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  • mharlos's Avatar
    10-20-2016
    My pleasure - it is much deserved! I appreciate the comments and warm welcome everyone :) Mike
    24 replies | 1414 view(s)
  • mharlos's Avatar
    10-19-2016
    I was looking for information on safe tree felling, particularly with a tree with a bit of a lean. In addition to the bore cut, one of the results included the Coos Bay cut, which of course led me here! :) The wealth of information and respectful atmosphere of sharing and education kept my attention! It's obvious that this is a safe place to ask questions and learn, from some of the leaders in the field. :thumbup: Mike
    24 replies | 1414 view(s)
  • mharlos's Avatar
    10-19-2016
    Thanks very much Burnham! It's places like this that are so helpful to the learning process. I practiced the bore cut quite a bit on various stumps - there are lots of stumps out there with mysterious slit-like holes in them :) I also took sections of logs before I split them for firewood, strapped them upright against something, and practiced bore cutting through them. I really helped to get the feel of the process - penetrating with the lower corner of the bar tip to avoid kickback, avoiding cutting through the hinge, keeping the bar level, trying to leave enough of a strap at the back, etc. What surprised me a little bit was when the bar reached the decayed central core of dust and insulation, there was none of the resistance that I was used to feeling - it went through more easily than I expected, and the saw revs went up quickly. One thing I definitely didn't do correctly was after I cut the back strap and saw the tree start to go, I didn't keep my eye on the tree, but followed my escape path with more nervous excitement than was called for. It will take me a while to develop the "calm haste" needed, and to walk away while not taking your eye off the tree yet not stumbling on things such as rocks that couldn't be cleared from the path. Oh, well - live and learn! Or perhaps that should be "Learn, and live!" (seems like a good tenet for this kind of work) Thanks again everyone, Mike
    24 replies | 1414 view(s)
  • mharlos's Avatar
    10-18-2016
    Thanks very much for the warm welcome! :) Mike
    24 replies | 1414 view(s)
  • mharlos's Avatar
    10-18-2016
    Hi there, I've been learning a lot from this great site - what a wonderful resource! We recently purchased a cottage in Northwestern Ontario with about 1.2 acres of mostly aspen, with some birch, bur oak, white spruce, and balsam fir. It will be a great place for our new grandson to explore as he grows up! I decided I needed to learn the basics of chainsaw use and tree felling. There are a number of standing dead or dying aspens, and a couple of hung-up blown down trees. The only trees that I intend to take down are the dead/dying ones or the hung-up blown down ones. This is a bit of a dilemma, as they are also the ones that people advise be left to the pros. I have a healthy respect for the importance of knowledge and safety in such work, having had a family member die in a tree felling accident in his 20s. I've had a small Stihl (MS250) for about a decade, which I've only used to cut up smallish logs that end up on our riverbank every spring thaw in the back yard of our house. To prepare for dealing with the trees on our property, I've been reading as much as I can get my hands on (including Dent's Professional Timber Falling; Jepson's To Fell A Tree; and I have Mr. Beranek's Fundamentals of General Tree Work on the way - I recognize his incredible contribution to these forums and to the general knowledge base that we all benefit from). I've watched some good, bad, and ugly YouTube material. There's actually quite a lot of good information out there (e.g. BC Faller Training Std; Workplace Safety North; Chainsaw Basics; Murphy's channel; Terry Hale; the Stihl and Husky videos, etc.). Even the bad and the ugly can be learned from, if you can get through some of the ones where people remove the very limb that is supporting their ladder, or various other misadventures. I didn't video the experience below, lest I tempt fate and become one of the "epic fail" series. I don't do anything without chaps, helmet/face shield/ear protection, cut-resistant gloves, and steel-toed boots. I bought a Stihl MS261-CM, and have used it quite a bit (for me, that is) bucking fallen trees, and practicing face cuts and bore cuts on stumps. I took down the hung-up blown-down aspen, following the method described in this video, which gave me lots of wood to buck and split for the stove. I wanted to share my recent experience with my first time felling a tree that was of any significant size. It was a 52 ft aspen, 16 inches diameter. It was pretty much dead, and was near the lake shore where kids play; I was afraid that in a good wind it would come down, or a dead limb might. It was about 15 feet from an outdoor sauna, but leaning (about 5-10 degrees) towards the marshy lake front. I was concerned that there might be a a rotten core (it sounded rather hollow), and that the dead limbs/trunk at the top might come down on me as I worked. I kept a close eye upwards as I cut, and my son-in-law watched from a safe distance up the hill. I cleared an escape path. It may have been overkill, but I decided to hook up a line to reduce its chance of falling on the sauna (see pics). There was very little tension on the line - mostly just pulled up the slack. Here's the base of the tree, the escape path, and the line that I set up: As it had a bit of lean, and perhaps not much integrity at its core, I decided to make a shallow face cut, then a bore cut, then cut the back strap. There was also a bit of a side lean, and I put a wedge in that side after bore cutting, hoping to encourage the fall in my intended direction. I'm not sure if wedges have any effect when the back strap is still holding things together? I thought it would at least create some pressure in the right direction when the back strap was cut. It the picture, you'll see it wasn't the best face cut in the world - part of the problem was the rotten wood, but most of the issue was the fact that I need more practice. I was surprised to see not only wood dust in the centre, but it was mixed with a lot of insulation from the nearby sauna; I couldn't find any entry point to the trunk, but something had been using the insulation for nesting (i.e. squirrel). You can see the insulation in the detail pick of the stump. Anyways, just wanted to share this early experience for me, and express my gratitude to those who own/run, moderate, and contribute to this site! I've made a donation to contribute in my own small way! I am embarrassed to say how much I thought and planned about this tree, and how much I worried - especially when I see the kinds of things you all do! Part of my angst may have been the knowledge of what can go wrong and how unforgiving physics can be when heavy things fall. In the end, it fell exactly how I hoped it would, and where I intended it to. :) Regards, Mike
    24 replies | 1414 view(s)
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