodland Training. Their home page (at the link provided earlier) has a linnk to their calendar of upcoming courses.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline CCC4

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2013, 06:47:24 PM »
oldbones, I think I would take these guys up on coming out and giving you a hand. Their offer is very nice and I have zero doubt that you can learn from them.

Very nice offer guys!  smiley_beertoast

Offline James Arsenault

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2013, 10:19:34 PM »
Oldbones, don't know how much icing you have after the recent storm, but our trees are heavily weighted with ice here. A definite game-changer.

Frozen, brittle white pine trunks with everything ice-laden above are what I'm dealing with now. And a million hardwoods bent under the weight of their own ice that are plugging up every avenue of fall for the big pines. You know, small hardwoods that are supposed to remain intact throughout the job.

I've got whole swaths of good pine I can't cut now due to the hardwoods in the way(I have to wait until they drop their ice, hoping they straighten enough to work by), or the ice-load on the tops of the pines causing too much top weight for the frozen trunks, to throw the trees anywhere but where the ice weight is pulling them.

I've gotten carried away. Yes, ice weight can over-exaggerate a tree's weight on the lean side, or side with the heaviest/most branches. 


Offline John Mc

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2013, 10:58:01 AM »
Yeah, if you can afford to, it might be better to just wait for some of the ice to melt off. It certainly does complicate things.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2013, 01:18:50 PM »
Also a lot safer with less chance of a barber chair. :o
Manage 80 acre tree farm in central Missouri and Mesquite timber and about a gozillion saguaros in Arizona.

Offline oldbones

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2013, 02:28:30 PM »
John Mc--

Surprise. I too am in Monkton.

We--mostly my kid--finished cutting the heavily iced pine on Friday. The last tree was 30" diameter at the butt. He pulled it with his skidder, which he moved this morning to a new job. (I'm an amateur, with a tractor and an old Farmi.) The first load of pine--4500 board feet--has already been trucked. We've got another two truck loads on the landing, one of pine and one of hardwood.

I have attended several Game of Logging sessions. When I try to tip a tree the way the instructors demonstrated, it's never the same as when they were doing the cutting. I can do ok if I don't try to be too ambitious in making a tree behave against it's instincts.

At my first GOL session Soren Eriksson was the instructor. He could just about make a tree stand on its head. The most important lesson he taught was to think ahead. I usually only mess up when I rush or get sloppy when I'm tired. I only cut in my own woods. and I can take my time. My kid is trying to make a living in the woods. He's often in a hurry. "It's about production, Dad." Besides he hasn't taken his father's advice for about 15 years.

Thanks for all the good responses.

John Mc--send me a PM and I'll give you my phone #




Offline John Mc

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Re: tipping a leaner
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2013, 03:22:47 PM »
Oldbones -  I sent you a PM

LeeK here on FF is from Monkton as well.  If we keep it up, we may have the highest per-capita Forestry Forum participation of any town on the forum (not hard to do when you're in a town of less than 2000).

I wish I had the opportunity to meet Soren Eriksson. All of my instructors have been current employees of Northeast Woodland Training. All of them have been great instructors.  I've been through levels 1-4, and their "Storm Damage Cleanup" class.  I've been trying to convince them to teach a low-impact logging / logging with small equipment class (ATVs and/or small tractors), but it hasn't happened yet.

I've had pretty good luck with using wedges to tip over back-leaners following their guidelines. Just to see if I could do it, I once dropped a tree that took a wedge stacked on top of a 3"+ cookie in the back cut to bring it over. It was an interesting experience working my way up to the point where I could bring it down.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow


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