Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe

   / Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe #1  

Gale Hawkins

Super Star Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
12,070
Location
Murray, KY
Tractor
1948 Allis Chambers Model B 1976 265 MF / 1983 JD 310B Backhoe / 1966 Ford 3000 Diesel / 1980 3600 Diesel
There was a dying and even larger dead trees near the driveway that were in time going to fall on a car or other piece of equipment in a storm.

One was leaning hard so knotched and cut through as much as I dared with the FEL against it very high up the tree then pushed it so it fell into the woods (no clean up req. today).

The large totally dead tree was about 10 foot down a steep bank into the woods. Again I cut as much as I dared but it was not leaning like the other one. I could not reach it with the FEL so I turned around and the backhoe had just enough reach to also throw it down into the woods.

The last time I had someone come out and do about the same it cost me $350 15+ years ago.
 
   / Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe #2  
The last time I had someone come out and do about the same it cost me $350 15+ years ago.
We built our house in the woods. We have lots of trees. I have my eye on at least a half-dozen trees that need to come down because they are potential hazards. I have decided that I need to develop my skills at taking down trees or I'm going to spend all my money paying someone else.

With my small tractor, the tree can't be very large for me to feel comfortable pushing on the tree while cutting it. I've been considering getting some climbing gear so I can tie a rope or cable up high to help encourage the direction of the fall.

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There is a tree close to the middle of the picture at the edge of the grass that has a pink ribbon on the trunk about 6 feet from the ground. If you look real close you can see the ribbon. This tree, among too many others, was damaged by our grading contractor and will eventually die. It is leaning toward the house so it might have to be climbed and taken down a section at a time. Climbing a tree and cutting it down will definitely tax my comfort level but I feel like I need to learn how to do it or I'll go broke.
 

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   / Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe #3  
I've been considering getting some climbing gear so I can tie a rope or cable up high to help encourage the direction of the fall.

I keep my tree climbing gear in the same drawer with my emergency home brain surgery kit.
 
   / Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe #5  
I make it a point to never climb a tree. And especially to climb it and use a chainsaw.
I have taken down a ton of trees by putting an extension ladder up against the tree and maybe 15' up or as high as is comfortable, then hook a chain around the tree. Then I get a 50' cable and hook the other end to either some com-a-longs and pull it until it bends in the right direction and then cut it, or hook it to a truck or a tractor and put tension on it while cutting it.
Some trees were about 12-24" in diameter and 50-60 foot tall. For the really tall trees I have a 100' cable to use, just in case I estimate it wrong. I would hate to use a short cable and a really tall tree. All it cost is maybe $100 for some unbreakable cable and a come-a-long.
Those trees should be able to be pulled away from the house and cut easily.
 
   / Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe #8  
Why climb when you can ride up in the FEL instead? :D
 
   / Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe #9  
There was a dying and even larger dead trees near the driveway that were in time going to fall on a car or other piece of equipment in a storm.

One was leaning hard so knotched and cut through as much as I dared with the FEL against it very high up the tree then pushed it so it fell into the woods (no clean up req. today).

The large totally dead tree was about 10 foot down a steep bank into the woods. Again I cut as much as I dared but it was not leaning like the other one. I could not reach it with the FEL so I turned around and the backhoe had just enough reach to also throw it down into the woods.

The last time I had someone come out and do about the same it cost me $350 15+ years ago.

That's all I've been doing this past 8 days, cutting trees, most already down but some leaners. All due to the wonderful october snow we had.
I would of had to take out a home equity loan if I had to hire all this work out. Got enough red oak and hickory firewood for at least 5 years.

We built our house in the woods. We have lots of trees. I have my eye on at least a half-dozen trees that need to come down because they are potential hazards. I have decided that I need to develop my skills at taking down trees or I'm going to spend all my money paying someone else.

With my small tractor, the tree can't be very large for me to feel comfortable pushing on the tree while cutting it. I've been considering getting some climbing gear so I can tie a rope or cable up high to help encourage the direction of the fall.

attachment.php


There is a tree close to the middle of the picture at the edge of the grass that has a pink ribbon on the trunk about 6 feet from the ground. If you look real close you can see the ribbon. This tree, among too many others, was damaged by our grading contractor and will eventually die. It is leaning toward the house so it might have to be climbed and taken down a section at a time. Climbing a tree and cutting it down will definitely tax my comfort level but I feel like I need to learn how to do it or I'll go broke.

Don't listen to those brain surgeons :laughing:

But you really wouldn't need to climb those trees shown.

Do like gale described, push on them with your loader bucket up high, in a safe direction. Cut from the side opposite the side you want them to go.
Those trees look like they would be fairly easy to influence the direction you want them to fall.
If you have to get a rope on them just throw a weighted lite line up as high as you can and pull a heavier rope up and over a large limb to pull on.

I've been dealing with some trees 2 feet in diameter this week, even after they have fallen with the whole root ball out of the ground, they are still dangerous as you can't always tell which way they want to release their energy.

JB
 
   / Throwing Trees with the FEL and Backhoe
  • Thread Starter
#10  
I should have mentioned it was a JD 310B backhoe and at 13,000 pounds it has a lot of reach.

One could flip a backhoe in a heart beat so it takes some planning before one starts.

What started this was the wife backed into a 12"-14" hickory with the 2003 Escalade because I had moved my PU because seller of the 100 gallon fuel tank had agreed to bring it to me since I was tied up (needed the money I guess) and I told her my truck was in a different spot so watch when leaving for work.

She did a very good job of watching my PU and backed into the hickory tree. The bumper skin got messed up some and the metal bent too and cracked up the tail light worse than when she backed into another truck. :) Today I helped the kids and after pulling the skin back a bit with a jack, jack stand and sledge hammer we got it back in shape and have to get some paint and tail light for the left side. Thankfully no painted metal got bent.

That tree we just fell with the saw because of where it was located and had to work it up some. The other two I did not want to touch them but just flip them into the woods.

I did not have the backhoe against either tree when using the chainsaw in case something went wrong. The goal is never to be near the base of a leaning/dead tree when you saw though it. :thumbsup:

As noted I just notched and sawed like I was going to flip it with a wedge but did not saw as deep to be more safe. To me the key is to get against it and take it in the desired direction in ONE smooth slow motion until gravity takes over.

The other day I had to cut a good size tree that had blew over from wind back in the spring. I wanted it for a log but that thing started popping/spliting before I sawed very deep and I actually had the loader under it lifting on the upper part of the tree.

I had rather take down 10 upright trees as ONE out by the roots. The stump always stands back up on me. I was cutting with only one hand on the saw and standing back as far as I could at the end just in case it released so it could jerk the saw out of my hand and not hit me in the head when it went flying. Dad almost lost a hand when I was young from a kicking tree.

The backhoe really is handy when the saw gets pinched really hard. :thumbsup:

The funny part I was just looking for a FEL for the 265 MF when I found the 1983 JD 310B backhoe for only about $1200 more money. It starts and runs good, stays dry now but the pins are really worned but I keep it greased now. I smile everytime I use it. :D
 
 
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