First tree top

Hi All,
I hope this is the right board for this question. I took my first tree top today. After the top came off the tree shook quite a bit. It had me worried that the tree would snap in half and send me down. AFter the tree settled down and I was on the very top of the tree any slight movement would wiggle the tree a bit. Is this normal? Is the tree much stronger than I think? or can indeed a tree snap when you take a top?

Note: This tree had a solid core it wasn't rotten through the trunk. The tree was about 60 feet tall and I took the top from just about 50 feet so it was about maybe 15% of the tree that I took.
 

Jonny

Been here a while
Location
Buffalo
Hey, welcome aboard!

What kind of tree was it?
A lot of the conifers and skinnier hardwoods will do that when stripped of all brush. Pretty normal, and I usually find it a fun little thrill ride. I’ve heard of people leaving a few branches in place to dampen the swing. Makes sense that it’s work, but I’ll get mad at myself if the top gets hung up in lower branches.

Is someone training you to do this work?
 
Hey, welcome aboard!

What kind of tree was it?
A lot of the conifers and skinnier hardwoods will do that when stripped of all brush. Pretty normal, and I usually find it a fun little thrill ride. I’ve heard of people leaving a few branches in place to dampen the swing. Makes sense that it’s work, but I’ll get mad at myself if the top gets hung up in lower branches.

Is someone training you to do this work?
It was a red maple (pretty sure).

My neighbor is teaching me everything. he's older now but he used to do a lot of tree work when he was younger.
 

Dan Cobb

Branched out member
Location
Hoover
I've always been amazed at the dampening force produced by tree branches. You don't really appreciate it until a tree is just a spar. I've wondered if trees were the inspiration for the tuned mass dampers they use in ultra tall buildings.
 
I find, especially with conifers, it can help to leave yourself some stubs to stand on (even with spurs) and a couple to hang on to if they’re sideways - never one towards you so you don’t get “speared”. A face cut open to 70 degrees or more helps too like Tom says above. On some trees it helps to make slight side cuts so the bark doesn’t peel and the hinge stays intact. Sometimes you’ll see people chase the backcut but I try not to do that but have the saw safely away from falling wood as the top goes over - cut with a handsaw - maybe.
Watch some of Reg Coates YouTube videos - he is under control and makes the point - “No f - it cuts - ever”. Good advice.
 
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27RMT0N

Carpal tunnel level member
Location
WA
Others have covered this pretty well and I've got a lot of experience doing this also, but here are two videos from two very experienced tree men on the subject. Watch both of them because they have a lot of wisdom to share.


 
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Others have covered this pretty well and I've got a lot of experience doing this also, but here are two videos from two very experienced tree men on the subject. Watch both of them because they have a lot of wisdom to share.


Thanks.
I actually just saw that video from August. funny how it came out right afterwards. I haven't seen the second video so I'll have to check that out.
 
August just recently posted a video of him limbing and topping a big pine. Watch at 17 minutes.
This a huge difference on the whipping effect.
Last thing you want is whipping your flip-line back over the top of the spar. That’s the real ride!



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Reach

Been here a while
Location
Atglen, PA
Movement when topping trees is a given, but using and manipulating the inevitable pushback and recoil to your advantage doesnt seem to get talked about much... Strange...

Now that’s a ride! How high were you in that one? No tree around here moves that much when you take the top off.
 

rico

Been here a while
Location
redwoods
Been awhile on this one, but if I remember correctly it was at 135-140 foot , and I took a 40 footish top.. I wanted to keep the top at or behind the stump, so I used a fairly closed face undercut which allowed the top to separate early during the pushback phase, which caused the butt of the top to land slightly behind the stump...Conversly you can keep a top on the stump as long as possible, which will take advantage of the rebound, which will help launch your top out in front of the stump.
 
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Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
I've got the large version of Gerry Beranek's redwood takedown poster signed, by Gerry and Charly. It was hanging on my kitchen wall where I looked at it a lot. After months of looking I compared the position of the spar as Gerry was cutting the face and when the top was going over. That 150' spar was pushed back!!!
 
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Bendroctanus

Participating member
Location
Springfield
Movement when topping trees is a given, but using and manipulating the inevitable pushback and recoil to your advantage doesnt seem to get talked about much... Strange...

The Jean-Claude Van Damme of tree work. Very nice. Do you find yourself more comfortable in that position than on the ground?
 

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