The Tree House loves TreeStuff!

Opinions On Tree Stability

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
711
Location
MD USA
I went to finally take a good look at the oak I want to make trailer boards from. My intention was to climb it, remove the dead limbs over the backcut, then fell it. After really looking at it, I'm not feeling that good about the plan. Here's the whole tree more or less...

IMG_20191203_151246.jpg

Here's a section I cut away from the bark. It's all punky under the bark for about 1/2". I would call it 1" of mush all around to add an estimation safety factor. I didn't have my sharp axe, but the deepest part of the cut you see made a sound I didn't quite like. Kind of a loud Tok, like the rings were delaminated. Not entirely sure what to make of that...

IMG_20191203_151937.jpg

Finally, here's a view from underneath looking up...

IMG_20191203_152003.jpg

I'm leaning against climbing it, though that would be more convenient for setting a line, and getting rid of junk above the backcut. The tree's pretty much plumb. I forgot to measure it, but I'd guess it's 28"dbh. Maybe a straight fell, watching closely above? I'd cut it high; maybe 3' up. That gets above the root flair, and the wood looked a bit better. I stripped the bark all the way around, and sounded the tree. It all looked about like the trunk pic above, but the only unusual sound came from the pic above. Thoughts?
 

Mellow

Treehouser
Joined
Oct 13, 2017
Messages
1,596
Location
Sunshine State
Do you have room to drop the whole tree? If it's pretty much plumb, you can drop it any direction you want. Toss a rope in it as high as possible, set up a 3 to 1 mechanical advantage to a suitable anchor and send it.
 

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
711
Location
MD USA
I have 360° to drop it where it won't be a *tragedy, but it's highly preferable to send it up hill, and that's fairly generous. I might have a 30° area I can call perfect. No anchors anywhere near the lay. My intention was to have the boss and his skid loader on call, but try getting it myself with wedges, a maasdam, and my dakota.

*Speaking in terms of property damage. Some nice trees could get messed up depending on where it fell, and if it hung up in one the trees, that would be a bad situation, though worst case would be leave it alone til it came down on its own. Best to avoid all that though.
 

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
711
Location
MD USA
That's what I'm thinking. I'm hoping the rope won't be needed at all. Cut the face a little deeper than standard, a couple taps on the wedges, and over it goes. Any idea on that sound I heard? I guess it's shake. Does that have any negative implications for felling?
 

flushcut

TreeHouser
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
13,016
Location
Delavan, WI
Set a line and pull that sucker. IMO it doesn't look to be that dead maybe four five years guessing by the branches. I would climb it but certainly no rigging off of it. The rot you are seeing is the sap wood rotting but the heart wood should be sound provided there are no defects. Drill the trunk and see what you have.
 

Tree09

Treehouser
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
4,089
Location
Peoria il
That tree is screaming to be pulled. You might need to park a truck or piece of equipment to use as an anchor, or pulling implement if possible. I'm a noob and only trust wedges on wood that can handle compressive loads, and that trunk is an unknown until you get to the heartwood.
 

Nutball

TreeHouser
Joined
Apr 4, 2015
Messages
1,148
Location
Mt. Juliet, TN
But dead rotten oak might. A friend of mine had a red oak die quickly and branches just started falling off. They looked similar to that one. I don't think a throw line and tugging by hand would pull the tree over.
 

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
711
Location
MD USA
The main stem's pretty sound I think, at least as far as just standing there, and maybe getting tugged on a little. I like the idea of pulling on the branches. It'll at least give me a feel of what to expect as far as nasties falling from the sky goes.
 

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
711
Location
MD USA
What killed it? Oak wilt?
I don't know, but the oaks in the area haven't been looking good. I don't think MD is particularly known for an oak wilt problem, but from what I've read, it's a possibility. There's at least three other dead oaks on the farm. I looked at one as possible backup to my original tree plan, and not a chance on that one. The ground all around it is littered with limbs, and the trunk looks pretty gnarly. That one's either gonna have to fall on it's own, or be pulled down. As long as nobody puts horses in the field, it should be fine falling on it's own terms.
 

flushcut

TreeHouser
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
13,016
Location
Delavan, WI
I don't know, but the oaks in the area haven't been looking good. I don't think MD is particularly known for an oak wilt problem, but from what I've read, it's a possibility. There's at least three other dead oaks on the farm. I looked at one as possible backup to my original tree plan, and not a chance on that one. The ground all around it is littered with limbs, and the trunk looks pretty gnarly. That one's either gonna have to fall on it's own, or be pulled down. As long as nobody puts horses in the field, it should be fine falling on it's own terms.
I think you have control of the one tree based off of your pic it looks pretty straight forward. Hopefully you don't have an oak wilt problem or it could be bad for the other trees.
 

theTreeSpyder

TreeHouser
Joined
Feb 12, 2016
Messages
396
Can you throw line limbs and trim by snapping off some to reduce and revisit problem as new?
>>sometimes even bight of 1\2" over target, both ends to truck for larger METERED pull and retrievable if can't. Meter force so don't hurt anything but target.
.
Small drill bit can give core sample of trunk locations for more decision data.
Felling uphill is more dangerous, earlier close and strong backstop of back cut higher than facing, but partially compromised in rot.
Thicker hinge is stronger but less flexible. Looking for quick clean, positive throw; not slow, soft or steering.
.
Mostly would favor no climb, throw line high center, let line trace as reinforcement down back spine to tie off over facing, knot on back so easy to get to untie after fall, work from around trunk, and pull out with truck from other end as needed. This setup I think gives more positive, softer re-enforced arc to top pull rather than sharper bend more likely to snap if finds weakness. Back spine rope pulls at top, then most firmly urges forward with push to back especially when lags behind after weakness, and I think this can help keep it whole on a real bad day. I think can lend stability to possibly volatile situation. Cuz this is more of a crapshoot than many.
.
If climbing probably ok, but there seems to be independant / neighboring high point. Tree does look wind buffered by other structures, so can stand longer when weakened.
 
Last edited:

lxskllr

Treehouser
Joined
Jul 21, 2019
Messages
711
Location
MD USA
Yea, I'm feeling good about it. I'll test a couple limbs to see how tight they are. I'll need my throwline to set a line in it anyway. Set the line/pull up, take it down. The noise I heard will be in the facecut, so I can checkout what's going on with that before things get too far to readjust. Should be down within 2 weeks.

A little disappointed in not climbing it. I enjoy hardwood much more than soft, but no point in playing games in a dead tree. Just get it done and get some boards out of it.
 
The Tree House Loves TreeStuff!
Top