#1

Member
SE NH
We had a microburst go through the area near our camp. Lots of downed trees. The nearby campground had 10 RVs (campers, trailers, whatever the vernacular is in your area) completely crushed. Seven more were damaged. No injuries fortunately.

We had a 60 foot pine tree come down. It was far enough away that the wispy top branches just brushed our cabin. It brought down 6 other trees as it fell. Only the big one landed in the open. The rest stayed in the woods.
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This is looking from the snapped off base. ML is in the picture for scale.
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The following weekend we hauled up our gear to begin the removal. This is pine and not worth the work for firewood. Though we did save a bit for campfire wood. We have spent three weekends working on this.

This is ML cutting.
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All the brush and wood was dragged to the clearing edge and dumped over an embankment. This pile is about 10 feet deep and 20 feet long. A lot of brush.
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Lastly we had about 25 feet of 24 inch diameter trunk that we removed yesterday.

Our big saw has a 20 inch bar. I had to cut this from both sides as the tree is wider than my saw.  After cutting about half way through the weight of the two pieces settled and would bind the saw. The trunk is to big roll to complete the cut. ML hammered in plastic felling wedges. This re-opens the cut and holds it open. The wedges are plastic as opposed to metal in case you hit them with the saw. Better to destroy a $5 wedge than a $29 chain
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I insert the saw in the kerf and complete the cut. I still have to cut from both sides due to the diameter.
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We pushed, pulled, used a timber jack and cussed to get the logs rolled to the woods and over the embankment. The logs were about 5 feet long.
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This is the area all cleared. Such a lovely sight to see after all that work.
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Next weekend we can relax the whole weekend, Whew, I am looking forward to that Smile

Rebus Knebus and Asafiev like this post
#2

Merchant
Central Maine
Lots of folks don't know how hard working with full size trees is.

Phil, If I'm butting in where input isn't desired just ignore me. But at one time I made a bad living chopping for a gent who yarded wood with horses. I had just moved to our present AO (area of operation) and did anything to put bread on the table while looking for a better job with higher pay.

There is another way that doesn't use wedges and is much faster. If you make a plunge cut* near the bottom and be sure you cut through (don't hit a rock- I feel for the saw to break through below), then cut up, the kerf wil actually enlarge with no binding. Of course it depends on which way the pressure is exerted whether or not one cuts from the bottom. Too, it's not done if the log is right on the ground. If that's the case I just mark the place to make the cut, or cut 1/2 way through and move on. At some point I'll be able to roll the log over to make or finish the cut even if I'm forced to use a peavy.

If you cut the hung up trees still in the forest be careful. I always hated doing that and still do. Check above for dead branches that could come down. They always come down base first and can act like a spear. Even if they don't it won't be pleasant. When I do it I always cut some multiple of the stove length that I'm cutting and cut it to final length when it's down. I cut almost all the way through and kick the tree "over" snapping what I didn't cut. Be careful as the branches will come down on top of you if you don't allow yourself room. I try always to leave some lean into the tree that the hungup tree is on. If that becomes an angle where the hungup can fall out of the holding tree it becomes very dangerous since it could fall with no control. Once it just a few inches around just push it over.

*To make a plunge cut the chain must be sharp, slightly sharp or "I think it's sharp" doesn't cut it. Then using full rpm and the bottom edge of the tip the cut is started. As the cut deepens the entire tip is inserted (full rpm). Do that too soon or if the chain isn't sharp and you'll get kickback; not good. But once the cut is deep enough kickback is impossible, so it can't be hurried. It can also be started with the top edge of the chain to get what you need to prevent kickback, then start the plunge cut. A similar technique is used to cut down a 60" tree with a 16" bar except the plunge cut is made horizontally. I spent an entire winter almost 40 years ago cutting huge pine like that with a 16" bar. One butt log was so big no mill could handle it. I had to waste 18' of it (clear pine, big $) to get it small enough so that they could; that was the 60" tree. We only had one of those monsters, but there were other trees where I had to use the plunge cut technique to fell them. When cutting out the wedge one is actually working inside and under the mass of the tree. It's never done on a windy day, or I never did. One only has a tree that massive fall on oneself once, so a still day, or at most a light breeze is a must to help control the direction of fall. Of course commercially it's all done by heavy equip' today. But the woodlot owner still uses these techniques.

