Storm Sawing Thoughts…
by Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.
Whether a Hurricane, Tornado or Fire Storm, the past few weeks have been a record setting challenge across the country.
I want to share some thoughts about cutting snag trees whether wind broken or burned. This can also apply to control of cutting horizontal trees or limb removal from wind broken standing trees.
Make sure first to complete your plan. Hazards/Obstacles, Leans, Escape, Hinge, and then consider some of the below for your Back cut.
The hinge to control your tree or limb must be flexible. This means it must be able to bend to maintain control of the tree, log or limb movement. If it is too thick or rotted it can cause splitting or the fiber will break out not giving accurate control and operator safety.
Take for instance a standing tree snag that has a broken top. Whether wind broken or burned, the fiber is generally compromised. This situation can or could also be found on a dead, decaying tree. If you plan to wedge or rope pull, you do not want to try to move the stem until the hinge can be considered flexible. I see operators or read reports where chainsaw operators, start a back cut on a snag, place a wedge and drive it hard into the back cut kerf. If the hinge is too thick this just causes vibrations and splitting that can be very dangerous. Many times they repeat this two or three times on that same snag and shake the tree until something breaks and falls.
Other resistance can be found in front of the hinge in the way of a face notch that closes too soon or a by-pass (Dutchman) that disrupt movement of the hinge.
Consider what you really want the tree or snag to do is to lift or move in the direction you choose without any resistance. If the hinge is set thin enough (approximately 10% of the wood diameter) to act as a fulcrum, the wedge or rope will have much greater success without so much shaking, barber chair and possible operator injury and or loss of control.
If you don’t understand these mechanics you should seek hands on, on site training before putting yourself at risk.
Always wear all your Personal Protective Equipment! Always a good idea to review your manufacturers equipment operators manual before beginning your project.
Tim Ard is President and Lead Instructor of Forest Applications Training Inc. Information can be obtained by website at www.ForestApps.com or contact by email at info@ForestApps.com
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