Hemlock snag...filled with metal

JaredDTS

Member
Location
Kill Devil Hills
Take a piece of thin metal and fold it/unfold it a few times and it will probably break or at the least be weakened. Same reason airplane pa els need replaced after a certain amount of time the metal fatigues from pressurization and then being depressurized. Rocking a stem would seem to fatigue the hinge similarly. I think there are mountains from mole hills being made but you never know when your luck may run out, and it only takes one time for you to regret it. Just stay vigilant I think is what people here are trying to get across.
 

owScott

Well-Known Member
Location
Lafayette
I am constantly amazed at the lack of felling/cutting skills, understanding, and experience displayed by the ARB community. A yr or 2 in the woods with a good faller should be mandatory for every aspiring arborist.
2 years, now days thats the time people go from newbie groundie to full blown company owner. Awhile back I had a 1 year climber tell me how much faster at removals he was than me, I told him Aspens dont count.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
"well, we always did it this way at my old job. It was never a problem. I figured this would be okay, 'cause it's always worked before."

The closest I've come to dropping a to in a house was a non- progress capture pull. Ezpz, until he stepped on the yellow jacket nest.
I almost became a rigging point, as it leaned back and the hinge started failing.
My groundman, a corner cutter, skipped our more typical approach, and I didn't intervene. It was 'just' a small backleaning top.
 

CjM

Active Member
Location
Asheville
I have a neutral suggestion for you.

Keeping your rope hanked up when raining down lots of limbs is a great call. Also when you're anywhere in a front yard near the chipper, or weird angles that cause rigging to swing into your climbing tail.

If the rope is coiled like that, you'll have to undo the coil to get to the ground, hard to do if injured. You'll also have to let the full length of rope fall to the ground.

I'm a big fan of "saddle-bagging" the rope in a spare runner, which lets it feed out as you rap, and you'll never have more than a couple feet of rope out below your climbing device.

5ADE511C-9CAA-4CBA-B01B-72C823F56A2B.jpeg
Felling dead, adelgid killed hemlock, especially here in the southeast where growth increments are much larger than in ME, is always a challenge. This 32" hemlock exploded when my top cut met my undercut in my notch, no back cut. The front half of the trunk was solid, and offered enough resistance that I thought I was into the solid xylem these rotten possums often have, surrounded by several (or more!) inches of pulp.

F5129145-C733-4626-AA3E-F254FD870644.jpeg
 

CjM

Active Member
Location
Asheville
We have a terrible time pulling these things over, as even a single groundsperson with no m.a. can rip a huge top off a snag. The outer layers of rot often preclude the use of wedges. The USFS around here has taken to blowing these trees with plastic explosives in high-use areas to migiate the risk to their sawyers and the public.

I know this is a little off topic, but worth mentioning here regarding hemlocks and hinges.
 

27RMT0N

Well-Known Member
Location
WA
When I'm raining brush out of a tree (usually in the woods, no targets to worry about below) I have my entire rope (150 or 200 feet) in a backpack on my back, with the working end on the trunk (currently using a TreeSqueeze) and ready to rappel out at any time. Gives me my two tie-ins when cutting, instant access to the ground if needed and nothing to get tangled. It pays out of the backpack cleanly as well, so no extra line hanging anywhere.

And man, that hemlock there was a tube of mush. Tough to control something like that.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Location
Olympia, WA
When I'm raining brush out of a tree (usually in the woods, no targets to worry about below) I have my entire rope (150 or 200 feet) in a backpack on my back, with the working end on the trunk (currently using a TreeSqueeze) and ready to rappel out at any time. Gives me my two tie-ins when cutting, instant access to the ground if needed and nothing to get tangled. It pays out of the backpack cleanly as well, so no extra line hanging anywhere.

And man, that hemlock there was a tube of mush. Tough to control something like that.
I try to approach a removal with a rope equal to its height, Srs whenever cutting. A hang it on my harness, lowering my cog, and letting the rope hold itself, through the saddle.
 

