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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in woodland care.

This project will be dropping a 6” to 8” dead standing tree with hand tools (bow saw, cross cut saw, axe, etc).



Harvested dead trees are a great material for log structures, log furniture, firewood, hugelkultur and hundreds of other projects!

Dead trees are usually less structurally sound than live trees, so use extra caution.

This video goes over a lot of the safety precautions and a demonstration of felling a tree with a bow saw.



Be safe when using hand tools and felling trees, be aware of your surroundings and the falling tree and above canopy, work at your own risk, and enjoy cutting stuff!

To get certified for this BB, post three pics.  

  - Your chosen tree to cut
  - Action shot about half way through felling the tree (showing your wedge cut completed and starting on the back cut)
  - Fallen tree
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master steward
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garden master
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I had a dead tree at the edge of my property that needed to come down.

The limbs were starting to fall off, and I needed to remove it before it fell and crushed my plants nearby!
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Dead tree to be cut
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It had been dropping dead limbs
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Sawing away :)
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Timber!
Staff note (paul wheaton):

I certify this BB is complete! (and I added a new thing to the requirements about showing the wedge cut for future BB folks)

 
pollinator
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Nice job Steve Thorn!
 
Travis Johnson
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paul wheaton wrote:



I have a few questions about this, respectfully submitted of course.


1) I do not have a bow saw, but I do have numerous cross cut saws; could they be substituted instead?

2) The traditional way to fell a tree was to use an axe to make the notch in the front of the tree (also called a wedge), and then use a saw to make the back cut. Is this allowed?


 
paul wheaton
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Travis Johnson wrote:1) I do not have a bow saw, but I do have numerous cross cut saws; could they be substituted instead?

2) The traditional way to fell a tree was to use an axe to make the notch in the front of the tree (also called a wedge), and then use a saw to make the back cut. Is this allowed?



The purpose of this is about manual tools.  So I will say that using a cross cut saw is fine.   And even an ax is fine.   I once saw a guy cut down a tree with a giant pruning saw looking thing (the blade was about three feet long - as was the handle) - the idea was to have a couple of really long pulls on the saw and the (small) tree was down.  

So as long as it is a hand tool and not something powered, then I will accept it for this BB.  

I do want to see a pic of the wedge cut and the back cut.

 
Travis Johnson
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paul wheaton wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:1) I do not have a bow saw, but I do have numerous cross cut saws; could they be substituted instead?

2) The traditional way to fell a tree was to use an axe to make the notch in the front of the tree (also called a wedge), and then use a saw to make the back cut. Is this allowed?



The purpose of this is about manual tools.  So I will say that using a cross cut saw is fine.   And even an ax is fine.   I once saw a guy cut down a tree with a giant pruning saw looking thing (the blade was about three feet long - as was the handle) - the idea was to have a couple of really long pulls on the saw and the (small) tree was down.  

So as long as it is hand tool and not something powered, then I will accept it for this BB.  

I do want to see a pic of the wedge cut and the back cut.



Perfect...I LOVE where you are taking this because I think once people put down their chainsaws and try a saw, they will be surprised how well they do cut.

This is Maine where Woodsman Teams abound, and they will often go to fairs and let people try out a well tuned saw. Me and the woman coach of the Unity College Woodsman Team paired up, and it was like a minute to cut through a 1 foot thick log. The saw just sung!

Again, I love history and tradition! Thanks for bringing people into this.

(I will NOT be trying this today, we got a blizzard raging; 10 below zero (f), blowing 35 mph, and getting 20 inches of snow.) :-)
 
pioneer
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A bit of a close up, but hopefully clear it's a dead tree, 8".



I had a bit of a false start on the wedge ...



Voila! It didn't fall exactly where I'd planned, but within an acceptable range.





Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I certify that this badge bit is complete!

 
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I submit this standing dead fell with the caveat that I did not completely remove the wedge (pictured) due to a precarious angle on the creek embankment. It had to come down, as it was threatening our perimeter fence. I will, henceforth always fully cut out the wedge, because I probably worked at least twice as hard as I would have, had I wedged it completely. I like the idea of wedging with an axe and felling with a saw in similar future scenarios. I believe this is an old honeylocust, and daggum if this thing isn’t still incredibly hard in the middle, even old as it is. Fine if I need to redo this BB, just wanted to include it as an educational case study.
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Partial wedge. Standing dead tree on creek embankment threatening perimeter fence.
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Back cut.
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Timber.
 
paul wheaton
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Beau,

Help me to understand leaving the wedge in.

 
Squanch that. And squanch this tiny ad:
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