A 16" diameter tree fell across a stream and a neighbor doesn't like
it because leaves, sticks, etc. and some plastic bottles, like retail
water bottles, and other soft plastic and a few aluminimum cans pile
up behind the log, and she says it smells some times.
1) Specifically, if I cut it into 4 sections, one of the cuts would be
where the trash is piled up, above the water line. Is it necessary
to get that stuff out of there before cutting? (IIRC the major reason
for not cutting a log on the ground was dulling the blade and the saw
being pulled out of your hands, neither of which would apply here.)
2) The tree is about 16 inches in diameter towards the roots, maybe 14
inches at the other end 14 feet away. Is it better to rent an 18"
saw, which will be heavier and harder to handle, or better to rent a
10" saw which will require two cuts for each cut but will be much
easier to handle.
What happens if the chain end of the saw dips into the water while
running? Do I just put more oil on the chain and keep going?
Any warnings about using a gas chain saw while standing in the stream?
The log itself is not in the stream, but although I think I can avoid
it, it might be after the first or second cut.
I have an electric chain saw that would probably do this, but no way
am I going in the stream with that thing, no matter how double
insulated it is.
Since you will be using a rental saw, why are you so worried if you dull the
chain? They'll quick-sharpen it back up when you return it.
As to size, any chain saw with a 10" blade probably says Mattel on the side-
so go with a big one that has an engine to match.
From the overall tone of your post, are you sure you have the skill to
tackle this project? If you got to the local Mickey D's around 11:15 AM and
asked the first Mexican landscape crew that pulled in if they want to make a
fast $50, they'd do it for you in a heartbeat-- especially if you sprung for
a couple of Big Macs and fries...
I don't treat rental tools worse than I would treat my own.
But if that's the case, that they'll sharpen it anyhow, it's much less
of a consideration, maybe not at all.
My 8" electric does real well on 6 to 8" logs.
Thanks for the advice, and to all of you, whether you encouraged me or
It's complicated, and not really a home.repair topic. But still, I'll
explain. There is little need for me to do this, and after the
discouragement, probably I won't. The log and the problem are not
mine but a neighbor's, possibly the daughter or girlfriend the
"architecture" chairman, and doing a favor for her might be
appreciated (Plus I'd get to rent a chain saw.)
Plus, the plan they have now is to come in with some sort of vehicle
(or big machine?) from 600 feet further down the stream, past my
house, and I don't want them messing up the parts of the stream that
goes by and near my house. Fortunately for me, the property owner 600
feet down has refused to let them enter. The new idea is that he has
to let them because we have iirc an easement of necessity. Whether we
do or not, whether they pursue that or not, I think it's stupid.
If I can't do it, someone else can easily carry a chain saw down a
tinye hill through 10 feet of brush, across 10 feet of stream less
than a foot deep when it's not raining, and cut the tree into pieces.
Or come in from the other side which is 40 feet but with no thick
brush. The spot is very accessible. What crackpot plan requires
them to go in from 600 feet downstream, I'm afraid to ask.
(Because if I ask and if it's as stupid as it must be, I don't think
I'll be able to keep from saying, That's so stupid.)
I volunteer with the state park folks sometimes. They chain saw logs
in salt water all the time. The only thing they do is try to keep the
engine part as dry as possible and hose the whole thing down well with
WD40, then re oil when they are done.
To do this work, get a partner with a peavey or at least
a crowbar. You would be endangered if the chainsaw blade
jammed in any cut, likely when either gravity or moisture
affects what you are cutting. You need to plan each cut
carefully, so that the changing gravity makes the groove
open rather than close (making the cutting much easier
too) and you can often lever the uncut log so that gravity
works for you, not against you.
Yer messing with a hornet's nest. No telling what's in there. I'd winch it
out, then cut it. That will free up a lot of the trash. Nothing wrong with
letting it set a few weeks above water, too to dry out. Then put props
underneath it so the blade doesn't pinch. It's going to depend on how long
it has been underwater and what kind of wood it is as to how the
waterlogging has affected it, and the ability to cut it. If you do wedges,
it shouldn't be any problem. If you have to do long cuts, wedge the cut, or
have gravity to spread it as it cuts. If you get a blade stuck in there,
you'll just have another piece of junk in the mess, as you probably won't
get the saw out.
If you can't do that, maybe you can hook a chain and/or sling to it so that
you can pull up enough of it to cut where the remainder won't just be
another snag. Maybe you'll get lucky and drag the whole thing out. Just
hook up the Dodge Cummins diesel and put her in low low.
I used to be a commercial diver. I wouldn't attack this while in the water
except to put a sling around it.
Besides, chainsaws don't run underwater. ;-)
No offense intended here, but judging from the kind of questions you
ask you really need some more experience with cutting before tackling
this particular job. A chain saw is a very dangerous tool. You can cut
you leg off so fast that you wouldn't know you did it until you hit
Do you really want to (have to) cut down that tree? In many places you
won't have any obligation to do anything if it fell because of natural
If you have to, do yourself a big favor and hire someone to do it.
Felling trees is a dangerous biz by itself that gets much more dangerous
if you have to work standing with unsafe footing in a stream.
No offense, but you don't seem to have much experience working with a
chainsaw which adds the third risk factor to the job. Too many,
My BIL bought two acres with a creek BED running through it. The water only
flows when it rains. He got his front end loader out and cleaned it up a
lot. It drained a lot better.
His piece of shit neighbor turned him into the state for altering the flow
of a stream. The investigators came and investigated. They commended him
for his work, as it improved flow and he had removed trash. They also
advised him that he SHOULD have asked permission first and gotten a permit.
They fined him $25, the cost of a permit. They said they didn't want to
fine him anything since he had helped the creek flow, and removed dead wood
and trash, but since the neighbor was on paper, and he was technically
wrong, they had to cite him, and did so for the minimum amount.
So, even though you may be thinking of helping someone, remember:
No good deed goes unpunished.
You may get into trouble.
BTW, he now shoots any skunk that comes down there and throws the carcass
onto the neighbor's property. Or just shoots the ones that are already on
the neighbor's property.
As others have said, you do not know enough about running a chainsaw
to tackle this job but to answer a couiple questions:
There is no additional danger due to running one while standing in
water AS LONG AS YOUR FOOTING IS SECURE.
The bar/chain getting into the water will result in you getting wet,
very wet. You also need to dry the saw off thoroughly and give all
metal surfaces a light coat of oil after finishing.
Having cut down too many trees and not looking forward
to the next one, my answers are:
Pull the tree out of the water. Working in water is
never a good idea unless you've apprenticed at it for
a few years.
Get the largest blade possible and make sure someone
is standing near by in case you get injured.
Do not expect people to come running to relief you
of free fire wood. For some reason, they'd rather
pay for it.
He who uses a power toll without quality safety goggles
is a fool.
Actually it is easier to use det cord. Wrap the trunk where you
want to split it and let it rip, so to speak. Personally I'd probably
get the junk out of there first just because you can never tell for sure
where the shrapnel might go.
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