Phil

Well-Known Member
Location
Oak Lawn, IL
My god when did we all get so soft.

I know you're not replying anymore but I'm sure you'll at least read this.

Comments like that put a very bad taste in my mouth. I'm not "soft" because I try to avoid one handing as much as possible. I'm cognizant of the principal of "frequency of exposure". The more we do something risky, the more likely we are to get hurt doing that risky thing. I don't ride motorcycles. I will never be in a motorcycle accident because my frequency of exposure is zero. If I rode motorcycles every day, my frequency of exposure goes way up and I am more likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident. Reading through this you say you are damn proud of one handing a saw. Okay for you I guess. Now the one time the saw skips across the branch and into your knuckles sending you to the ER for at the very least stitches, will the 20-30 minutes you saved on the job still seem worth it? I bet when chaps became a requirement several decades ago, all the manly badasses called out all the soft tree workers who wore them. It seems silly now to cut without them.

Also, complacency kills. You will get so comfortable swinging a saw one handed cus it's familiar that you won't see it coming.

 

Brady Chapman

Active Member
Location
Bethel, ME
I know you're not replying anymore but I'm sure you'll at least read this.

Comments like that put a very bad taste in my mouth. I'm not "soft" because I try to avoid one handing as much as possible. I'm cognizant of the principal of "frequency of exposure". The more we do something risky, the more likely we are to get hurt doing that risky thing. I don't ride motorcycles. I will never be in a motorcycle accident because my frequency of exposure is zero. If I rode motorcycles every day, my frequency of exposure goes way up and I am more likely to be involved in a motorcycle accident. Reading through this you say you are damn proud of one handing a saw. Okay for you I guess. Now the one time the saw skips across the branch and into your knuckles sending you to the ER for at the very least stitches, will the 20-30 minutes you saved on the job still seem worth it? I bet when chaps became a requirement several decades ago, all the manly badasses called out all the soft tree workers who wore them. It seems silly now to cut without them.

Also, complacency kills. You will get so comfortable swinging a saw one handed cus it's familiar that you won't see it coming.

You sound soft
 

Brady Chapman

Active Member
Location
Bethel, ME
Do you have any comprehension of just how disrespectful this response is Brady?
You're right Rico, that was disrespectful of me and not a representation of my best self. So for that Phil, I am sorry. When a thread devolves into a sounding board for what I consider to be overzealous , and almost namby-pamby commentary, I cease to endeavor to make "impressive replies," and no doubt sound willfully ignorant. But make no mistake; I am not. I just don't share the same opinion(s) as many of you. You can go on until you're blue in the face about rocking that short, fat, very soundwooded hemlock stem but you will not convince me that I exuded poor judgement in that moment. Do I think that rocking your spar is generally a good practice? No, I don't. But there are times when you should be deathly afraid of doing it and other times when it is not much of a concern. I understand why a man that takes down giant red woods, and doug firs would seriously look down his nose at such a practice but it is still a little bit presumptuous to assume that my execution of that fall warranted the banner "train wreck." I do not look upon others and judge so easily. And while I say that, I do not ignore the hierarchy that undoubtedly exists in the world of tree men. I know you have been at this thing a lot longer than me Rico, and I am sure there is much I could learn from you. But that doesn't mean I am going to take everything you say as gospel, for I have developed enough understanding of what I do to know when I do, and when I don't have a solid leg to stand on. And on this one guys, sorry, I was not wrong or negligent when I dropped that hemlock.
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
My first reaction was that looked like a seasoned production arborist, may be pushing it for the camera a little faster than he would otherwise.

My original criticism was about the people on the porch, especially the woman, because it looks like the spar had just enough length to punch through the upper decks and kill her. Though the odds were very very low with hemlock, WHY TAKE A CHANCE. I don't like ANYONE in my DZs, and chase non-workers out of any potential danger with varying degrees of anger in my voice. I would NEVER allow that, and of all the things in this video, that is completely unjustifiable, as there was zero reason, no benefit etc. So that right there may be a sign that you are lax in your safety protocols.

