Nast Nasty Tree

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
This was probably the worst lightning struck tree I've seen still standing. They brought me up from about 90min south to do it for them. I was worried but not too worried until I made the first cut. My plan was to cut a hole in the canopy so I could remove the tree top down, trying to maintain some kind of weight balance. Normally I work my way up with the grapple saw. I grabbed the first piece for the cut and the entire canopy rotated and the trunk opened up a little. I actually let go. I thought it was coming over. It was absolute pucker factor. Took me about 5 hours to brush it out. Much slower than usual. I had to use precision cuts and be super gentle when grabbing and cutting. We got it down to a pole and when we were half way through the cut on the first log pic, the entire trunk opened up. I had considered strapping the trunk before we even started but it wasn't my job so I just rolled with it. After the trunk split I got a mandatory lunch break because I was stuck. Noting to do but wait for some ratchet straps. The rest of the trunk went well. All the trunk pieces fell apart when we took the slings off them. It was the most stressful tree I've done yet. Initially they thought 2 stick cranes. One for the climber and one for the picks. The climber/safety guy took a look and said no way so they called me. I wish I had this one on video for my promo video. There was not a safer way to remove this tree. The grapplesaw crane was THE solution. Like I've said, no method is the only way to do tree work. Stick cranes have their advantages and so do the grapplesaw cranes. This was one of those situations where the decision to abandon using a stick was the rite choice. The company I worked for is a very reputable company who has been in business for a long time and a sizable operation. Very professional and very skilled. In hindsight the straps prior to the beginning of work would have been the rite choice. In the future I'll go with my gut and insist.D36306AA-6137-40E5-9637-40B9C481C17E.jpeg2F893633-BB88-484D-A957-07933F5B8ED9.jpegDA2AB05D-F9C2-4C12-A0CF-19DBCD3FB9A9.jpegEF82FDC0-0BAA-44B7-8E46-A2A161997FE0.jpeg0F99C9C5-0A64-4F37-B686-41EC6B4AE09A.jpegB342732D-DE1B-4A16-9121-85CAC86FBAB8.jpegA5DEEBEF-925E-4D09-B10E-4FE23C62939C.jpeg5FC60CE4-AE77-446B-B52C-37C3D3C5C44B.jpegB2FC2D33-B88B-4B12-A7D9-5789BA1ABB70.jpegFBBF5B77-B332-4AF9-93F4-FE0F33D24591.jpeg
 
Last edited:

deevo

Well-Known Member
This was probably the worst lightning struck tree I've seen still standing. They brought me up from about 90min south to do it for them. I was worried but not too worried until I made the first cut. My plan was to cut a hole in the canopy so I could remove the tree top down, trying to maintain some kind of weight balance. Normally I work my way up with the grapple saw. I grabbed the first piece for the cut and the entire canopy rotated and the trunk opened up a little. I actually let go. I thought it was coming over. It was absolute pucker factor. Took me about 5 hours to brush it out. Much slower than usual. I had to use precision cuts and be super gentle when grabbing and cutting. We got it down to a pole and when we were half way through the cut on the first log pic, the entire trunk opened up. I had considered strapping the trunk before we even started but it wasn't my job so I just rolled with it. After the trunk split I got a mandatory lunch break because I was stuck. Noting to do but wait for some ratchet straps. The rest of the trunk went well. All the trunk pieces fell apart when we took the slings off them. It was the most stressful tree I've done yet. Initially they thought 2 stick cranes. One for the climber and one for the picks. The climber/safety guy took a look and said no way so they called me. I wish I had this one on video for my promo video. There was not a safer way to remove this tree. The grapplesaw crane was THE solution. Like I've said, no method is the only way to do tree work. Stick cranes have their advantages and so do the grapplesaw cranes. This was one of those situations where the decision to abandon using a stick was the rite choice. The company I worked for is a very reputable company who has been in business for a long time and a sizable operation. Very professional and very skilled. In hindsight the straps prior to the beginning of work would have been the rite choice. In the future I'll go with my gut and insist.View attachment 54160View attachment 54161View attachment 54162View attachment 54163View attachment 54164View attachment 54165View attachment 54167View attachment 54168View attachment 54169View attachment 54166
Great job Steve, very sketchy for sure!
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Nice work Steve! Seen a few like that, and they are always a challenge.
Did a lightning strike Sugar Pine like that in Carnelian Bay on Lake Tahoe about 2 years ago. The tree was about 135 ft and it was severely split from the stump to the tip. Since there was no way to get a crane or bucket anywhere near it, it had to be climbed, so my buddy gave me a call. I had to chain and binder the 1st 60 ft of the trunk together, then sacrificed a 3/4" stable braid bull-line, made a bunch of straps, and strapped it together all the way to the top. Once my rigging was set and I was working the tree things went smoothly. It was pretty unnerving climbing on a giant vertical crack that you could see daylight through, and we all know how fun cutting blown-up splintered woods is. To make matters worse it was snowing and blowing 30-35 mph's all day. In the end it was a really fun job, but damn if it didn't take my nervous system a few days to come down! One to remember for sure.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Lowered all the limbs, then took a very small top (15 ft) to itself. The top 40-50 ft of wood had to be block to itself. It was some butt-puckering, splintery slow going for sure, but we it got done! Once I was a little lower, I was able to swing a few decent sized logs to a nearby tree, then pull over a short spar.
 

