Difficult leaning tree felling

Discussion in 'Other Skills' started by renol, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. renol

    renol Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Des Plaines, IL
    I'll add a disclaimer before I get started: I'm looking for thoughts as to how something could be accomplished. I am not of a skill level I would feel comfortable doing it myself, so I won't be doing it myself right now.

    My folks have some rural property that I help out with when I can. After a bad wind storm we had a big oak fall over and wedge a fork onto another tall oak. As a result it's leaning at a good 45 degrees and wedged in pretty good. The tree is probably a good 30-40 feet long and maybe 24" in diameter so we're talking a lot of wood and weight.

    Having looked at it I'd say there are a few possible solutions.

    1.) Climb up the living vertical tree and cut the small fork piece (maybe 8" diameter) from above and let the dead tree fall. Possible drawbacks are swaying live tree sending the cutter flying.

    2.) Perform an undercut halfway along the leaning tree and anchor the bottom half to make sure it doesn't roll back onto the feller and hope the fork half falls far enough down to fall away from the wedged tree.

    3.) Cut the living vertical tree down and back away to a spot where any rolling tree would be blocked by something else.

    So which of these seems the most likely option? Is there something else I'm missing as an option?

    Again just looking for thoughts as to how a pro might do it.

    Also MODS - if this is in the wrong spot please feel free to delete and/or move.
     
  2. RavenLoon

    RavenLoon axology student Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    3,262
    Location:
    U.P. Michigan
    I know of a couple professional tree cutters that died dealing with a situation like this. Be careful. The loggers I know try incorporating a winch or the grapple on a skidder.
     
  3. Zunga

    Zunga Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2017
    Messages:
    4,596
    Likes Received:
    20,889
    Location:
    British Columbia
    I've watched professionals do similar with climbing gear of option 1. I should qualify they were nervous about it. They were working a medium cedar. Hung up on a big fir. Very different from oak. My advice would be hire a professional faller. Watch him closely if you can. See how he tackles it. Next wind storm you will be better equipped.
    Cheers Jim
     
    Winterhorse, central joe and mugsy like this.
  4. mugsy

    mugsy Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 5, 2017
    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    5,842
    Location:
    Albany NY
    Without a pic cant make ANY sound suggestions.
     
    Sinjin, Winterhorse and central joe like this.
  5. Gruxxx

    Gruxxx Guide Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    2,514
    IMO, when it comes to tree cutting where you feel like you're in over your head, call a professional. Check that, call at least 3 professionals. Tree cutting is one is those services where you can get wildly different quotes. I recently started cutting down 2 maple trees at my rental property. I cabled and cut what I could with the help of a tow strap, come along, and extension ladder. That represented a a solid 50% on the lower half these 35'-40' trees. My roof and too many electric wires made it uncomfortable for me to risk cutting any more. I left messages for 6 tree services; 3 of which called me back. They gave me quotes from $100 to $350 per tree. Needless to say, I felt good about paying $200 to have someone else scale these trees like a monkey to take the rest down safely.
     
    NattyBo, Winterhorse and central joe like this.
  6. Swampdog

    Swampdog Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,193
    Likes Received:
    2,956
    Location:
    Florida
    If your gut instinct tells you not to attempt it, DON'T DO IT.

    4.) Call a professional with access to a tractor, log skidder, or big truck that can run a cable or logging chain around the dead tree and pull it down. Never fell the supporting tree in an effort to get a hung-up tree down.
     
    TAHAWK, Winterhorse and central joe like this.
  7. central joe

    central joe Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    5,942
    Likes Received:
    33,199
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    +1 on call a pro. young fellar. You can get in trouble REAL fast with a tree like that. joe
     
    NattyBo and Winterhorse like this.
  8. Saddleburr

    Saddleburr Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2017
    Messages:
    347
    Likes Received:
    533
    Location:
    Indiana
    Without skill, equipment and winching capability don’t attempt it. It is not worth the risk.
     
    Jim L., NattyBo and central joe like this.
  9. TWill

    TWill Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    2,693
    Location:
    central MN west of Twin Cities
    I can sit here and imagine what it might look like and what I think I would want to or not want to do. Mostly my thoughts all run toward how quick a good plan can turn into a mess with things like this. How much do you feel it needs to be taken off of the live tree? Is it in a spot where there is a pressing need to bring it down? Is it just taunting you and making you want to teach it a lesson? The stories of professional loggers and weekend woodcutters who were guests of honor at their last family and friends gathering are no joke....too many have been made into busted up versions of their former selves. Get some pros out to look it over and see what it will cost if they think it is reasonable to cut it.
     
