Tree Lessons Learned the hard way

Treeaddict

Treehouser
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
853
Location
Harford county MD
I’ve been thinking about lessons, practices, and procedures learned to help mitigate mistakes because the mistakes had pretty annoying consequences. Please share your tree life lessons!!

1- Chainsaw fueling and oiling: Open cap, add gas, close cap. Open oil, add oil, close cap. Seems simple but I do it in that order for a reason. It has to be regimented. I’ve filled my gas tank with bar oil as well as moved the saw with caps open. I haven’t figured out a way to consistently avoid overflowing the tanks😁

2- If you miss your shot with the throw line it’s probably a good idea to remove the bag before pulling the line back if it’s over many branches. I have all the throw bags I purchased but I’ve had to climb to retrieve.

3- Don’t pull the spliced eye end through a tight crotch when retrieving your climb line. It can/will get stuck, requiring more climbing to get it out.

Let’s hear em!!
 

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
9,340
Location
MD USA
Don't hold and cut. Pertains to a chainsaw, but I learned with a machete. Only took a few stitches...

edit:
I guess the broader lesson is if your plan requires perfect execution under precise parameters, you should probably come up with a better plan. There was no reason I should have cut myself aside from hitting a knot that deflected my blade. Gotta play chess, and think a few moves ahead, planning for the worst.
 
Last edited:

cory

Tree House enthusiast
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
23,821
Location
CT
Re filling tanks, the commonly available 2.5 gal jugs with the on/off spigot are effective for gasoline imo, and for oil, repurposing a washing machine detergent jug with a spigot top is very effective, a former member posted that here years ago.
 

pigwot

Marlee's, Juniper's, and Lowen’s Grandpa
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
2,364
Location
Delaware, East Coast, USA
Only happened once in my first few months of climbing. Got to the ground after a thorough dead-wooding and pruning of a large tree. Looking over the tree, - yep, there was the polesaw, right where I had last hung it. Now, it seems I occasionally forget the slipknot to dislodge the sleeve-style cambium saver...
 

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
9,340
Location
MD USA
Somewhat related, I can't seem to get everything together before starting to climb. I either have my spurs on or I'm clipped into my rope before I realize what I'm missing. Can't call it a lesson, cause I don't seem to learn :^/
 

Treeaddict

Treehouser
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
853
Location
Harford county MD
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12
When running your chainsaw and it stops cutting 3/4 of the way through your cut, don’t push as hard as you can in an attempt to finish the cut. It probably won’t cut no matter how hard you push! It takes everything I can muster to make me just stop and assess the situation in that scenario. If I just put my weight into it…….
 

cory

Tree House enthusiast
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
23,821
Location
CT
Only happened once in my first few months of climbing. Got to the ground after ...
For some reason, pigwot's post reminds me of the time or two I climbed up a fairly huge, somewhat intimidating tree, in the days of free climbing, and when I got to the top realized I didn't have my climb line with me:X:X:X.

The intimidation factor caused distraction which caused forgetting the line.
 

cory

Tree House enthusiast
Joined
Aug 23, 2008
Messages
23,821
Location
CT
Oooh I got another one, re pole saws.

Back in the day, when done in a tree you would commonly throw the pole saw down (a bit hard to believe now since throwing a pole saw out of a tree does not happen at all, these days. Yes, we sometimes drop it from a reasonable height to a groundie who catches it). So I was aiming my pole saw toss thru a bit of a tight window in the canopy. After a couple practice motions I let it fly like a spear with a hard toss to get it thru the small window. Only problem was that the blade was behind my head and facing inward not outward, so it clobbered the back of my hard hat hard. My hard hat likely saved my life cuz throwing a pole saw blade and pole at your skull like that could easily kill you I believe.

Crazy clueless.
 

