best approach to felling and milling damaged tree - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 7Likes
  • 3 Post By GeorgeC
  • 2 Post By 35015
  • 2 Post By woodnthings
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 8 Old 06-27-2017, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 301
View chsdiyer's Photo Album My Photos
best approach to felling and milling damaged tree

I have a pine tree that's about 28" diameter which seems to have been struck by lighting a couple of years ago. Bark is missing about midway up. At the base, the beetles are starting to get into it. We're hoping to build a house on this property and I'd love to build things out of wood from the land. So far i've saved a gum and laurel oak to mill later. My wife really wants a beam (maybe 12x12) between the kitchen and dining room and I thought it would be cool to use timber from this pine. I've never milled anything so I'm not sure where to start and have lots of questions...

1.) Given the shape it's in, I assume I should cut it down sooner than later, no?
1a.) Once down, is there a way I should treat it to keep the beetles from continuing to do damage to it?

2.) Once on the ground, if I seal the ends, does it matter if I leave the logs for several months before I get to milling?
2a.) If I don't mill it now, what would be the best way to store the logs (off the ground, under shelter, etc)?

3.) What's the safest way to fell this tree? None of it's branches have fallen yet and still has pine cones on it, but some bark has fallen at some point. I have a friend with a lot more experience than I in felling trees who's going to help, but I'd like to get more feedback on the best way to approach this or things to look out for.

I'll post pictures of this tree this evening.

Thanks!
chsdiyer is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 8 Old 06-27-2017, 01:48 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
The wood from the tree is safer where it is if you can't mill it right now. You might spray the tree with insecticide to prevent any more insects from getting into the tree. What is really needs is to be turned into lumber and kiln dried. A dry kiln will remove any insect infestation.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 06-27-2017, 03:17 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Florida Panhandle
Posts: 12,104
View GeorgeC's Photo Album My Photos
If you have to ask on a forum for the safest way to cut down a 28" tree then that is not a task you should be attempting. That is a large tree and many unsafe things can happen. Leave threes of this size until you have more experience.

George
35015, Kerrys and Max Rockatanski like this.
GeorgeC is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 8 Old 06-27-2017, 07:00 PM
Former Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,512
View 35015's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by chsdiyer
1.) Given the shape it's in, I assume I should cut it down sooner than later, no?
Yes...

Anytime a tree is under duress or to be harvested from damage of some type it is better usually (not always) to harvest the tree as soon as possible to mitigate further damage from decay and wood destroying organisms...


Quote:
Originally Posted by chsdiyer
1a.) Once down, is there a way I should treat it to keep the beetles from continuing to do damage to it?
End Seal and Debark immediately...This takes care of most of the issues for pine.

For hardwoods, a spray down of a Borate and/or Pyrethroid (Natural Based) insecticide is warranted and often recommended more than once.

Some Sawyers in some areas know for heavy wood nesting Coleoptera will take a borate end seal material and lather up the entire bolts sections of logs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chsdiyer
2.) Once on the ground, if I seal the ends, does it matter if I leave the logs for several months before I get to milling?
2a.) If I don't mill it now, what would be the best way to store the logs (off the ground, under shelter, etc)?
I think you may find this post thread of assistance to you perhaps:

Live Edge Boards


Quote:
Originally Posted by chsdiyer
3.) What's the safest way to fell this tree? None of it's branches have fallen yet and still has pine cones on it, but some bark has fallen at some point. I have a friend with a lot more experience than I in felling trees who's going to help, but I'd like to get more feedback on the best way to approach this or things to look out for.
As a Arborist, Tree Warden, Sawyer and eclectic "worker of wood" I must (sorry) strongly agree with others!!! If you have to ask this...it is entirely too dangerous for you to even attempt.

To properly drop this tree, it should be climbed, rigged properly, and then notched for felling...If you can't do this without asking questions how, it's most likely entirely too dangerous for you (or anyone else unskilled) to even think of doing. This is a highly skilled task that is one of the most dangerous professions known according to most insurance companies...mine included.

I like what you're trying to do, and support you in in...

Nevertheless, as an WEMT, I have seen way too many bad accidents (and deaths) from DIYer tree workers...Please be careful if you plan to move forward...and please note that a video and/or forum could never give you the info you need to do such work safely...Youtube is a dangerous place to learn most things...especially dangerous skills...

