Willow Tree Hinging Properties


Tree Hugger
Mar 6, 2005
Oxford, Connecticut
Has anyone ever felled a Willow? I have this willow to drop this week at the corner of this house...plan on attaching the red line in the tree, through a block in that Maple and to the front of my truck on the street with a 1/2" stable braid with another tied off for backup.

How is the hinge wood on these trees? It's fairly straight up but rather be safe than sorry working close to the house like that.

You'll be fine. There is not any visible back lean so you won't need much (if any) pull to get it started over. Willow is fairly brittle so make a wide notch and leave a thicker hinge than if you were cutting pine or oak.
Yup, what they said. :thumbup: You won't even have to move that car, it'll fit right in there. :O
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Yup, what they said. :thumbup: You won't even have to move that car, it'll fit right in there. :O

Haha, she should fit. They are accepting damage on a lower limb on one of the Maples.

Thanks for the feedback. I always get nervous throwing whole trees near valuable items, and in general for that matter. Do you guys think 1/2" is suitable for pulling most trees over? I always get nervous with that factor too.
With a high tie-in, you won't need more than 100-200 lbs of pull to get it started. I think a half inch rope (Blue Streak is rated at almost 8000 lbs) will be more than adequate for pulling.
I agree, half inch rope should be just fine unless you're fighting significant back lean.
Yeah, but if you're pulling with a truck, I'd go with Stablebraid 1/2" or 5/8". I almost never pull with a truck. GRCS or Multitrac offer more finess. Looks like a slam dunk anyway!
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Stable braid 1/2" is what I use, I think I'll anchor one line to a come-a-long, and the other to the truck.
Just to add to what others have said...Willow IS soft and it IS brittle-particularly in the limb wood. The trunk and scaffold branches actually tend to be pretty stringy. Prepare for brittleness but on a felling cut MOST of the time you won't find it.
About the only mistake you can make is putting too much tension on the pull line. Both the truck AND come along are overkill 99% of the time. There is no visible back lean on that tree. I'd tie the rope off to your anchor tree, tension it and then put one man on it to pull a little bit and get the rope out from under the tree as it falls. Or if you're working alone then you can notch the tree, tension the line, make your back cut and then go walk around and pull on the rope yourself if the tree hasn't fallen already. (I'm sure this is wrong in a dozen ways according to OSHA) If it won't pull over easily then you probably have left too thick of a hinge.

You've looked at the tree, is there a back lean? If so, how much (in lbs)? Usually the people who want to always put a truck on a pull line are the ones who can't (or won't) read the lean of the tree. With willow I'd be more concerned with a strong side lean than a back lean.
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Not much of a lean at all Brian. The trunk kicks back a bit but evens out and goes straight up. I figured to use the truck as a back up anchor, if the 1500lb pull come-a-long cant do it, then the truck can. I am just overthinking, hit in some wedges and I should be fine anyways.
Not a problem. Go for it!

But, if it looks a little like this inside, then take extra caution.

I love felling hollow Willows.:|:


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I do it how RJS described it most of the time. Best not have any wind when you do it because like Stumper said the hinge can be pretty brittle.
Just throw the sucker.

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Keep in mind that you can put your block on a rope so the pull ends up exactly where you need it instead of directly at the base of that tree.
Jamin brought up what I was thinking. Watch out for hollows.... especially the ones full of bees!
If it was a neutural lean/weight, I'd use wedges.

Otherwise I'd just set my 1/2", tie it to the mini/truck/grcs and over she goes.

Double braid, poly 1/2" can work for alot of things. You don't need a static line for that and you sure don't need a backup.

In willow, I'd be more interested in side leans/ side weight (not with this particular tree).

It looks like it'll smush the white flowering whatknot by the car.
Down here that'd be a big clump of Azalea. I found it odd that they were flowering and the other trees were leafless.