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Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
#3

Member
SE NH
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2018, 12:57 PM by PhilNH5.)
Brian,
No offense taken. Good advice is always welcomed.

We were able to undercut the top 35 feet of the tree when needed. We could not for the 25 feet we cut on Saturday. Turns out when the tree fell it dug a 8 foot long 10 inch deep hole to rest in. Part of the trunk was below grade!

I have used plunge cuts to fell trees. The big Stihl is powerful and sharp enough to handle that. I don't like doing it on the ground. My first clue that this trunk was below grade was a shower of sparks. The chain was in the dirt and hitting rocks.

I use the term timberjack but it is actually a cant hook expressly for rolling logs. We used that to get the last of the trunk out of the ground. The trunk was so heavy and oval shaped that we couldn't roll it completely so the wedges were still needed. But we got through it.

This tree was the most technically challenging saw job of my 20 years of chainsaw use. Some of the ground side branches were forced 5 feet into the dirt. All sorts of unexpected stress from unexpected directions were on the trunk. We spent a lot more time looking, planning and making decisions than actual cutting Smile


We did drop the worst of the leaners. Yes they scare us. I can do it but have a healthy fear the entire time - for all of the reasons you mention.
We each have the chainsaw helmets. When cutting dropped trees we still wear them for the hearing protection and face shields. When cutting the leaning hung up trees the hard hats are a must.

I must say I am glad it is over.

ShadowsDad and Asafiev like this post
#4

Merchant
Central Maine
I figured you knew, but I had to make sure. Too, you never know who else reads these things. I learned to cut out of a book, "Barnacle ParpsChainsaw book", or some such. It's dated today but the knowledge is good for the home logger. Do what he says today and if a forester saw the results ones license would be pulled. Things have changed.

That's the pits to see sparks. That turns chips into sawdust and I automatically see sparks as the message to get out the file and resharpen. It's also a good time for harsh words. A dull saw is an invitation to disaster.
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.
#5

Member
SE NH
(07-23-2018, 02:27 PM)ShadowsDad Wrote: I figured you knew, but I had to make sure. Too, you never know who else reads these things. I learned to cut out of a book, "Barnacle ParpsChainsaw book", or some such. It's dated today but the knowledge is good for the home logger. Do what he says today and if a forester saw the results ones license would be pulled. Things have changed.

That's the pits to see sparks. That turns chips into sawdust and I automatically see sparks  as the message to get out the file  and resharpen. It's also a good time for harsh words. A dull saw is an invitation to disaster.

Yes. I stopped immediately. Fortunately the chain was not in bad shape. A quick touch up with the round file had it sharp again. We half rolled the log out of the ground and one cut to finish getting through. It was the last cut of the day.

I have on my "to do" list to give the saw a thorough sharpening. I sharpen in the field with every tank of gas. Takes five minutes to use the round file and also allows the engine to cool prior to refilling with gas. I dislike putting gas into hot equipment.

But as mentioned in the other firewood thread I much prefer sharpening at home. Saw on a work table is much easier to work on than in the woods.
#6

Merchant
Central Maine
I agree on the bench filing. I put the bar in a honkin' huge vise, engine in the air, and tighten the chain to remove movement. Lots of times just slacking up the bar lock nuts allows the engine to tilt back getting that job done.

In the field, I agree, last resort for sharpening, I put a deep groove in a log to sink the bar into, tighten the chain, and go to it. But I'm never happy doing that. I'd rather just grab the 2nd saw and keep fingers crossed that I don't pinch the bar, as I won't be able to cut the pinched bar out of the tree.
Brian. Lover of SE razors. Maker of Krampert's Finest Products.


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