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Author Topic: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground  (Read 14047 times)

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Offline Bill E

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Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« on: January 21, 2007, 11:19:40 PM »
Hello all,

I have several Western Hemlocks about a foot in diameter which toppled over from laminated root rot and hung up in neighboring trees at about a 45 degree angle. 

Sawing down the holding tree was not an option in one case (its a huge cedar which I want to retain) and I quickly figured it wasn't much of an idea in looking at the other.  A conclusion confirmed by reading earlier posts this evening.

Don't have any heavy equipment and it didn't look like I could pull them off to the side.  Maybe could have used a cant hook or lever described elsewhere to rotate them off.  But didn't.

Instead on advice of a non professional and friend, I cut partially through the fallen tree from the top and then from the bottom at about chest height.  And then repeated cutting sections until the remaining parts of the trees are now at a steep enough angle I figure I can pull them back and to the side with a come-along.

Cutting the leaning trees made me somewhat nervous but didn't encouter problems with these trees anyhow.

Question - Is this an accepted practice?  Any better options?

Thanks,
Bill

Offline sawguy21

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2007, 11:30:47 PM »
I wouldn't try that. If the remaining section comes loose while you are cutting, you won't be able to move fast enough. A winch cable is a much safer option but others here have a lot more experience than I in these situations.
old age and treachery will always overcome youth and enthusiasm

Offline Brian Beauchamp

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2007, 11:31:53 PM »
Were you cutting alone?

Offline chet

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2007, 11:41:50 PM »
Bill, I use that method quite often. Another method I use, is to "tie" the tree that is leaning into the other tree, and lower it as I remove sections from the bottom.
Though I use these practices in my professional operation, I would never advise anyone else to try them. These are extremely dangerous operations if not properly trained.
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

Offline Bill E

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2007, 11:48:23 PM »
Good point, Brian.  Was alone for the first one.  Thought better of it and had my wife observe on the second (with her cell phone).

See what you mean about tieing the top of the tree, Chet.  Is the main hazard then the trunk of the tree splitting or shattering as its cut?

Bill

Offline chet

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2007, 11:58:08 PM »
Honestly there are many hazards. And each and every situation presents its own. That is what makes it so dangerous to the untrained individual.
I am a true TREE HUGGER, if I didnt I would fall out!  chet the RETIRED arborist

Offline Kevin

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2007, 07:20:19 AM »
Bill;
Invest in a portable winch for under a hundred bucks, you're worth it.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2007, 07:26:13 AM »
While I won't say I haven't done it, what you are describing is about as dangerous as it gets.  Things happen real fast and the direction in which they happen is really not controllable, though to preserve log lenths I have pulled this trick while standing on the FOPS of the tractor.  Did I say that? :o :o
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 snowman

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007, 08:40:30 AM »
The best and safest way, if possible, is to cripple your leaner with a cut in top and bottom like you were doing but don't go all the way through. Then find a tree far enough and big enough away to smash through it and bring the whole works down. Just be sure your behind a big enough tree to keep anything that might come your way off your head when everything blows up.Did i say safe? :D Is anything in the woods safe? The method you used is called picket fencing because the pieces you cut off tend to stick in the ground from the pressure. I actually did this myself just the other day, a big cedar snag that had fallen into a birch.I was standing in waist deep snow,nowhere to run, nowhere to hide should something go wrong. The whole time i was doing it I was thinking, boy is this dumb.  :)

Offline Ga_Boy

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2007, 11:41:45 AM »
I use 150' of line with a couple of snatch blocks to make a block and tackle rig.  Hook this to your tractor or truck and pull in a safe direction.

I have used this method to pull trees in a desirable direction when felling and removing hung trees.  With limited equipment you can do a lot of work with a good Bull Line and a few pullys.




Mark
10 Acers in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Offline Polly

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2007, 01:55:58 PM »
 8) 8) this is what actually happened to me a couple years ago ,the tree about six to eight inches diameter probly thirty ft tall was leaning in another tree mebby thirty degree angle or less i cut it about all the way through from top , stopped and looked for any problems seeing none i cut it through rest of way , the trunk of the tree went straight up about fifteen ft or so and then came straight down taking my glove off my hand and landing on top of my saw this happened in a matter of seconds  ,thank goodness the lord takes care of us hillbellies ::) ::)

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2007, 05:14:11 PM »
I question the wisdom of even considering sawing the holding tree, as you said in the beginning of your post. 

We had a logger do that in these parts for 20 years.  If a tree fell into another tree, he simply went and cut that tree down.  He didn't do it for 21 years. 
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline Don K

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2007, 06:47:55 PM »
I have cut leaners like that before and while the hair was standing up on the back of my neck the whole time, I was wishing that I had another viable option at the time. These were storm trees and had already died. 8 to 12 inch pines complete with dead limbs. I guess God allows fools to live to tell the story on occasion.   :D :D
Lucky to own a WM LT40HDD35, blessed to have a wife that encouraged me to buy it.     Now that\'s true love!
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2007, 09:14:52 PM »
chainsaw "Russian Roullette". smiley_skull
~Ron

Offline Bill E

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2007, 10:23:30 PM »
Thanks for the advice everyone.   I put my chainsaw away.

I'm focusing on one hung tree which is now about 8" diameter at the base, 3" at the top and about 35' long.  The angle between the ground and the hung tree is about 60 degrees.

The top five feet or so is hooked between two live trees -- so I got no where trying to pull it out to the side with my half inch rope come-along.  It just bends the live trees.

So it looks like the advice I'm getting boils down to rigging a pully set up that will lift the top of the hanger back more upright so it is clear of the other trees and can then be pulled off to the side while being lowered.  I think I saw rigging like this when I searched other threads and a calculation of the stesses.   

Kevin and Mark mentioned a portable winch and a bull line with snatch blocks.  Does a half inch rope come-along qualify or would you advise heavier rope and gear?

Does anyone think pulling the base backwards or sideways would work given the weight pushing it down into softish soil?

Thanks again for the help.

Bill

Offline Gary_C

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #15 on: January 22, 2007, 11:03:51 PM »
If that tree is completely cut off from the stump, yes you should be able to pull it straight back untill it is clear. You will either have to lift and pull or get something under the base to keep it from digging into the ground.
Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

Offline woodmills1

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2007, 08:36:13 AM »
I use my tractor winch to pull them back in a straight line.  When they are heavy they tend to sink into the ground at the butt so I have dug some dirt in front of the path first.
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 Kevin

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2007, 12:48:41 PM »
Bill;
With a block you can redirect the pull up and away to take weight off the butt.
A half inch rope is plenty if it's a good rope like the hard lay tree master three strand.
If the pull is too great a mechanical advantage will increase the pull of your winch.
Smarter is safer, sometimes looking and setting up take a little more time than just jumping in with both feet but the job gets done with more ease than expected.
If you need help with setting it up just ask away.


Offline 59Billy

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #18 on: January 23, 2007, 01:44:02 PM »
Bill;
With a block you can redirect the pull up and away to take weight off the butt.
...

That's one of those things that seems obvious -- AFTER somebody shows it to you!

I'll be filing that idea way until I need it.

Offline Bill E

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Re: Cutting hung tree in sections from ground
« Reply #19 on: January 23, 2007, 02:56:55 PM »
Great.  Thanks a lot Kevin and all.  This is what I will do.

Bill


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