CurSedVoyce

California Hillbilly
Joined
Jun 30, 2008
Messages
38,579
Location
Near Yosemite in CA USA
I do that from time to time with my flip line these days. I'll SRT right up on the Akimbo with a biner on suspender loop advancing it. Get to my TIP, or first work position and realize, shit! Have Rob send it up on the tail of my rope so I can get to work. Not so easy to forget when I use the Hitch Hiker since I use the flip line to advance the device.
Well, then there is the handsaw once in a while.
Old timers I guess.
The worst one is leaving my climbers at home when I go to work. They hurt my feet if I wear them all day. SO I wear slip on's till I get to the job. DOH
 
Last edited:

pigwot

Marlee's, Juniper's, and Lowen’s Grandpa
Joined
Mar 9, 2007
Messages
2,364
Location
Delaware, East Coast, USA
Apologies in advance:

Forgetting gear reminds me that a while ago I was: riding up on hook of crane, placing sling in top of small tree, rocketing to the ground, pulling line, picking up saw, cutting and away the crane would take the tree. Rinse, repeat… really got into a rhythm!
Ten trees later up I headed with strap and “oh sh*t” it was the first full-sized tree, and there I was - no spikes, and the saw sitting on the ground. Crane op quipped “Did you forget your dick today, too?” (Sustained guffaws from the whole crew as I was lowered back down to get saw and spikes).

Now I just knew with this crew lunch break was going to be unbearable and endless ‘forgot your dick jokes’, so I headed it off by saying to the crane op in a somber voice: “ Funny you should say that about forgetting my dick, they removed 3/4s of it due to cancer last month”. He was apologizing all over, and “Oh man, I’m sorry”, till I yelled “Gotcha!”. We all had one last laugh and moved on.
And I remembered my spikes and saw all afternoon…
 

Jonny

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 29, 2018
Messages
3,240
Location
Buffalo, NY
Can I bitch and vent a little about bars getting pinched, and how it’s usually completely predictable?

Even professionals can occasionally get stuck if dealing with cracked wood and broken stuff, often found in storm damaged trees, but for normal everyday limbing, bucking, and pruning cuts, a slightly experienced saw operator should be able to glance at the spot they’re going to cut, and know right away where the tension is and where the compression is, and then know what kind of cut to make and from what direction.

I’m not sure how many folks I’ve seen just pinch and pinch every damn day. If bucking medium or large wood, they should be able to see the kerf closing early on before they’re hopelessly stuck. Once that starts happening, chances of finishing the cut in this same direction are slim to none. Just stop.

If they’re doing this with my saws, they’ll get yelled at if they try yanking the saw out when pinched hard. Beats the shit out of the AV system, and will break an AV spring or buffer. Get another saw and relieve that compression at a different spot on the piece. This stuff is groundie 101, it’s not very complex.
 

Ed L

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
422
Location
Front seat on the struggle bus
Other people are stupid and shouldn't be felling trees!
Damn near got pancaked by a big norway spruce after someone didn't understand what a wedge is for. That incident made me invest in a full wrap handle, so l could safely cut from either side.
Second was the misread lean and angled back cut. Sadly it pushed my friend to a mild heart attack and ended his woodcutting days.

Ed
 

greengreer

TreeHouser
Joined
Oct 13, 2014
Messages
319
Location
Todd NC
Re filling tanks, the commonly available 2.5 gal jugs with the on/off spigot are effective for gasoline imo, and for oil, repurposing a washing machine detergent jug with a spigot top is very effective, a former member posted that here years ago.
I found that the lids from plastic honey bottles fit a bar oil jug. Finally not spilling bar oil everywhere
 

SkwerI

Treehouser
Joined
Sep 6, 2006
Messages
18,891
Location
central Florida
One gallon oil jugs I just cut a slit in the foil on top instead of removing it completely. And if you cut the slit sideways, then hold the jug sideways as you pour, you can tip it much further before the oil comes out. This gets you much closer to the fill hole and gives you much better control.

Unfortunately once in a while somebody uses my oil jug who is unfamiliar with the system and rips the foil off (or just jabs it open with their finger) and it is always with a new, full jug.
 
Top