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View Full Version : OT is this experience or luck.



plunger
02-11-2015, 12:56 PM
Did this guy get lucky?
http://master-loafer.com/outdoor/dropping-a-douglas-fir-in-close-quarters/

Richard P Wilson
02-11-2015, 01:09 PM
Not sure, though I think they must have had it roped to the tractor that was seen pulling the tree away. Otherwise, the slightest gust of wind and it would have gone to one side or the other. Reminds me of watching Fred Dibnah in the UK dropping 200' factory chimneys in narrow gaps between 2 buildings.
This guy was doing the last cut on the tree on the side it fell, I thought you cut a mouth on that side, then did the final cut from the back?

Normanv
02-11-2015, 01:14 PM
That's impossible. CGI!

A.K. Boomer
02-11-2015, 01:20 PM
this was on here before, he may have just elected to use the wedges on the back side to gain more control as it looks like he did have them kinda side to side..

either way, no matter how good, he also got lucky,,, very lucky.

and unless the tractor had a massive bungie attached to it - it would not be much help in curbing the direction after the first foot or two starting coming it's way and overran it's speed...

flylo
02-11-2015, 01:48 PM
My son just got promoted & has a crew of about 20 guys. He started as a trimmer & it's amazing to watch pros work. They can drop them exactly where they want all in 1 pc or a pile.

bborr01
02-11-2015, 02:32 PM
I have cut more than a few trees and hired pros for touchy jobs but with a little practice you can literally drive a stake with a tree that you are cutting down. Obviously you don't cut a tree like that when it is windy. You need to make sure that your notch is perpendicular to where you want to drop it and you can manipulate where it will fall as you are cutting the back side as it starts to fall. I have found that the best way to learn to do things is to hire experts and watch closely how they do things.

A few years ago I hired a guy to take about 4 or 5 one hundred foot plus oaks down at my cottage. Too many obstacles for me to want to tackle it. The guy that I hired was kind of unorthodox but he got the job done. He didn't wear spikes like others that I have hired. He had a 40' aluminum ladder that he would climb and then put a belt on and shimmied up the tree from there. On one tree he had to climb to about 60' or 70'and tie a 1" nylon rope on. Then he looped it around another tree and hooked it to his truck. (he used a carpet sample to keep the tree from ruining his rope) It took him about 4 or 5 climbs cutting a little more each time then trying to break it the rest of the way by pulling on it with his truck. When it finally started to go he over gunned it and pulled the tree top into the neighbors power wire, ripping it from the power pole. An hour later the power company had it repaired with no charge to anyone.

Oh, and I looked at his insurance papers before I hired him.

Brian

A.K. Boomer
02-11-2015, 03:02 PM
I suggest there is a reason for his reaction at the very end of the Vid, he knew he got lucky too...


I don't care how good you are or how good you think you are, there are cases where the tolerance is so tight that you have to not only be good, but also have to have luck on your side whilst doing it... this is certainly one of those cases, im sure if we could see a true 10 for 10 things would come out a little different some of the times...

TGTool
02-11-2015, 03:20 PM
I wouldn't take anything away from them, because they're obviously very good. Sure, luck always helps but they had this one measured and figured. The direction of fall will depend on the hinge where they notched it on the down side. But leaving nothing to chance they've also got a notch on the other side to wedge from. When they're they've got everything right and pressure on their wedge he goes around to the down side and cuts just enough more to start the break.

mikem
02-11-2015, 03:38 PM
I have cut a lot of 50 to 60' pines and they mostly fell where I wanted them. Sometimes it is hard to judge where the center of gravity is, and they want to go the other way! One fell off the stump because I got a little careless how far I cut the back cut. The tree landed right next to me!

Carm
02-11-2015, 05:31 PM
You can do a lot with wedges... but for the space they had, that was skill. But I have to wonder, why didn't they do it further up the trunk or barber pole it so they didn't smash some of the deck boards?

Willy
02-11-2015, 05:42 PM
I know several full time fallers that could do that almost routinely on a daily basis. I say almost routinely because admittedly the stakes are high for this particular drop. One has to remember though that these guys drop thousands of trees annually. It is one of the most dangerous jobs out in the bush so planning and knowledge are very much a part of the job or there will come a day that you may not make it home, so I guess in reality the stakes are high every day.

These guys can read a tree like a machinist can read a set of blueprints. I'm sure he took all of the particulars into consideration or he would not have attempted it without using a totally different procedure. Yes he did a bow to the gods of luck after it came down, but who doesn't when all goes as planned on a fussy job?
The fact that he had a skidder to haul the log away showed me that he's not just a farmer with a chainsaw, the credits at the end of the video confirmed that fact as well.
I have the utmost respect for a professional faller of that caliber because I've seen that it is knowledge and not luck that brings them home safely after doing this type of work for decades.

Willy
02-11-2015, 05:47 PM
You can do a lot with wedges... but for the space they had, that was skill. But I have to wonder, why didn't they do it further up the trunk or barber pole it so they didn't smash some of the deck boards?

They're taking the tree out so ma can have the room for the new patio that is going onto the back of the mobile, don't need those old steps no more!:)

boslab
02-11-2015, 06:08 PM
That's not what you would call a giant, it's impressive though, I wonder what a giant redwood looks like going down, awesome things.
Putting any tree down where you want it is an art
Mark

Forestgnome
02-11-2015, 06:51 PM
Cracks me up hearing about people using ropes to get a tree to fall where you want it to. If you have to use ropes you don't know how to fell a tree. A tree will follow a properly cut hinge, even in a breeze. Dropping one in close quarters like that is easy if it's a good tree. You have to judge the clearance of the branches though. Now if a tree has grown badly and has gnarled grain or dead spots, that's a whole nuther story.

2ManyHobbies
02-11-2015, 07:30 PM
Luck. Always cut a V-notch in the front and the edges of the notch control the direction of fall. The cut on the back is higher to limit twist or the chance to kick. The cut on the video was nearly flat across the bottom (jump to 1:29).

lakeside53
02-11-2015, 07:47 PM
It's not luck. Yes, that close a quarter makes your heart race a bit.... But Doug Firs are easy, especially one that straight; there's little "off center" weight to worry about. You set your face cut exactly right, then your back cut (which may be biased slightly to compensate for any lean/pull) , and it will simply hinge over by gravity or with a wedge from the back. Doug fir is very strong - it can't fall to the side unless the wood is rotten or you have massive weight to one side to pull fiber (assuming your cut is dead on). Reasonable side quarter wind has no effect on a 2-3 inch hinge across the log, and the back wedge stops any lean back onto the saw. I hate felling INTO any wind with a 150-175 foot tree, but it can be done. Down wind - literally a breeze :)

I live surrounded by trees that size and bigger, and have felled a few hundred in my time. Oh.. never get cocky... once in a while crap happens. I like to say 99% of the time they go exactly where you point them. Just learn how to make that happen. The other 1%... have a plan... Like when you face cut a hemlock and find the center is rotten - now you have NO viable hinge.

I work with a couple of pro tree guys and hire them for difficult (to impossible) jobs. You learn a lot watching what works and doesn't. Once I had a bad leaning tree at a neighbors. I got all the "easy" stuff down", then had my pro buddy come over to take down the bad one. It needed to be climbed but he thought he could swing it to a safe zone. It still hit the shed. lol..

Re: the preceeding post - Loggers don't cut "high" on the backcut - that just means trimming again or you get dinged at the mill. Around here the preferred face cut for saleable timber is a "humbolt" - V UP from the bottom, back cut flat to intersect. End result a flat cut log with juts a hinge to trim. Wood that size always jumps forward, often several feet.

Willy
02-11-2015, 07:59 PM
I think buddy has a little more going for him than luck alone.

Just for giggles I found his Facebook page in which he gives a brief description of how this one went down.
Half way down the page.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Scotts-Tree-Service/358140537590859?sk=timeline&ref=page_internal

mygrizzly1022
02-11-2015, 08:11 PM
Hi All

The tractor pulling the tree away is a cable skidder. A staple in timber harvesting in an other era . Suggests to me this likely took place in bush country where skilled fellers were common.

That has changed over the last while as the mechanization of forestry in machine friendly terrain has reduced their numbers dramatically.

I have no doubt it is skill. Properly set up ad skillful use of wedges a good feller can do this kinda thing in his sleep.The only unknown in a deal like this is the internal condition of the tree.If it is sound all the way through
it is going exactly where he points it. If not then all bets are off.

Bert

epanzella
02-11-2015, 08:32 PM
There was some hanky panky goin' on. The bottom of the tree was cut square. No way to control a tree without a notch and a hinge. When it was cut thru the tree would have been sitting on the saw.

lakeside53
02-11-2015, 08:37 PM
I don't see that. The saw was in the back cut and he was banging in wedges. The tree is supported by the wedges in case it settles back, which it will with a small face cut. In the last few seconds he went to bang the wedges more but the tree started tilting anyhow. Pretty normal.

CalM
02-11-2015, 09:14 PM
I thought the whole effort could be summed up as "a calculated risk".

When the experience factor is large enough, the risk seems small.

Now if one had never dropped a tree, the entire event would appear as "magic".

go figure! ;-)

I've got a 120 foot maple about 25 feet from the house that is going to lay on it's side "sometime" this month. Cutting in season results in "seasoned" firewood.
I'm not worried about where it will fall, but I'm taking precations. 50 feet of 1/2 inch cable and a chain pull is a real confidence booster! ;-)

bborr01
02-11-2015, 09:30 PM
To say that this guy just got lucky is like a rookie machinist saying that an experienced machinist got lucky because he could hold tight tolerances day in and day out. It's called skill.

