Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Cutting Down a Tree

By Mark J. Donovan

This weekend I spent some time cutting down some low hanging tree limbs and one large tree. The large tree stood at least 75 feet tall and was situated fairly close to the house. After using a tree pole saw to remove some of the larger limbs that were hanging on the side of the tree that faced the house, I pulled out the chain saw.

Before cutting down the tree, I tied a large 5000 lb test strap to it, and an adjacent tree, to help prevent the tree from falling in the wrong direction. I was able to ratchet the strap very tightly to create the pull I wanted on the tree.

I then started up the chain saw and took out a wedge of wood that went about ¼ of the way through the trunk of the tree. The wedge faced the direction of where I wanted to place the tree.

I then made a backcut on the back side of the tree, about an inch higher than where the wedge cut was made. I got nearly ½ ways through it when the tree started to fall. I held my breath for a few seconds as I watched the tree crash to the ground. The tree landed exactly where I wanted it to go, but the tip of it just landed shy of my above ground pool. Fortunately it missed it by a couple of feet.

Cutting the tree down was the easy part, however. I spent about an hour limbing the tree and cutting it up into firewood length (aka bucking). I then had to stack the wood, haul away the brush and then rake the yard. Suffice it to say, it was an exhausting day. That said, the yard looks a lot brighter now that the tree is gone.

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