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Thread: Level Stumps on Steep Ground

  1. #1
    TreeHouser Jed's Avatar
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    Default Level Stumps on Steep Ground

    Hey Guys. Don't expect to get to much of a response with this one, but I'm really curious...

    We've been getting to fall some really tall Doug Fir stubs lately on some "steeper than a cow's face" ground, and, as you might expect, everyone's cuts (both face and back) tend to slope downhill with the ground.

    This tends to be o.k. as long as the back cut stays consistent with the face, but, of course it also makes the spar swing uphill, thus damaging the keeper trees.

    I saw some images on the House of one of Burnham's contract fallers cutting a Doug, (with all the wolfy bark shaved off) and the marvelous thing--at least to me--was how beautifully level, despite the steep ground, his whole operation was.

    My question for you guys is what methods do you use to get level stumps. Is it all just gut feel? I've heard of guys looking at the sawcase to see if it's level. I've heard of guys cutting in bar-deep and then stepping back for objectivity, to look at the saw in the tree. Nothing works for me. What do you guys do? Don't tell me I need more experience: I already know that! Darn it, I want some tricks!!

  2. #2
    Mr. Sir
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    I'm in Florida; what's a slope?

  3. #3
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    Steep ground for us is the side of a retention pond.

  4. #4
    Gord
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    I think a good part of the 'gut feel/experience ' aspect in it is consistency in how you hold a saw. Firstly, full or 3/4 wrap handlebars. Also, a well balanced saw helps too. For me the main thing is feeling the level of the saw in the weight on the handlebars and the pistol grip. In other words, if the saw is off level, it requires a different holding force in each hand to hold it that way, as opposed to the feeling of level which with practice becomes ingrained in muscle memory. It's more difficult standing in awkward positions, and if it's a critical cut on a big tree by all means step back a bit a look at it.

  5. #5
    TreeHouser Sponsor flushcut's Avatar
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    For me cutting on a slope is all feel. I think it just takes practice and more practice I tell everybody, "every cut you make is practice and make them as perfect as possible". I have never been on a mountain side, but have cut on hills that are crazy steep to the point where I am tied in.

  6. #6
    Gord
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    I've always loved the mountains, but they don't make tree work easy.








    Click for bigger photos.

  7. #7
    TreeHouse Administrator MasterBlaster's Avatar
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    "every cut you make is practice and make them as perfect as possible"
    Good mantra!

  8. #8
    TreeHouser Sponsor flushcut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MasterBlaster View Post
    Good mantra!
    You like that do ya? I do I use it as a teaching aid for the green guys.

  9. #9
    TreeHouser Sponsor flushcut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord View Post
    I've always loved the mountains, but they don't make tree work easy.








    Click for bigger photos.
    Ok, not everybody works in heaven.

  10. #10
    Woods walker Sponsor Burnham's Avatar
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    I don't know how, Jed. To me level is level, whether you're standing in the kitchen or on the side of a 120% slope. I don't understand not being able to see that the bar is level.

    Maybe don't think about or look so hard at the ground, ignore that and just concentrate on the saw and the tree.

    I always liked Bermy's method that she advises to her students..."imagine you are balancing a ball bearing on the bar".
    "Confidence is the feeling you sometimes have before you fully understand the situation."

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