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  1. #31
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,709
    Location
    MA/VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    OK, I understand the situation. I wasn't trying to suggest not taking them down, it's just a matter of how.

    What's the problem with cutting them in the conventional manner (notch and hing) plus ropes if needed for additional fall control? Is the idea just to find a faster way?

    I think the danger of digging at the roots of a standing tree is that you destabilize it in an unpredictable way. As you pull roots, the tree becomes less attached and can fall. The problem is that you have essentially no control over when, where, and how it falls, so I would think it would increase the threat to your house.

    In a conventional cut, the hinge (much more than the notch) provides the steering for felling the tree. As long as you can get the tree to fall forwards (towards the notch), the hinge will do an excellent job guiding the tree's fall. I still think that short of major tree processing equipment, this is the safest way, even though you have to then dig the stumps out.




  2. #32

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    A big trackhoe could do that, especially a long-arm version, depending on distance to top of tree etc.

    Poor mans version? A lot of chain and a dozer far enough away that it can't be hit. A big dozer has a heck of a pull!
    If it's a solid tree at the bottom you have to gently push the chain up the tree trunk with a long piece of 2"pvc pipe or 2x2 to help with the leverage. I don't think I'd be digging up roots with anything dead over me. Or just get a full caged dozer if you have room among the trees you're keeping. I've had skilled operators do that type of work, they know what they're doing. Just pay them to do the dangerous stuff and you can still save lots of money doing the cleanup, dressup and pickup!

    I've pulled down those dead top alders one of you mentioned that way with my Ford. It just isn't worth getting injured or worse over, and those tops have a bad habit of finding a different way to fall.

    del


  3. #33
    Elite Member Richard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,154
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Tractor
    Fullsized JCB Loader/Backhoe

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    Harv

    Yup, ran over Stihl with Brutus. Was an interesting day. Started off with some “clanking” Turns out a $3.50 circlip that holds stabilizer pad on backhoe arm broke and pad was flipping around. Took pad off and continued collecting dead stuff on ground. A little while later...

    BANG CLANK THUD PING

    A piece of metal shoots over to my right. Long story short, I thought the engine blew up and the frame broke. Turns out, the ~500 or so of iron weights carried vertically UNDER the radiator had fallen. The ONE bolt (out of two) holding it had stripped the 3-inch square nut and was the nut that was flying to my right.

    Ok, breathe easy... nothing “broken” just an opportunity to replace $25.00 worth of threaded rod and machine the nuts. Not to mention how to figure out how to RAISE the weights back up [img]/w3tcompact/icons/mad.gif[/img]

    Later, out in field pushing burn pile up, cutting branches... I had been off/on Brutus a zillion times and had placed the saw IN Brutus, by fire, opposite side of fire, by tree...ALL over the place. Came to the end of day (full sunlight though and having had the recent timing of keeping Stihl on OPPOSITE side of fire from where I was working) Went to park Brutus by tree and crunch, wobble, the WHOLE machine rocked some.

    NOW what is wrong I lament...[img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

    I stop the machine, motor quietly purring like my cat...all is still (still/Stihl ???) I am puzzled, I look behind me and OOPS [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] there is my chainsaw, top handle crushed, bar bent at 90 degrees, cover for pull starter smashed to smithereens and chain break lever broken. Ran plumb over it. My only choice was to sit there and chuckle at how STUPID it was to forget where it was and run over it. I didn’t see it though primarily because of the size of the bucket on Brutus. $140 later, I took saw apart and had everything fixed up. I’m a little more diligent on whereabouts now.



  4. #34

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    135
    Location
    Far Eastern Central MA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2710

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    For what its worth, I'll second Harv's notion about the crane...

    My Dad had several large oaks (30" dia at the base) taken down. His house is on a thoroughly wooded lot and the trees were less than 30' from the house (and in the backyard). The crane operator parked in the driveway within 6" of the garage doors and swung the crane right over the house to reach the trees. He lifted his assitant into the tree (a job that you couldn't pay me enough to do) and the assistant would hook the sling up to the tree. They'd take up the tension with the crane, and cut off a section. After lifting the section of tree over the house he'd lay the section on the driveway and jump out of the cab to cut it up while his assitant in the tree, re-rigged for the next cut. It was a slick operation...

    We were all wondering how this guy was going to get this huge crane close enough to get these trees with all the other trees around (and the house in the way), but he did it. Later on, the same guy took down some trees for the neighbors who had similar situations (big trees too close to the house on small, heavily wooded lots).

    Maybe it wouldn't work in your situation, but it would be worth some investigation.

    Good Luck...


    Bill

  5. #35

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    610
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    Ford 1710: Loader, Hoe, Snowblower, Box scrapper & 3ph Forks

    Default Re: ? on using backhoe to fell tree

    A couple of years ago we took down a large dead spruce at the corner of our house. The tree went from healthy to dead in one summer. One guy with a chain saw and wedges, a rope known to be longer than the tree is high tied up the tree, and three guys on the other end. The three guys start pulling when the cut is part way through.

    We live in logging country, and that's the way it's done. Topping, or chunking, a dead spruce isn't a good idea since the cores usually are rotten. As far As I know there's no safe way to take a big tree down with a skider, let alone a tractor. You aren't going to be able to do the manipulations mentioned while the tree is going down. It happens fast. Besides, if you push on a dead tree with a tractor, the top half is as likely to break off and fall back on the tractor as the whole tree is to fall away from the tractor. Even if the whole tree falls, the but end is likely to come up real hard and underneath the tractor. I'd pay attention to what Gordon says.

    Of course, if it's a leaner, that's another story. The guy with the chain saw tried to take down a leaner aimed at electrical lines after a storm. The tree took down the lines instead. The area went black for a few hours, and he got a bill from the utility. Sometimes, you just need a crane.



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