After all the comments, I went back for another look. I never gave much consideration to the difference between right-handed and left-handed one handing, though upon another look I can see the point and it's worth considering. Looks at 1:29 that the tip was contacting bark, and maybe at some point, you could run into kickback from a hidden bump or stub. That said, I don't agree that one handing is always so dangerous to be unacceptable. A seasoned pro shouldn't have to follow the same rules for saw handling as a rookie. If you try to tell me to stop one-handing from the bucket (a violation of ANSI standards) I would just laugh. But I do think there should be guidelines about what type of one-handing is acceptable. Unfortunately, when you make all one-handing unacceptable, there is no chance to make distinctions between that which is completely safe, mostly safe, and dangerous.

As far as the spar rocking back, that doesn't seem like such a big deal to me. Obviously better to have more and steady pull, but hemlock is one of the best hinging woods around here (even when dead) and there was little or no sidelean from the look of the video. It did look like there was a slight backlean, and maybe more importantly, looks like your back cut may have come in slightly below the notch on the near side. If that back cut was even slightly low, it makes the pull significantly harder. Thus requiring either more pull or thinning out the hinge. In this case looks like the hinge was a lot thinner than I would have liked as well. Maybe the saw was cutting off, due to the metal, but it's always a good idea to check the stump and see how your cuts match up. If you are coming in unintentionally low from time to time, fix it!

Between the back lean and the low cut, it seems like you had to pull hard even with three men at 3:1 MA.. so needing that much force to move the tree contributed to the slight back rock. Still not much of a concern on this particular drop. And all criticisms are worth considering and looking into or rejecting as it feels right to you. You obviously work quickly so not much need for improvement there. Consider slowing it down a little as appropriate to the situation with a focus on prevention and adding an extra safety factor. If you are in this biz long enough you're bound to see some crazy and unexpected things go down.
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
After sleeping on it, the best recommendation is to turn that 3:1 into a 6:1 minus friction. Very simple to do. Just tie one end of the pull line off to the ground anchor and go around the top (cut a notch if needed) and then back to your 3:1 rope system. This will nearly double your pulling force, without needing to go back to the truck. The friction on the rope is negligible since it's only manpower pulling and moving so slowly.

The reason for the rock back is because you all needed to pull so hard to get the thing moving, that you had to jerk the pull line. With the 6:1, you could have pulled much more easily, resulting in smoother action. The added pulling force also allows you to leave a thicker hinge when needed.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Location
redwoods
The spar rocked back for the simple fact that they continually allowed slack back into the system. This is usually the conclusion when asking too much from a hand pull. Like when pulling over a back-leaner near structures with people standing in the bomb zone? Who the fuck would do such a thing?

Watch the vid starting at 3:35. The OP leaves the stump to assist in the pull and the first thing they do is begin puling sideways instead of pulling in a direct line with the tagline... Every time they can no longer pull any further they attempt to re-grab the rope which allows slack back into the system causing the spar to sit back..Fucking amateur hour at its finest.

This is why I very rarely rely on a hand pull, and this is why one of the very first things I teach a groundie is to always pull in a direct line with the tagline and TO NEVER hang on the tagline, or pull it sideways...
 
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Daniel

Well-Known Member
I'm with you in this one Erik.

I almost never set up a hand pull. When this subject first came up there were some criticisms about my work, for pulling with equipment. The fallacious thinking was that equipment puts unknown forces on the lines. That was a typical treebuzz boy scout mentality for that era, and showed a complete lack of understanding and sense. I think it was arbormaster used to discourage the use of equipment for pulling trees over. TOTAL NONSENSE. Does anyone know if they changed their position yet?

My old crew is no longer together, but we worked together for 25 years. In the early days, we mostly pulled with 3:1 rope come-along MA by hand. In the latter days if I had asked them to set up a hand pull they would have looked at me like I was crazy.
 

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