Sunday, April 29, 2012

Photos after day 2 of chainsaw trial

Ok I went out and snapped some photos, some of what I did and some of what I'm wondering if i DARE do?? May need some instruction from you smart woodcutters out there.

The first few photos are just of some clean up of the aspen that I cut up day ONE and then on to the large tree I cut up that fell over my trail to the apple tree.

not sure IF I can use aspen in my new wood furnace or not, not likely, but it will make good campfire wood....
On the left of the trail and right of the trail is what is left of the trees that fell across my trail to the apple tree in the woods. I'm not sure what kind of wood this is so I'm not sure if it can be used as firewood, but as you can see it isn't totally rotten so maybe? This apple tree is a self seeded apple I found a few years ago, evidently grown from deer apples we threw out many years ago, not sure what kind of apples yet. It is starting to bloom so maybe we'll find out this year. I pruned off one branch I could reach that was a mess and there are a couple dead branches that should come down, but I'm on 5'2" so I can't reach them, maybe I'll get some help. I cut down a a wild cherry that was growing up through it and there are a couple other wild cherries that are nearly dead that should come down, and a whole bunch of dead ash and aspen.
You can see a pile of cherry wood from a tree I cut down and you can see 2 small cherry trees to the right of the apple that really need to come down, there are also a couple dead ash and aspens that will come down too, I sitll have to cut up the branches of the apple and cherry and pile those..this trail circles around the apple tree from the right and toward where I'm standing and then joins our neighbors trails through their woods. Hope to clean out enough to get more sun to the apple tree. Here it is still spring and most of our herbaceous perennials are still sleeping.

Now here is where I could use some advice from those of you how know how to cut down trees. This mess is the bane of my existance. First the aspen tree broke off in a couple of directions..It was OK as it was fairly secure in it's position, not falling down yet. It was right over my trail like an arbor, didn't mind much as I was fairly sure it wasn't going to fall on me, however. Feb 29 in our snowstorm this dead ash tree decided to take a dive..first it landed nearly upright on some other trees, but then last weekend we had 2 wind storms and it came down on the aspen tree that was dead, and it has partially crashed through the branch that it is leaning on, dead branch of aspen is splintered badly and fairly sure it will fall ..hopefully not on someone, and it is over my trail..SO what do I do, leave it and wait for it to fall? Try to cut it down and likely have it fall on me???? advice please....

On the left it really doesn't show how large this is, but that ash trunk near the photo is taller than I am, and the tree is still partially attached at the top. It is precariously leaning on the broken aspen tree, that now is more broken and nearly ready to break off  allowing the tree to fall to the ground (I hope) ..Honestly I hate leaving it like this to fall and maybe hurt someone, but both trees are very large and high up to try to reach, and I don't know how to go about taking them down..thought about trying to cut the TRUNK of the ash tree (left photo) but didn't know if the top part would maybe push my way and I'd get hit??
I have a lot of trees that look similar to this one, where the tops have broken off and left a stub, and then the buds or branches near the top took off and are still growing. UGLY, but they do offer snags for woodpeckers and other critters. My dilemna is, do I leave them for the woodpeckers or do I remove them? Probably 50 of them in the woods so I would say probably a good Idea to remove the worst of them and leave the more "healthy??" ones up.
Aspens have a very short life, esp when they have been injured, so I wonder if maybe just leaving a few woodpecker trees and removing the majority of them might not be a bad when an aspen is cut down it sends up a lot of shoots from the roots left in the ground, sometimes 20 or 30 feet away from the mother tree. They actually say that an aspen forest is really all one tree, all connected by the roots to the original mother tree...probably true.

We have a LOT of baby maple trees growing, and a lot of baby cherry, some baby oaks and of course lots of baby aspens, so we really don't NEED to have a lot of half dead snags other than for the wildlife.

Well here are a few photos of our trails thru the woods, as you can see some that we were not able to access cause the trees were down are going to need some mowing to clear off raspberry and other baby sprouts that are attempting to take over the trails. I bought some shiitake mushroom plugs and will innoculate some lots and "Plant" them back here along the trails so we can access to harvest the mushrooms when they grow. I have also just finished planting some hosta, lady's mantle, filipendula and aruncus goatsbeard back along some of these trails, and one of the foot trails (too narrow for the zero turn mower) I've also planted some foxgloves, hollyhocks, bluebells, solomons seal, barberry, vinca, violets, and other perennials and put in seeds. Someday I would like to get these trails nice enough for disabled people to use.

I also have planted at the edge of the woodland a black walnut, carpathian walnut, butternut, 2 american persimmons, a sugar pearls apricot, harlayne apricot, service berries, roses, and a lot of perennial flowers, and I have 2 heartnut trees that will go at the opening of this trail here shown at the right......

Well enough photos for today, gotta go get that chainisaw busy.


  1. It's hard to tell by pictures, but if the upper part of the tree is still attached, I would probably cut down the tree on the left. Cut it to fall to the left, with a big wedge. The weight of the top and the other tree leaning on it should give it enough of a push that you won't have to cut all the way through. When you hear it start to crack clear the area.

    Once the left tree is gone, I would try to cut as much off the bigger tree as possible, from the top first. It may spring a bit as the weight shifts. Once you have everything you can reach cut off it may be easier to judge where that branch is going to fall.

    Good luck!

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