Advice on tricky tree felling?

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gwandsh wrote:

Assuming the trees are close to your cabin, you should do something to control the base of the falling tree so it can't kick back and hit your cabin. A rope to another tree, or even to the prospective stump would probably suffice. Trees partially overhanging a cabin is not necessarily a bad thing; they keep it cool in the hot summer.
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At a remote location we have a couple of large oak trees that partially overhang or lean towards our cabin roof. These are tall, narrow profile scrub oaks, but are 50'+ high and have trunks about 2' in diameter. The terrain is sloped, so essentially I am looking to fell these trees "uphill".
I was thinking they could be safely taken down with minimal pre-pruning by attaching a grapple at a fairly high location (20-30' up), roping to a block on another tree, and applying a lot of pull on the line as the trunk is cut.
I realize a pro would be the best option, but as I said, it is pretty remote and cost is a large factor.
Wondering if anyone has taken a similar approach to removing trees that need to fall in specific directions. Would a standard block and tackle suffice, or are there specific tree handling versions I could rent somewhere? Not seeing much info online.
If you do this you will find the tree falls along the slope due to the anchor. (ie it swings in a quarter circle as it falls.) You need a good rope and anchor or hitch it onto the back of a substantial vehicle and drive uphill as far as you can. Or better still two separate ropes and anchors, just to be sure You need a rope length at least four times the hieght of the tree. You need to fasten it on about 3/4 of the way up. on the main trunk. Higher, the branches are too thin. Lower, the leverage will be too great. Don't fasten to any dead wood, it may break. There is a strong chance of it "kicking back" (due to the anchor) as it hits the ground so be wary. Make sure you have a clear route to get away from it as it goes down. As soon as it starts to fall, get clear. Remember, it will rotate and fall at 90 degrees to your cut, don't get the chainsaw trapped.
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The rope prevents it falling down hill. It won't fall uphillbecause of gravity. As it falls, the rope restrains it, the top of the tree describes a quarter circle and it lands "across the slope"
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On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 3:44:48 PM UTC-4, gwandsh wrote:

ub oaks, but are 50'+ high and have trunks about 2' in diameter. The terra in is sloped, so essentially I am looking to fell these trees "uphill".

ock on another tree, and applying a lot of pull on the line as the trunk is cut.

ice, or are there specific tree handling versions I could rent somewhere? Not seeing much info online.

I've done that. I notch it as well. If the tree is reasonably straight up with equal branch loads it'll work for you. But if not then you need to t ake it down in pieces.
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On Wednesday, July 31, 2013 2:44:48 PM UTC-5, gwandsh wrote:

ub oaks, but are 50'+ high and have trunks about 2' in diameter. The terra in is sloped, so essentially I am looking to fell these trees "uphill".

ock on another tree, and applying a lot of pull on the line as the trunk is cut.

ice, or are there specific tree handling versions I could rent somewhere? Not seeing much info online.

I have taken down dead or diseased trees in the yard a few times that I nee ded to have fall in the right direction. Not as big or heavy as yours, tho ugh, I think the biggest was about a 16 inch diameter elm. I have been abl e to direct their falls using the right notching and cutting combined with a rope and one or two people pulling on it. My advice would be:
1. Do you really need to remove the trees? Oaks live a long time, and as others have said, provide shade. And they look nice.
2. If you are sure they must go, the next step is a good look at the tree and how much it leans and which way. Does the trunk lean, are there a lot of branches on side versus the other. Which way does it want to fall. Wit h trees that size, if it is leaning in a very bad direction, it might be ti me to call a pro. Are there other trees in the way?
3. I haven't tried the winch or come along method. I think a situation wh ere that much force was needed, would make me think about calling a pro.
4. Get the rope up as high as you can and still be around a sturdy part of the tree. You can start by tying a string to a rock or heavy bolt or somet hing that you can heave up there. You need the rock to come all the way bac k down. Then you tie the rope to the string and use the string to haul the rope up over and down. Make a loop in one end of the rope, feed the other end through it, and pull it through (the loop sliding up) until the rope i s well secured around the tree branch or trunk. Consider whether you would like to have two ropes.
5. Position your pullers. Cut your notch and start your backcut. You wan t to leave a hinge to direct the tree's fall. When it starts to creak/move you exit promptly and the pullers pull. The tree will do what it's going to do. Hopefully what you want.
6. Again, have respect for the scale of what you're doing. The tree's weig ht is measured in tons. You are releasing a huge amount of energy. Felling trees is dangerous, especially big trees like what you have. -- H
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wrote:

If I had my own remote location I'd do it myself. Just read up on it, and use good gear with enough strength. You're not supporting the entire weight of tree with the tensioning gear, just applying directional force. If you give it enough thought and still have some doubts, hire a pro. You didn't say how pitched the slope is, and whether it's possible for the cut tree to slide into and punch through your cabin. The rope/cable will be useless in stopping that if the base of the tree is close enough to the cabin, so keep that geometry in mind. An anchoring rope/cable near the base of the tree might be needed. But I'd go for. Then I'd get to talk about my lumberjackin' days over a few beers.
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Now that part damn sure ain't rocket science! ** Lonesome Dove
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