Treezybreez

Well-Known Member
Wow Steve, looks like a direct hit!

I am surprised that the tree company you worked for didn't think about strapping it together back when they bid on the work. Glad it worked out for you.
 

TreeGuru4u

New Member
Way to go Steve! Those pics tell the story, but your written story was a good read too.

Because u said the company is big, but very reputable maybe they got a little hyped-up by the Mek showing up? A little shock and awe made them not realize strapping was important still?

U got ability to let go, but only so fast. Lest we forget not everybody is in our shoes. Very challenging tree!
 

pctree

Well-Known Member
I'm surprised how calm everyone responded to that thing . Here at Coxs tree we prefer to jump up and down and shout a lot at times like that!
 

dbl612

Active Member
nasty tree no doubt, looks like your grapple saw was given a good test. for those of you renting cranes yet, for a situation like this, order a crane with two working lines. one for the load, one for the climber. solves a lot of safety issues.
 

treebilly

Well-Known Member
I’m confused. Two working lines? They originally killed the two crane idea. From my understanding, no one was tied to this thing except steve’s Grapplesaw. A climber “riding the pick” is considered the very last option and in reality should never happen.
 

pctree

Well-Known Member
I don't mind riding a pick, we just are Very c0nservative with our chart. Always seems awkward making the cut though
 

Steve Connally

Well-Known Member
The issue and concern was they integrity of the tree was so bad they didn't want to take any picks to take it out of balance. If we had taken a good pick off the wrong side it may have come over. The climber riding the pick or 2 cranes was not the safest means possible.
 

climbingmonkey24

Active Member
Nice work Steve! Seen a few like that, and they are always a challenge.
Did a lightning strike Sugar Pine like that in Carnelian Bay on Lake Tahoe about 2 years ago. The tree was about 135 ft and it was severely split from the stump to the tip. Since there was no way to get a crane or bucket anywhere near it, it had to be climbed, so my buddy gave me a call. I had to chain and binder the 1st 60 ft of the trunk together, then sacrificed a 3/4" stable braid bull-line, made a bunch of straps, and strapped it together all the way to the top. Once my rigging was set and I was working the tree things went smoothly. It was pretty unnerving climbing on a giant vertical crack that you could see daylight through, and we all know how fun cutting blown-up splintered woods is. To make matters worse it was snowing and blowing 30-35 mph's all day. In the end it was a really fun job, but damn if it didn't take my nervous system a few days to come down! One to remember for sure.
Damn dude, props to you. Not everyone would've climbed it.
 
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