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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” live standing tree with hand tools (bow saw, cross cut saw, axe, etc)..

Harvested live trees make great material for building things like in the round wood woodworking PEP Badge!

Green trees are especially easy to peel and carve.  Green trees are also good for the sawmill.

When selecting a tree to drop, select a tree from a spot that has too many trees and/or the tree has a defect (so we don't want it to have baby defective trees).   If the tree is a nice looking tree, but is crowded, take a smaller tree.

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

Here's another shorter video.

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
  - Fallen tree
Posts: 690
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
bee fish food preservation forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees
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Cutting down a poplar to use for a hugelkultur and to expand my food forest!
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Poplar to be cut
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Cutting the wedge, love my new katanaboy saw
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Wedge finished!
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Staff note (paul wheaton):

I certify that this BB is complete!

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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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So I had a little fun yesterday cutting trees. Part of my day job is managing 5 public access properties--basically I'm a restoration manager, parks manager, and park ranger all folded into one position. Fun! Anyways, the recent snow storm caused a lot of problems on my preserves. In this particular case a lot of small hardwoods are leaning/bending over a trail making it potentially unsafe for public use. So I went out to cut them down. Most were too small to meet this BB requirement but one was at least 6 inches and potentially up to 8 inches across. So I thought I would document it for this BB

Here you can see how much this tree was bending--this made me nervous so I decided to do a test cut on a tree next to it that was also bending but was much smaller. Unfortunately, I forgot to get my bow saw so I had to use my small flip saw... that was a pain...

*Tree to remove--the very bendy one

*Testing this method out on the small tree

The test on the small tree went well so I moved on to the big tree. Here is a picture of the wedge being cut.

This next picture shows the completed wedge and the start of the back cut.

Lot of work cutting down the tree with just a small hand tool but it was successful! Next time I will bring a bow saw... that little flip saw works fine on the small stuff but it is slow going on the 6" or larger trees!

In addition to these trees I think I cut a good couple dozen down yesterday and I got more to go at that site. Though the rest were too small to count for this BB or were just branches/side trunks where I did not need to cut down the whole tree. Through this work I also collected a lot of live stakes of cottonwoods and willows that I'm going to be "planting" at my homestead. When I go back to the site to do more work I'm going to gather some more live stakes. I also think I will be able to get some wood to use to make a spoon or mallet for those BBs

Fun times!
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I certify that this BB is complete!

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Here is the tree I fell at the PEP 1 course.
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Before picture, choosing the tree
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Action shot
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Aftershot. Luckily it went right where I aimed instead of taking out Paul's fence!
Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I certify that this BB is complete!

Posts: 61
Location: zone 6 (Kansas City)
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Tree selected, wedge cut made plus started 3rd cut, then tree down without squashing Paul’s fence.
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Staff note (Nicole Alderman):

I certify that this BB is complete!

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Live tree standing? No problem
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Too big to fit in the picture
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Was this supposed to be a shot of the wedge I cut?
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Staff note (Dave Burton):

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

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