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  1. #1
    Platinum Member CobyRupert's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    Washington County, NY
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    JD 5075E

    Default How to cut a hollow tree?

    My sister wants me to cut a ~50 maple, about 20" at the butt, it stands pretty straight, with a slight lean towards the way it needs to fall (next to her garage). Problem is: from about 4' to 10' above the ground the trunk is hollow on one side/middle. It "seems" like there is still core wood from about 4' and down. Is there a good pre-wedge cut way to find out?. Should I use a shallow face bore cut, just in case the bottom of the trunk is hollow too? Maybe wrap the trunk with a chain to prevent barberchairing?
    JD5075E, Frontier RC2084 Rotary Cutter, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch

  2. #2
    Silver Member
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    Aug 2005
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    Lake Charles, La
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    Case DX40

    Default

    leave this one alone, hire a professional or push it over with a bulldozer.

  3. #3
    Elite Member DT86's Avatar
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    SWVA
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    Kubota 9540, RTV 900 and David Brown 885.

    Default

    It will all depends on how much room for error you've got and how brave you are. With out pictures it's hard to say though.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member CobyRupert's Avatar
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    JD 5075E

    Default Re: How to cut a hollow tree?

    Yeah, I knew that would be the response, but.....
    JD5075E, Frontier RC2084 Rotary Cutter, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch

  5. #5
    Veteran Member vtsnowedin's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to cut a hollow tree?

    I'm with JHTF on this one as it is close to the garage and all. I once cut a tree that I didn't realise was hollow at the base. Not near any buildings thank god. The wedge cut seemed normal but almost as soon as I started on the back cut the tree popped and spun on what wood was left and dropped off the stump onto my saw trashing it and putting very close to a ninty degree angle in the bar. Then after the tree whumped closer to me then I like by about fifty feet a family of five raccoons that were living in the hollow tree came out kind of dazed except for momma who was all hissy and spoiling for a scrap. A very interesting and expensive day. Take care.

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2009
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    Murray, KY
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    265 MF / JD 310B Backhoe

    Default Re: How to cut a hollow tree?

    This is about as bad at it gets because there is NO real control for you sawing skills.

    Last time I was able to 'flick' after some sawing with the backhoe bucket but no buildings were in the path. It was the risk for making the cut not knowing what was going to happen or when.

    Be careful. Some rope tackle would be nice to have like the professionals.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member CobyRupert's Avatar
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    JD 5075E

    Default Re: How to cut a hollow tree?

    Yes, I'll use a rope or cable and apply some pull at the same time, as insurance that it falls where it needs to. Just worried that a cable will increase the chances of a barberchair in a hollow tree situation. Thus, it seems a bore cut might be appropriate? I did read somewhere that a 10" hollow pipe with 1' walls is as strong as a 8" solid pipe. Same with a tree, you don't lose that much strength just cause it's hollow? Just wondering if it will hinge differently or if there's other considerations?
    JD5075E, Frontier RC2084 Rotary Cutter, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch

  8. #8
    Elite Member whistlepig's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
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    Preble County, Ohio
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    Kubota B7800 with FEL

    Default Re: How to cut a hollow tree?

    In steel hollow tubes are more rigid than solid steel. Gravity is going to be your enemy here and not the hollow tree.
    ........Shoot this thang! Have mercy this thang is killin' me. Just shoot up here amongst us. One of us has got to have some relief..............
    jerry clowers-a coon huntin story.

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    Northern Fingerlakes region of NY, USA
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    Kubota L3830GST, B7500HST, BX2660

    Default Re: How to cut a hollow tree?

    Having a pro do it will be cheaper than rebuilding the garage... Unless you can take it down from the top 4' at a time, I would let a pro do it.

    Aaron Z
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
    Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

  10. #10
    Elite Member CurlyDave's Avatar
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    Grants Pass, OR
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    JD TLB 110

    Default Re: How to cut a hollow tree?

    Quote Originally Posted by aczlan View Post
    Having a pro do it will be cheaper than rebuilding the garage... Unless you can take it down from the top 4' at a time, I would let a pro do it.

    Aaron Z
    I completely agree. The only difference I would have is to get a pro with insurance for this cut.

    The hinge a hollow tree would have is vastly inferior to the hinge in a solid tree, and the wood probably has some very unusual grain near the hollow spot.
    40 Acres on a hill - fantastic view. JD 110 TLB, 4-n-1, 12" bucket, 18" bucket, Addington thumb, rock bucket (doubles as root grapple)

    Not only do we not understand the universe, if someone explained it to us, we would not know what he was talking about.

    Isaac Asimov

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