Felling Trees-Sort of Safely

Vicious_Cycle

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I never got a saw hung up from starting at the top of a branch.
But doing a bottom cut closer to the trunk first, then hitting the top a little further out gets the clean drop you mentioned and prevents the branch from splitting / tearing down the side of the trunk.
 
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Think of it as if you were falling a tree, the kerf is the face, and if you kerf the bottom far corner, then cut down from the top the limb will swing away from you as it falls. Sort of.
 
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Felling timber is like a combination of bull fighting, and quarter backing football.

Like bull fighting, you can only get so far from the action; and like quarterbacking, you need to be able to scramble out of the pocket.

So, the tree has set back on the saw and is going over the stump sideways, you need to run, but you hate to lose the saw.

FIRST, before you start to cut the tree clear two escape paths away from the tree. At about 45 degree angle back and away from the tree. Never straight back.

Then if you have to escape a fuck up and you have presence of mind, grap the starter cord handle and lean into it like a sprinter, at some point the saw wiil come free, then let go the handle and sprint to safety.
 
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Heres how. First, a close visual inspection, look for indicators of defect, rot, rotten knots, signs of fracture etc. also look at tips of the branches to see it still has twig or if the twigs and small branches are rotted away. Look to see if the bark is still tight.

Secondly, hit it with a maul or single bit axe and observe if the wood is jelly, or if its sound.

Third check to see if its completely free from the root wad and actually hanging, or is it still bearing weight on the ground.

Let me know what you find, and I'll continue.
Snail the tree is a piece of shit. Not sure how it's managed to stay upright in that spot. It's weight is sitting on the ground although it kinda drifted from it's original stump. No bark, visible clean breaks cross grain, woodpeckers holes, rot. I didn't want to even hit it with a maul so I just kinda skinned it a couple time. It shredded damp pieces off like nothing, as it rained last night... the core is still dry but not dense. Likely was an ash tree. The point of contact that keeps it from falling over is like 2 feet from the top and that's all that is really holding it.

treeD.jpg

treeE.jpgtreeF.jpgtreeG.jpg
 
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Snail

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Thats ugly. There's no safe way to cut it. But since its not still connected to the stump you can pull it down. 100' of 3/8" cable (or equivalent).

Hook it as close to the ground as you can. If you have an old wheel run the line over the top of the wheel to lift the end up.

It will come down, in chunks and pieces. If theres hanging debris stay clear for a day or so. Let the wind work on it.

If theres a solid piece left, after the wait period, throw a rope over it and pull it down too.

Don't get smashed.
 
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When you're pulling on it make sure the butt lifts and moves toward the tow...dont let it the butt dig in and pole vault the top toward you.
 
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Sounds like a good solution. Guarantee it will pluck the bottom 12 feet outta there like Jenga. Thats where the first huge crack is. Chances are the rest of it will just fall straight down, eh?
 
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Use cable or chain, rope stretches and can sling shot a chunk of wood, or break and snap back and put out an eye.
 
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How far are the sheds from the outer most branches of the supporting tree?
 

Vicious_Cycle

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Use cable or chain, rope stretches and can sling shot a chunk of wood, or break and snap back and put out an eye.
I throw it out if it's frayed, and never put it in a situation where it would see the kind of load that could break it. Just light shit.
But I guess if it slingshots wood at me, that would suck! :eek: I could see that happening.
.
 
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One might consider them under the canopy or right on the edge. I see where this is headed. Maybe more pictures and we can think about this more.
 
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Maybe a gentler pull would be better anyway. It's just propped up there like you'd lean an umbrella in the corner. One of those sheds would be smashed if the other tree hadnt caught it.
 
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Don't yank on it hard, pop it a bit, then again, and again and see if it will slither down.

Talk to the neighbor, let him know your concerns. Basically, its going to fall out of the tree someday, better to get it over with.

If you use a combination of 3/8 cable, and chain you can shorten the tow line by moving the chain on the cable.

Heres how.

Have a grab hook on one end of the chain, and a slip hook on the other end of the chain.

Have a pressed eye in the ends of the cable.

Shackle one end of the cable around the butt of the snag.

Wrap the chain (5/16 or 3/8) four times around the cable and secure it with the slip hook.

Use the grab hook end of the chain to fasten the chain to the tow rig.

If you need to shorten up, relax the pressure, and release the chain from the cable and re wrap the chain around the cable securing it with the slip hook.

Four or five wraps of the chain around the cable will not slip, gives you the ability to shorten or lengthen the tow with ease.

You can run the cable through a small block off to the side if appropriate, to get a better angle on your pull.
 
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So I switched out to the next step up chain, can tell it's about as aggressive as this saw can take. It cuts about twice as fast, but also wants to kick back more, bog easier. The chips are about 2 inches long and curly.

Having trouble managing the chips though, a few times they have jammed up the chain wheel on the end of the bar to the point it stalled the blade and I had to remove the bar and manually clean the chips from the sprocket to get it spinning freely again.
 
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Sounds like your chain is too hungry. Either your riders are too low or you have filed or ground too much hook in the teeth, or the grind or filed teeth are angled too much.

What size saw?
Close up pics of the chain, please.

If you dont use the dogs, just let the weight of the saw provide the downward pressure, does the saw cut into the wood, or do you have to apply downward pressure to make it cut?

What causes the roller tip to bind is usually the loss of chain speed due to lugging the engine.
 
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Its a Stihl MS251 18" bar cuts 16"
The chain is new right outta the box.
I think you've already answered my question. It's almost too much for it, especially if you are trying to cut logs bigger than the bar which is what I was doing when I jammed it up.
Operator error, and maybe I need a saw with more power now since I'm hooked on making the chips fly.
The wood is green too.

Mostly I'm just worried will it kill my saw? , and I want this thread to stay alive. A lot of potential in this thread.
 
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Its best if your bar is equal to the diameter of the stem, and the power should be adequate to pull the chain through the cut without bogging. You can get by with shorter bar, but the accuracy of your cuts will suffer.
 
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Check the end cuts on the decked logs...clean, accurate, nice.

In the pic of the trees in the chutte, 13 trees, after measuring and marking the cut lengths I bucked them all (3 cuts/tree) in twenty minutes. 066 mag. Sthil w/32" bar.
 
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Bowtie, I'm confused, be more specific, are you limbing felled trees or standing trees, and are you referring to the bottom of the limb?
 

bowtie

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well both at times, in some circumstances its necessary on felled trees because it relieves binding on the limb/trunk .. sometimes its just easier to limb standing stuff, cutting from the bottom up as well, I'm using a big saw so not having any binding issues, but I'm curious if there's a reason to not do this ..
 
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Depends on the size and weight of the limb, and whether you're on a ladder, or in climbing gear and also whether its pruning a yard tree or orchard tree.

Different circumstances require different techniques.
 
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