Brian

bborr01
02-11-2015, 09:34 PM
I wish I had taken pictures 25 years ago when a lumberjack took down a tree that was at my cottage. Over 100' tall and leaning out into the opening over the road. Also had 5,800 volt power lines and phone lines in line of fire. The only way that tree was coming down was by bucket a piece at a time or with a rope to pull it away from the lines. You probably don't need to use ropes too much in the middle of a woods but in cramped places they are indispensable.

Brian


Cracks me up hearing about people using ropes to get a tree to fall where you want it to. If you have to use ropes you don't know how to fell a tree. A tree will follow a properly cut hinge, even in a breeze. Dropping one in close quarters like that is easy if it's a good tree. You have to judge the clearance of the branches though. Now if a tree has grown badly and has gnarled grain or dead spots, that's a whole nuther story.

Bill736
02-11-2015, 09:36 PM
I'd like to also give some praise to guys I call " tree monkeys" , who can hang their chainsaw from their belt, and scramble up a tree , and start cutting it down limb by limb, using only ropes . No cranes or heavy equipment involved. I hired such a " tree monkey " to deal with a 90 year old ash tree that fell against my 2 storey house during a severe windstorm. The tree was leaning against my roof at about a 45 degree angle.
( It did damage my roof and siding quite a bit.) In a 2 day period, he and one ground helper cut up the tree and ground the stump , without doing a bit of additional damage to anything. He was very skilled . ( And no, I never called him a tree monkey to his face !)

Forestgnome
02-12-2015, 09:23 AM
I wish I had taken pictures 25 years ago when a lumberjack took down a tree that was at my cottage. Over 100' tall and leaning out into the opening over the road. Also had 5,800 volt power lines and phone lines in line of fire. The only way that tree was coming down was by bucket a piece at a time or with a rope to pull it away from the lines. You probably don't need to use ropes too much in the middle of a woods but in cramped places they are indispensable.

Brian

I can't think of a situation where ropes used this way are useful unless pulling down something rotten. Real tight quarters, piece by piece.

bborr01
02-12-2015, 10:00 AM
There is no way to overcome gravity when a tree is leaning the opposite direction from where it must fall without using something like a rope or cable to pull it. I don't think the neighbors would be very happy if we just let the tree take out their power, not to mention the safety issue of having 5,800 volt lines on the ground. This was a very healthy tree that needed to go to make room for widening my driveway.

Brian


I can't think of a situation where ropes used this way are useful unless pulling down something rotten. Real tight quarters, piece by piece.

lakeside53
02-12-2015, 12:47 PM
Yes, we use ropes on a lot of tight-quarter trees with significant leans and questionable hinge wood, etc. Wedging can crank a tree way over center from a bad lean, and swinging a tree around with fancy face cuts works if there is room, but... you have to have real faith in the hinge integrity to do that. Also, selective logging in groups of other trees give little room at maneuver a tall log. Last week we had a 100 foot trimmed stick (was 145ft) of suspect hemlock with a bad back lean. 200 foot rope tensioned to the top and the base of another tree, two guys biasing the rope it came over real easy. A lot less work than chunking it down.

justanengineer
02-12-2015, 01:11 PM
Definitely a bit of skill, and if it had been another species of wood I might say luck too but Doug Fir's predictable as anything. Not sure I see the big deal, sure a mistake is costly and you cant really predict everything in nature, but most any semi-talented woodsman should be able to drop a tree onto a stake in the ground 50' away with most species of wood.

A.K. Boomer
02-12-2015, 01:57 PM
Again it's not taking away from skill level when you recognize tolerances that have to have a little luck on your side to boot, that's just being realistic,
and again if it was second nature and totally expected you would not see the huge display of relief on the guy and all the antics following immediately after... he simply would have just picked up his saw and walked away,

the very reason why this is such an amazing Vid is for all that was at risk and the big balls it took to pull it off,
again - if this is all so common then why all the comments? it's easy right? cake walk, no risk here folks lol

last but not least if I hear the "driving a stake" in the ground defense one more time lol

driving a stake with a tree that size is like + or - 9" or more to either side.

this was more like threading a needle - take a look at both sides clearance wise when the tree fell through...

just trying to get and keep things a little more realistic...

dp
02-12-2015, 02:17 PM
Based on the feller's reaction he seemed to think the fall was guided by a divine hand :)

lakeside53
02-12-2015, 03:33 PM
Oh heck... tree guys often do that. Of course it was risky and adrenaline does come into play! Every now and then even that guy will have a bad day, and he knows it.