amanda boyce wrote:Hi! The process you want is called tushing. First you must remove the horizontal branches to create as straight a log as possible. Hook a stout chain or very strong rope around the leading end ( usually the base) about 2 feet from the end. To get moving, lay some of the larger cut off branches in front of the log as rails (90 degrees to log). One big lift and pull, get the end of the log onto the branches, and now it will roll over them. It won't be easy but perseverance will pay off.
Still can't move? Try a lever and pulley system with another tree for leverage. Hope this helps! Happy tushing! Amanda
Alder Burns wrote:...and peel the bark off them in the woods too. This will make the timbers not only lighter but smoother and therefore easier to drag......
R Scott wrote:You want to use what is called a flip flop winch.
Jay Hayes wrote:I would say you will get very familiar with a block and tackle by the time you have your logs in the shed. I've done a fair piece of mule logging and work with some guys that do it as a profession, even with good mules and a good cart there are slopes and times (say when the log jams along another tree) that you have to winch. Bucking logs to their minimum usable length will be key, the other thing to keep in mind is that natural air drying of wood in temperate climates can decrease the total weight of logs by around 25% in 12-18 months, even if the logs are laying on the ground. If you are planning on sawing the logs they will still have good ,though possibly discolored, structural wood inside in a year or two when the bark and cambium is falling off and rotting to the point you can stick your finger in it. At that point they will be much lighter to skid.
How large are "medium" sized trees? Circumference, calculated into diameter, at the point 4.5 feet above the ground level and length is the standard measure. There are look up charts based on species that will tell you the specific gravity of wood types and their corresponding weight. That might help you plan for the appropriately scaled crew. I would also suggest planning your skid route very carefully to avoid root, rocks, and any more slope than necessary, these are the things that can hang up your sled and take a ton of time to work around.
Amanda Boyce wrote:Hi again Rob. I just thought of something. Being winter there (as it is here), maybe you could create an ice skid path for your logs through the forest. Watch your step though!
Alder Burns wrote:Bark is easiest to peel from live or fresh-cut trees in the spring, but since yours are already down, it will just become more and more difficult as they start to dry out, unless you wait so long that it basically rots off, as described above. So if you want the helpfulness of snow on the ground to skid them on, you might end up waiting till next winter. Personally if I had the time I would get it off them soon. This will hasten the drying process too, although it will also increase the likelihood of cracks forming. Logs allowed to dry slowly with bark on are less likely to crack. Tradeoffs....
Jay Hayes wrote:There was a huge wind storm in Southern Missouri 5 years ago. Hundreds of Millions of board feet of large trees hit the ground. There are loggers I have passed everyday on the way to work this week that are still salvaging down logs from that storm. The logs look rotten, no bark, not even a lot of large branches, but when you saw into them the middle part of the tree (the part where you would square it off to saw out boards) it is still solid on most. Granted, all of the trees they are salvaging this late in the game are oak, and the quality of the wood is not great, lots of stain, and advanced decay in the structural part of the wood. But, they are not worthless, even after 5 years on the ground.
That said, pine trees and other "soft woods" will not last 5 years on the ground. Pine will "blue stain", a fungus that stains the wood purple or blue-when it is present, in a matter of days in hot humid weather. The presence of blue stain is considered by industry standards to cull the log from structural use (i.e. dimensional lumber), this will make a log basically worthless. This is one of the big reasons that large sawmills sawing spruce/pine/fir will constantly hose down their log piles in hot weather, the moisture either inhibits the stain from growing or inhibits attack from the bark beetle that is the host/vector of attack (I forget which). In my experience pine is still solid and use able for the first 12 - 18 months, specifically if it fell in the winter (you get an handful of months for the wood to dry in a low microbe environment). If you are using round wood for beams or large dimensional wood any loss of wood strength will be made up for in the size of the beams. I would say it is a case by case basis on individual trees if you are planning to use old down pine logs for 2 x 4's in structural framing, if the wood is blue stained it will not meet code. I'm certain there are folks who would disagree with me, but I have worked with loggers and commercial and personal sawmills for a number of years and this is what I have always noticed and practiced.
Peter Ellis wrote:Rob, when wood dries, there's always a probability that it will crack (often referred to as "checking"), or warp in significant ways if it has been sawn into planks. Round wood isn't likely to warp, but the cracking issue is definitely there.
Depending on the species of wood, the conditions under which it dries, whether the ends are treated or not, all of this affects the extent of the cracking as the wood dries. It happens because it is very hard to get the wood to dry all the way through at a constant rate - and is even harder in round wood. so it's entirely to be expected that there will be cracks in round wood used in building log cabins. It really isn't a problem, structural or otherwise, in anything but extreme cases.
If it were me out there in your cold Estonian forest I would be peeling my logs now, cutting them pretty close to the lengths I will need for my application, and hauling them on out of there this winter. Between the flip-flop winch, a block and tackle, some Very Good quality rope, little tricks like using other round wood as rollers, and a couple of friends, it should be possible to move some significant timber around.
Get it back near where it will be used, slap a coat of paint or layer of wax on the ends of each log, and leave them stored off the ground and under cover (a decent waterproof tarp over them, to keep the rain and snow off the wood). And then wait for weather when it makes sense to do the repairs.
John Merrifield wrote:Is it possible that though the tees have blown down, part of the roots are still in the ground and the tees are still alive? In that case you should cut them from the roots.
Also, a "snatch-block" which is basically just one pulley used to redirect the angle of pull, could come in handy. I have used one in conjunction with a pick-up truck to pull logs from the nearest dirt road.