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wbrent
wbrent's picture
First ash tree fail

I’ll try to post pictures if I can figure it out but I’ll describe what I’ve done first. Trying to cut down my first ash tree here in New Brunswick. About 20” at the butt. Started with a notch. Then bored through. Had to go through from both sides cause my saw is too small. Tapped in a wedge on either side. Then started cutting from the back side. Slow and steady. At first crack took off running. Looked back and the tree split straight up from where the hinge was. Split up probably a good twenty feet. So what’s your guess?  Hinge too wide?  Wedge not deep enough?  Bad luck?  Combo?  I’ll try to add some pictures. Now I have to be a bit creative when I go to mill it up. 

r.garrison1
r.garrison1's picture

Wow. Never had that happen, so I can't be a good resource. I'll watch the answer though...

wbrent
wbrent's picture

 

 

wbrent
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Bill
Bill's picture

Can't tell you why it split would have to have seen the tree standing and how many limbs were on the on side or how much it was leaning. On larger trees I generally make the under cut approx. 1/3 of the dia. so I have room to get the wedge in behind the saw blade when I make the back cut.

Bill
Bill's picture

Found a pic. of the only ash tree I've ever fell looks like I made a deep undercut posible because of the location of the large limbs and the direction it had to go.

This was in 2009 and only used 1 board from it so far :o(

Post Oakie
Post Oakie's picture

That's a pretty wide hinge.  Rule of thumb is 10% of DBH, so 1-1/2" to 2" would be about right.  Another issue is the angle of the notch.  A sharp angle notch will close up and break the hinge long before the tree hits the ground, which can cause splitting.  A wide angle (more open) notch keeps the hinge intact as the tree falls all the way to the ground.  For a split like that, there would have to have been a lot of stress.  I'm guessing the tree had some lean to it, partly because it fell with so much hinge, and partly because the center of the growth rings appears to be off-center of the tree.  I use the bore cut technique, and have had consistent success, once I got the hang of it.

wbrent
wbrent's picture

Yeah consensus on the Forestry forum is that my hinge was too wide. Good learning experience for me I guess. I fortunately the split was twisted so now I’m having a hard milling it into something useable. Lots of shorter stuff I guess. Bat blanks galore. 

wbrent
wbrent's picture

Atleast gonna give me some nice boards. Had to cut some down to 5-6 footers because of the twist when it split. I was pleasantly surprised to see the dark centers. My local forester tells me this is still white ash. 

Bill
Bill's picture

Nice boards mine stayed flat but cracked on some of the ends . I like the brown center you have.