He should have bought a lottery ticket that day.
I see you are in beautiful Costa Rica! Lucky you!
I agree it is the hinge as well to a degree. But once you get your undercut done and it aims exactly where you want the tree to fall, that's most of the battle. If you want to prevent the tree from going slightly to one side or the other - for example if there is a very small lean in one direction - then you leave the hinge bigger on the high side. That way the tree will tend to go perfectly in the direction of your undercut. Wedges, the right undercut and the proper hinge ALL contribute to the correct felling of a tree.
On your walnut tree, would you need to cut some of the branches off first? Or could you do the job with a single cut?
He's obviously a practiced faller, and it doesn't take too many trees before you learn to keep the saw dead level. He did have a decent sized plastic wedge right in the middle of the back cut, so the tree didn't have much choice as to the direction it went in. If you are referring to the undercut as the front cut, then that wouldn't need to be anywhere near half way into the tree. Typically here on the west coast with some of the larger trees, you only need to cut about 20% into the tree for the undercut.
But still...it would be nerve wracking anyway with those buildings so close on either side. It was indeed a most excellent fall.
When I was up north, I used to cut wood for firewood, you get pretty good dropping trees after a while, since I would go into tree farms and thin out the weed trees. Of course, the farmer isn't going to be too happy if you damage a good tree in the process.
Well, most of our stuff here is conifers...so pretty easy to fall. But we also have a lot of big old Arbutus, and they are a different kettle of fish all together.
When an Arbutus lets go there is NO hinge at all. They just snap and they're gone.
Several years ago (2005) we had a massive snow and ice storm on the island here, and I was looking after the "roads" at the time. There really aren't any roads here at all, it is just trails. But the government Dept. Of Highways needs someone to look after these little islands for them. Anyway, this storm brought down about 3,000 trees on the island, about 1,700 of which were on the public rights of way. Many of the trees just snapped off way up in the air, some just lost branches, it was a nightmare.
I hired every able bodied person on the island to help, and it took us two months to clear up the mess. Now, many of these trees were huge and either partly broken or leaning heavily. Can you imagine the fun we had - in January no less - figuring out how to handle each tree. It was always the Arbutus which worried me the most, as you never knew when one was just going to snap off and come crashing down. Some of those trees were over 100' tall and just plain dangerous.
Thankfully I'm retired now, but that was an experience I'll never forget.
keith s elliott wrote:Dale...those are saplings, not trees! Hehehe! Just kidding...
Shrubbery... a sixty foot tall tree here is pretty short, on average, about 120 usually. Dale, I agree, you generally don't bother with a hinge on smaller wood. We had to drop a 3 year acacia that sprouted up in my garden area - about six inches in diameter, hardness of maple, if not more. a worker took it down with a machete..., but it was at least 80 feet tall.
Dale Hodgins wrote:I dropped about 200 trees this week. Most were 6-9 inches in diameter and weigh under 300 lb. I never notch trees this size. I cut about 80% through and then steer it to the ground, pushing in the desired direction. I get clear of the butt about 2 seconds before impact. I don't need absolute precision. I'm just falling them onto hugel beds and trying not to hang up on other trees.
Dale, I've been doing that all summer with my new Oregon cordless! I did hang one up and got scolded by my husband for not making a hinge.
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