Your friend should be insured, have all the necessary rigging, and have worked professionally within the field to..."actually know"...what being safe means and know what they are doing...I too often see posts like this where things go terribly wrong with "help from friends" that claim some range of "expertise." They may have it...then again they may not either. The proper rigging, and gear will be a good indication.

Please don't hesitate to ask more questions!!

Would be glad to help if I can, when I can...
Kerrys and Max Rockatanski like this.

Last edited by 35015; 06-27-2017 at 07:13 PM.
35015 is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 06-27-2017, 08:48 PM
where's my table saw?
 
woodnthings's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: SE, Michigan
Posts: 26,558
View woodnthings's Photo Album My Photos
Exclamation I've felled a few hundred trees

I am certainly not an expert, but I'm confident enough to know what I shouldn't do based on what I have done. A 28" DIA tree is large by most trees I've felled. One problem is your "normal" 20" chain saw won't cut it all the way through in one pass from one side..... I have a 24" bar on my old Pioneer and it's scary powerful. Having said all that, your best off if your friend is very experienced and has a large chainsaw, felling wedges, can pitch a lead bag over a limb for a line pull, and can read the fall direction based on the limb size, number and location. Best also if there are no buildings or other valuable trees in the fall path. If there is doubt, call in a pro....

Another issue is that the bugs may have eaten out the center of the tree which will make it break unexpectedly part way through the cut. A plunge cut right through the center will show the nature of the sawdust .... dark and soft means the bugs were there. If there any doubt call a pro .....
35015 and Max Rockatanski like this.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
woodnthings is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 06-27-2017, 08:58 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 25,995
View Steve Neul's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I am certainly not an expert, but I'm confident enough to know what I shouldn't do based on what I have done. A 28" DIA tree is large by most trees I've felled. One problem is your "normal" 20" chain saw won't cut it all the way through in one pass from one side..... I have a 24" bar on my old Pioneer and it's scary powerful. Having said all that, your best off if your friend is very experienced and has a large chainsaw, felling wedges, can pitch a lead bag over a limb for a line pull, and can read the fall direction based on the limb size, number and location. Best also if there are no buildings or other valuable trees in the fall path. If there is doubt, call in a pro....

Another issue is that the bugs may have eaten out the center of the tree which will make it break unexpectedly part way through the cut. A plunge cut right through the center will show the nature of the sawdust .... dark and soft means the bugs were there. If there any doubt call a pro .....
I agree, I bought 10 acres of jungle and cleared it myself. I certainly didn't have any training. Common sense will get the job done. Nearly all trees are leaning in one direction or another. If at all possible fall the tree in the direction it's wanting to go anyway. If it's leaning toward a structure and close enough to reach it then that is a different story. That is really the only time you have to take the tree down from the top down.
Steve Neul is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 07-01-2017, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 301
View chsdiyer's Photo Album My Photos
thanks for the feedback. Sorry it took so long to get pictures posted. I assume they wont change any feelings on the matter but there is no structures on the land that the tree can cause damage to and it's cleared in the direction the tree is leaning and which I would drop it. It's not that I have no clue how to do this, but recognizing I don't know everything and figured I'd get feedback from those more experienced. Also, I'm not doing it really but will have a friend who's cut down similar sized trees. Most of my concern really was in the wood handling. I've been debating on whether to remove it now or wait till I can mill the wood. I already have to other trees on the ground, but not sure I shouldn't have waited. Thanks again for the feedback and caution advice.

sorry all the pictures are sideways
Attached Images
   
chsdiyer is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 07-02-2017, 08:39 PM
Former Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,512
View 35015's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Sorry it took so long to get pictures posted.
No worries here...

Quote:
I assume they wont change any feelings on the matter but there is no structures on the land that the tree can cause damage to
Then just be safe, follow industry standards and have fun learning more about dropping trees to make cool stuff from them!

Quote:
and it's cleared in the direction the tree is leaning and which I would drop it.
Lean is not always an indication of fall direction!!!!

Especially in a tree with internal structural compromise...Those suckers can go any which way no matter what you do other than putting a rope in them under tension...and/or...adding directional wedging pressure...

HAVE FUN...BE SAFE!!!!
35015 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome