My gatepost tree fell down in a storm yesterday. I need some removal ideas.

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
This leaning scrub pine was what my gate was attached to. It fell over and I need to cut it up. It looks pretty dangerous and I didn't immediately know how to handle it, so I thought I'd reach out to you folks and get some ideas. I do have a 7500lb tractor with a grapple as well as a full complement of chainsaws and rigging.

Let's hear your ideas please.

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ATH

Well-Known Member
in line with @evo 's advice to not take advice from the internet here are some options:

If you are uncomfortable with it, consider hiring help. Should not be much money to get somebody to get it to where you'll feel safer.

If you are insistent on doing it yourself, the farther away from the tree you are and the more iron you have between you and the tree, the safer you'll be (and should feel). Can you get a cable thrown or good rope around the tree a the far side of the trail and pull it with your tractor? Not that this is a harmless option - always avoid being in a straight line with the cable/rope/strap in case it breaks!

Try reaching up as high as you can with your grapple and push down on the trunk. You may be able to snap it the rest of the way off.

Move the gate 30' to the right.

That bigger tree to your right: drop that on the tree of concern...it will likely smash it down (and possibly come flying back at you...)

If you were a good old fashion farmer, you'd have your kid drive the tractor while you stand in the bucket and saw it up. (don't do that! - either part of it!)

(ok...the last 2.5 ideas were not as serious as using the tractor).

What I'd probably do: It probably wants to break at the top - meaning if you just started cutting at the top straight towards the bottom it won't pinch your saw, instead opening up as you go...but if that top is leaning on something, it will want to break the other way. So I wouldn't do that cut straight down from the top. I'd plunge in the middle (perpendicular to the grain) all the way through the diameter of the tree and cut towards the top to within about 2-3" of going all the way through (somewhere so you are holding the saw between your but and chest...not as high as your shoulders). Then cut in that same slot towards the bottom also to within about 2-3". The plunge reduces the probability of getting your saw stuck and, more importantly, decreases the likelihood of a barber chair if the top is pulling it down hard. Go either a little (3-4") higher or lower on the stem and cut up from the bottom and down from the top. these new cuts need to bypass the plane (following the grain) of the first plunge cut - but don't go to far or you'll pinch your saw!

Now there are a couple of options.
1) Go back to the tractor: pull (or push) and it will snap a "tongue and groove" where you made the cuts.
2) Go back to the original plunge cut and finish that cut through the top of the log. Really slow...if it wants to pinch, stop and cut up from the bottom. You may have gotten a sense for which direction it wants to go when making the bypass cuts.
 
Fine post you had there! I am right inline with ath. I handle most of these situations the way he describes with bore and offset trigger. This is by far not a move to use until you're ready and fully confident in your sawing and ability to read what's happening with it and the other movement around you. With all that said, if I wanted to be extra cautious, I'd tie the base of the tree to something 90 degrees from the base on the photographers side of the gate with a slight pretension so it couldn't jump towards me while making the cut, and make a bore cut with offset trigger from the other side. Specifically, I'd tie just above the posted sign, if you have a heavy ratchet strap, that next to keep it from exploding, and cut just above the fence panel. It looks as if it has potential to roll towards you once it's free and moving so use your best judgement on scene and best luck if you do decide to tackle it. Please keep everyone posted
 

JTree

Well-Known Member
Fine post you had there! I am right inline with ath. I handle most of these situations the way he describes with bore and offset trigger. This is by far not a move to use until you're ready and fully confident in your sawing and ability to read what's happening with it and the other movement around you. With all that said, if I wanted to be extra cautious, I'd tie the base of the tree to something 90 degrees from the base on the photographers side of the gate with a slight pretension so it couldn't jump towards me while making the cut, and make a bore cut with offset trigger from the other side. Specifically, I'd tie just above the posted sign, if you have a heavy ratchet strap, that next to keep it from exploding, and cut just above the fence panel. It looks as if it has potential to roll towards you once it's free and moving so use your best judgement on scene and best luck if you do decide to tackle it. Please keep everyone posted
I was hoping someone was going to mention ratchet straps. I'd say they are probably the most underappreciated tool in the box.
 

Chaplain242

Well-Known Member
Drop the fence ties and/or posts under the tree and lay down so don’t make more work repairing fence after dropping tree, and tie chain to tractor to trunk just above tears and drag it out as Rico says - with those tears it should break free.
 
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TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
Put a roll on that thing using a choker or chain, and yard it out of there Jeez...
My tractor is currently at my fils' from the last tree I cleaned up for him. I have a few weeks to think about this before we bring the tractor back to my property. No need to get testy.
 

rico

Well-Known Member
No Tractor...Someone proficient with slice cuts could quickly and safely work that wood off the tree, then throw a rope on the hung up top and yard it out of there with a pickup.....Under an hour done.....
 

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
No Tractor...Someone proficient with slice cuts could quickly and safely work that wood off the tree, then throw a rope on the hung up top and yard it out of there with a pickup.....Under an hour done.....
For the life of me I can't understand how some of you guys can act so confident regarding cuts to this tree. I look at this tree, and see that it's not on level ground, i can't tell if it's sprung one way or another, and I can't tell which way the top wants to roll. I'm not getting anywhere near it with a chainsaw until I pull it to a safer position. Is this just a situation that can't be seen from a picture on a computer or are some of you guys just crazy enough to start cutting on a tree that could literally roll one way or another, or even snap while being cut?

Tell me what you're thinking, because it looks precarious to me.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Put a face-cut on the underside, and back-cut it, easing it down, nothing happening quickly.

I'd slice-cut/ 'walk that down', Ezpz.


Don't cut where its fractured. It will bind, easily.



If in doubt about the extent of splitting, you can put a chain and binder (or wedges inside the chain loop to tighten) or a ratchet strap.






A chain on the tree, pulling it down toward the gate, would probably get it down without cutting, or being up close to the action.
 
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ATH

Well-Known Member
For the life of me I can't understand how some of you guys can act so confident regarding cuts to this tree. I look at this tree, and see that it's not on level ground, i can't tell if it's sprung one way or another, and I can't tell which way the top wants to roll. I'm not getting anywhere near it with a chainsaw until I pull it to a safer position. Is this just a situation that can't be seen from a picture on a computer or are some of you guys just crazy enough to start cutting on a tree that could literally roll one way or another, or even snap while being cut?

Tell me what you're thinking, because it looks precarious to me.
Obviously looking at it in person and adjusting the plan based on that observation is essential! However, from what I see in the pic, the top is resting on another tree and isn't likely rolling away from the camera. I'm not sure how hard it is leaning on that tree - that is why I am unsure if it wants to pinch your saw from the top or from the bottom.

If it makes you that nervous, call for help! Being out $200 is better than a week in te hospital - or worse!
 

rico

Well-Known Member
It's hard to tell for sure but your top looks hung up in a tree on the other side of the drive and your but is still attached to the stump.. This would create top bind and the slice cut is the appropriate cut.

Give me a few days and I will do my best to make a quick little vid using the slice cut to clear a hung up tree. I believe Buckin Billy has a vid or 2 using the slice cut method.. At the risk of once again sounding like an asshole I would suggest you do not watch a Daniel Murphy vid on the subject...

Another idea would be to simply get a rope in the top and try and yard it out of there without cutting the tree free from its stump. No harm no foul if it doesnt clear....I used this method recently on a 160-170 ft Fir that was hung up in a grove of Redwoods like a mutherfucker... I knew I was never gonna get it to clear using a series of slice cuts, and the Fir top was sooo loaded up that trying to clear while aloft was gonna be extremely dangerous. I climbed one of the Red the Fir was hung in, swung into the hung up Fir, set a 7/8" tagline, and ripped that fucker out with the skidder.. Turned a man eater into nothing more than a clean up job.
 

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
Put a face-cut on the underside, and back-cut it, easing it down, nothing happening quickly.

I'd slice-cut/ 'walk that down', Ezpz.


Don't cut where its fractured. It will bind, easily.



If in doubt about the extent of splitting, you can put a chain and binder (or wedges inside the chain loop to tighten) or a ratchet strap.






A chain on the tree, pulling it down toward the gate, would probably get it down without cutting, or being up close to the action.
Shouldn't the face cut (notch) be on the top side and the back cut be on the bottom? Wouldn't that allow for a slow close and collapse?
 

TallTreeClimber

Well-Known Member
It's hard to tell for sure but your top looks hung up in a tree on the other side of the drive and your but is still attached to the stump.. This would create top bind and the slice cut is the appropriate cut.

Give me a few days and I will do my best to make a quick little vid using the slice cut to clear a hung up tree. I believe Buckin Billy has a vid or 2 using the slice cut method.. At the risk of once again sounding like an asshole I would suggest you do not watch a Daniel Murphy vid on the subject...

Another idea would be to simply get a rope in the top and try and yard it out of there without cutting the tree free from its stump. No harm no foul if it doesnt clear....I used this method recently on a 160-170 ft Fir that was hung up in a grove of Redwoods like a mutherfucker... I knew I was never gonna get it to clear using a series of slice cuts, and the Fir top was sooo loaded up that trying to clear while aloft was gonna be extremely dangerous. I climbed one of the Red the Fir was hung in, swung into the hung up Fir, set a 7/8" tagline, and ripped that fucker out with the skidder.. Turned a man eater into nothing more than a clean up job.
Help me understand this part of my fundamentals of tree work;
Screenshot_20200114-185701_Drive.jpg

Doesn't this situation fit the "overhead" label?
 
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