Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Big project today on Hickey Hill involves a lot of tree cutting and removal...we reopened the view from the overlook

The  first thing you do when you're going to cut down a big tree is discuss strategy. Two or three heads are better than one ; Pat talks with Nathan about felling a good sized Willow Oak. Our job, or more accurately Pat's and Ed's jobs were made easier today because we were removing trees growing along the margin of pine woodland. Attempting to grow towards the light, all the trees were leaning away from the pines into the clearing. It's much easier to drop a tree that's already leaning in the direction you want it to go!

After deciding on a safe, practical, and practicable strategy, Pat began by cutting a notch, or face cut; there are a few different types/shapes of face cuts. I think he used a Humbolt notch.When the notch was finished, the back cut removed enough wood so that the tree tipped forward on the remaining wood (the hinge), the weight of the tree broke the hinge, and the tree fell just where it was supposed to. Note the large cleared area around the tree. It's important to be able to move freely without tripping or stumbling. A 45 degree angle to the back allows for a safe retreat when the tree begins to fall. It's halfway down in the picture below.

Cutting up a downed tree, or "bucking" is at least as dangerous as dropping the tree, again requiring strategy and safety consciousness. Pat "bucked" this one particularly efficiently and the rest of us loaded it up and drove the pieces to the brickyard where they will be turned to wood chips and ultimately to mulch.


Hannah said...

Hiya Chris. Nice work on Hickey Hill. Joplin and I will appreciate up close as that's on our regular route. We always keep an eye out for you, but never cross paths. Hope all is well!

Amy said...

Can't believe you did a whole post on Hickey Hill Overlook and did not include a picture of the "new" view!