Bull Rigging a broke back pine out of my Walnut tree-and restoring it.

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
We bought this property last April and a neighbors virginia pine was broke off into our tree. I wanted to share a before and after picture and time lapse video to document this process.

Here is the tree when we bought the property in May 2018. It's practically suffocated by wild rose bushes over 12' high. I mulched them up with a stihl 460cm brush saw. Saw on a stick. Good stuff.
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Here it is a little cleaner. The broke off tree was really annoying, but I had to wait until the winter to get at it.
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So here is a good look at what I had to deal with (note the well built fence below):
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I spent quite a while taking the top off.
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And here is when my wife actually helped and we bull rigged it out in a few minutes after I'd rigged a bollard to a tulip tree with samson stable braid on the trunk side, and then used a thunder sling with cwc rope wrapped around a trailer hitch on my car on the canopy end of the tree:


It went really well and I've spent a lot of time and effort getting everything perfect so that nothing was damaged or anyone hurt and the tree was preserved as good as could be. We're gonna spread some manure around the tree and hope for a great healthy looking tree this summer. I still have a few pieces of dead wood to remove, but the pine tree is gone and that's been my main concern for the last 8 months.

I'm not a professional, so this whole experience has me very respectful of true tree pros, and proud of the successful tree removal with no damage to the fence below. Thanks for all the advice and knowledge and help you guys have given me since I joined last year. It along with my studies made this go very smoothly. I did have prior rigging experience, but I'd not climbed a tree before six months ago (or thereabouts).
 
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RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Good work TallTree! It kinda blows my mind that you bought all the gear and did all the studying you have done to learn to do what we do so you can maintain your property. I respect that. Stay safe.
 

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
Good work TallTree! It kinda blows my mind that you bought all the gear and did all the studying you have done to learn to do what we do so you can maintain your property. I respect that. Stay safe.
Thanks.


Being that high up in a tree is actually much scarier than I ever thought it would be. Trusting gear is something else also.

The exhilaration feels very much like automobile racing on road course. Scary but fun.
 

Jehinten

Well-Known Member
Good job on getting it down safely. If you don't mind me saying so it, I'd be cautious with felling a tree with the top tied up into another tree. It was hard to see in the video but it looked like the top and trunk were still connected. Its possible to introduce a lot of force into your rigging system had it not broken.

Other than that you did great and I liked that you had your wife way out of the way. A lot of rigging setups have the friction device located in the drop zone.
 

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
Good job on getting it down safely. If you don't mind me saying so it, I'd be cautious with felling a tree with the top tied up into another tree. It was hard to see in the video but it looked like the top and trunk were still connected. Its possible to introduce a lot of force into your rigging system had it not broken.

Other than that you did great and I liked that you had your wife way out of the way. A lot of rigging setups have the friction device located in the drop zone.
Thanks. The top was connected with a few strands. I preloaded the samson rope with about 750lbs. I felt like this mitigated the forces and kept shock loading down to very minimal.

I think I was pretty cautious all the way around.
 
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TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
Here's the final lay of the tree:

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It went where the hinge was pointed. The hinge wood was punky and crappy though. I cut an open face and then made a back cut and left a very wide and long hinge and put wedges in it. I hit it numerous times and the wood wanted to swallow up the wedges. It was wet and soggy, very little good usable wood for the hinge. I didn't want to be running a saw when it started falling.
 
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RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Thanks.


Being that high up in a tree is actually much scarier than I ever thought it would be. Trusting gear is something else also.

The exhilaration feels very much like automobile racing on road course. Scary but fun.
I've had a lot of guys come thru that think climbing looks easy and want to try. After a few months of saw training, I put them on some spikes for a small take down and they never want to climb again.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
you did good. It's not how I'd go about it. Seems over thought out and complicated I do admire the complex rigging plan with minimal experience. Certainly not a beginners tree, or task.

So my question to you, is if you had to do it over again what would you change? and why? That is the ultimate learning tool.

Personally I would have just topped tied the failed part of the pine to brace it, working it one chunk at a time, then let it run, dealing with the standing stick later and skipping the butt tie. Perhaps even tying the top off in the walnut, then cutting the pine top where it would fall clear of the walnut. I wasn't there, and like I said you did great developing a complex plan. The only part that makes me nervous is felling the pine with the top still attached, it's hard to predict how decayed the break is, and the forces loading the trunk is with three different loads.
 

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
Personally I would have just topped tied the failed part of the pine to brace it, working it one chunk at a time, then let it run, .
Thanks for the reply. Could you please further explain this? I do not understand what you mean. Do you mean that you would have tied the pine tip to the walnut to secure the top and then just cut it free from the part that was broke at the trunk and leaning over into the walnut and let the pieces fall?

So my question to you, is if you had to do it over again what would you change? and why? That is the ultimate learning tool.
One day while working in this tree I stood with my knees in an awkward position. It didn't hurt while I was doing it, but later in the week my knee hurt so bad I could barely walk. It took about 9 days before I was normal again. I never thought I could hurt myself so badly without causing pain.

I'm gonna be more thoughtful about those types of things going forward.
 
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