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Author Topic: To push or cut?  (Read 3229 times)

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Offline metalspinner

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To push or cut?
« on: January 26, 2006, 06:52:01 PM »
Hi All!
  A friend has five acres of wooded property.  He wants to clear about an acre and will saw the wood for lumber.  Does it matter if the timber is pushed over or should it be sawn down?  These are typical east Tennessee hardwoods - oaks, poplars, walnuts, etc.
Thanks!
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.

Offline Tom

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2006, 07:05:52 PM »
Almost all sawyers would rather that trees be cut down rather than pushed.   When a heavy piece of equipment pushes a tree, it can break it up inside.  Backhoe teeth punch  holes in it and pushing the log arouond in the dirt grinds dirt and stones into the bark. 

Trees should be handled gently.

It's unfortunately common to cut a high stump, if you saw, to give the bulldozer something to get hold of when he pushes.  This wastes a lot of the best wood on the tree. 

You'll have to reach a happy medium between what you want the most, good lumber or cleared land.  Allowing enough time for the job is the only way to get both.  :)
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Offline Larry

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2006, 07:21:01 PM »
Fastest and cheapest way for a dozer to clear land is to push over whole trees....the weight helps to tip it.  Most of the time the logs arent worth sawing because of fiber pull.  I can work around the dirt and crud in the bark....no way to correct fiber pull.

Compromise would be to cut the tree ahead of time and leave a 3' high stump.  Gives the dozer something to push on and if the logs are high value might be the best solution.
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Offline Coon

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2006, 07:42:24 PM »
First of all what size of dozer is going to be used???  If it is big enough the you don't have to worry about leaving high stumpys.  A local farmer here laughed at me when he asked if I wanted a whole bunch of his trees for either sawlogs or firewood.  He laughed because I knew that he was going to be clearing up the fence line with his cat and I asked him if he wanted me to leave him with high stumps.  He says that when you have a D9 you don't have to worry about that cuz they'll come out one way or another.  So I fell all of the trees as low as I could do so safely.  He came in with the cat as I just finished loading the last load of firewood and I watched him for a while.  The D9 didn't even work hard to push out those stumps... 8) :o 8) :o
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Offline Tillaway

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2006, 08:45:02 PM »
For clearing out here excavators are used instead of dozers.  You can grab stumps and pull, kind of like pulling teeth, or dig.   They need a thumb or a clam bucket to do this well.  Most of the guys out here use the clam buckets now.  If you use a dozer then try and find one with a stump splitter.  We usually cut short stumps and the excavator decks logs and pulls stumps at the same time.
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2006, 12:04:02 AM »
To retain timber values, we cut the stumps as low as possible even on land clearings. As stated above, the proper equipment has no problem removing the stumps and you have not lost the timber values properly logged prior to clearing.
~Ron

Offline BBK

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2006, 07:15:06 AM »
Almost all sawyers would rather that trees be cut down rather than pushed.   When a heavy piece of equipment pushes a tree, it can break it up inside.  Backhoe teeth punch  holes in it and pushing the log arouond in the dirt grinds dirt and stones into the bark. 

Trees should be handled gently.

It's unfortunately common to cut a high stump, if you saw, to give the bulldozer something to get hold of when he pushes.  This wastes a lot of the best wood on the tree. 

You'll have to reach a happy medium between what you want the most, good lumber or cleared land.  Allowing enough time for the job is the only way to get both.  :)

I have cleared a lot of land working for highway contrators over the years. As a family farm we have had a sawmill for 4 generations  and have some experience  in this. Pushing the trees over and then bucking out the logs is the easiest for the clearing operation but problematic for the logs. No matter how careful you are with a loader, dozer or excavator the tree gets stressed causing damage. If the trees you are going to salvage have top grade lumber in them you stand tthe chance of loosing a lot by bucking after the trees are down. If you are looking to saw out construction grade, lagging or pallet lumber or fence boards it will not cause much of a  problem.
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Offline woodmills1

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2006, 09:45:17 AM »
Watching a good sized excavator with an experienced operator is like a symphony. :D
James Mills,Lovely wife,collect old tools,vacuuming fool,36 bdft/hr,oak paper cutter,ebonic yooper rapper nauga seller, Blue Ox? its not fast, 2 cat family, LT70,edger, 375 bd ft/hr, we like Bob,free heat,no oil 12 years,big splitter, baked stuffed lobster, still cuttin the logs dere IAM

Offline Tom

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2006, 10:10:15 AM »
James,
I know that a good operator could take a tree down with little stress but most heavy equipment operators working for land-clearing companies look at trees as obstacles that must be removed, not treasures to be saved.   To take a tree down with little stress requires a bit of digging and finesse'.

I just sawed pine that was pushed but bucked by the owner before being moved.  It turned out OK, but, the equipment operator that stacked it, according to instructions, made a pile.   It was pushed into two piles, full of dirt, with logs looking like pickup sticks.  The best thing that could be said for it as that the logs weren't in the way of the house being built. 

The log owner found out that I was serious when I said I wouldn't cut logs that were full of dirt.  He had a heck of a job retrieving his logs from the mess that the operator left him.
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Offline Engineer

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2006, 10:10:46 AM »
Best way to do the job is cut the trees at ground level to maximize the butt log, and then get the APPROPRIATE machine in there to stump it out.  My experience with construction & earthmoving leads me to think that the best machine is a large (40-ton class) hydraulic excavator with a thumb.  It's easy to pick the stump, shake out the dirt, and pile it for either burning or load it in a dump truck.  Then you can scrape around, get feeder roots, fill in the stump hole, etc.  Always the cleanest way.    Using a big dozer just gets you a big pile of dirt and rocks and stumps all mixed up and that's no way to work.    I have a JD 690-D with a thumb at my house right now, with a set of keys that the owner made sure to tell me where he put 'em.  Don't think for a minute that every stump on the land isn't getting picked out and piled during the weekends.....   8)

Offline metalspinner

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Re: To push or cut?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2006, 10:48:16 AM »
Thanks everyone for the quick and thourough responses.  Now I know it would take a very careful operator - and luck -  to push down and get a good saw log.  I will pass this thread onto my friend to let him know what the experts say. :)
I do what the little voices in my wife's head tell me to do.


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