    Jim L. likes this.
  10. Sandcut

    Sandcut 3% Neanderthal Vendor

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    7,311
    Location:
    Gouldsboro, PA
    I had a similar situation 7-8 years ago with a cherry tree that came down in the fork of a big maple. I got around it by renting a tow behind cherry picker hoist. I positioned it so that I could cut all of the top branches out of it until it was just the trunk sticking slightly above the fork. I then positioned the picker so that I was clear of where the tree would fall, then undercut the leaning tree just beneath where it was hung up in the fork so that it would fall free. It worked well for the way that it was wedged.
     
    TWill and Jim L. like this.
  11. Vanitas

    Vanitas Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,131
    Likes Received:
    5,746
    Location:
    New England
    Spider lift with a hydraulic saw is safest ;p

    It can be done with climbing and rigging safely but you need experience to do it so no go for you... for you're own safety. Just so you are aware homeowner deaths are up there with professional deaths in number every year. Nearly every large storm a homeowner or two bites the dust. Over 60% of them are struck bys, meaning what they cut crashed down upon thee. Hell almost 10% are people dumb enough to stand in the uprooted area when they cut and the root ball crushes them when it drops back into place... 15% get knocked off or just fall off a ladder... 5% try and free climb a tree and fall out... yada yada. Arborcultural work is the most dangerous job on land. If you subtract out the landscapers the Feds lump them in with then per 100000 workers it bounces back and forth with ocean fishing and logging for the #1 most deadly job. We only know this because the TCIA keeps track not the Feds. The most disturbing Statistic is that a small study was done that if it holds true for the industry then it is by FAR the most dangerous as that study contends we hover around 160 deaths per 100000 workers. The study followed 5,160 Tree Workers for 5 years of which 42 died. This puts us at 162 deaths per 100K workers per year. To put this in perspective Logging in 2016 was 135 and fishing 86.
     
    TWill, Jim L., Harper and 2 others like this.
  12. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    5,038
    Location:
    southern california
    If you don't already have significant experience falling trees don't do stuff that way over your head, literally.
    If the direction is leaning is critical and topping still puts branches in perilous proximity to structures or immovable items ,cables need to be used to secure the tree so it falls where it is safe.
    I've done it this way and the pucker factor is really high .In my calculations time of day wind and the way limbs are weighting the tree in a given direction, Even a potential twist during the fall is calculated in . in a 200' pine tree I've had the tip with in 10' of the target , bringing it down opposite of it's natural lean .(using cable and wench for security )
    That was about 40 odd years ago.
    Currently I have a similar challenge with trees less stable than green pine (Poplar) , I may have to use a bit more ingenuity to over come, especially at my age . I didn't have the photo capabilities then but I fully intend to document this future endeavor .
    Poplar trees unlike pine an others have a pithy core ,not something you can use for making things and barely good for fire wood . This makes felling different during the cut relying more on the perimeter of the tree for the hinge rather than the core. I may do exploratory cuts to confirm my suspicions but never assume things to go normal , cause they are not .
    Especially if wind is a factor , I practice my escape routes ,dropping the saw and running is not chicken , especially with the unpredictable. Hinges can give way and the trunk can pop out any where simply because of the wind change.
    I have 2 Poplar and 2 Eucalyptus 5 and 10 feet apart ,leaning toward the house and the barn ,way too much fun .
    Eucalyptus is a fun wood to being brittle and tough all the way through , talk about dense wood .it 's not something you use for building things and most folk don't like it because it burns oily ,but I like the fragrance. Some folk refer to Eucalyptus trees a widow makers due to their shallow root system and the tendency to be extremely heavy and fall on their own .
    Much as I like the shade these trees provide especially during the summer, with changes in the weather and stronger winds in the future ,I dare not leave these in place.
     
    TWill likes this.
  13. KFF

    KFF Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    Messages:
    521
    Likes Received:
    2,020
    Location:
    Finland
    Option 4 as stated, call a pro, don't get hurt just to show your dad you maybe might be lucky this time.
    If you are short on experience, ask the pro to show you how and why he does it the way he does.
     
    TWill and Swampdog like this.
  14. Jim L.

    Jim L. Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,505
    Likes Received:
    6,279
    Location:
    Brunswick, Georgia
    Ask me how I know that a metal shed will support about 2000 lbs. A pre-Mathew tropical storm made a 5 ton widow maker 20 ft. over my work shop.
     
    TWill likes this.
  15. Shane ohearon

    Shane ohearon Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2018
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    110
    Cut timber for over 20 years. First and foremost. DO NOT CLIMB THE TREE! Call a professional tree service. End of story. I could go into great detail several accidents I've personally seen. It's not worth your life no matter what the cost of taking the tree down may be.
     
    gohammergo, TWill and Jim L. like this.
  16. MrFixIt

    MrFixIt Old Jarhead Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2014
    Messages:
    18,549
    Likes Received:
    71,091
    Location:
    Bogart, GA
    So, what did you do @renol ?
     
    NattyBo likes this.

Share This Page