I cut down a massive fir tree and dropped it 2 inches from dead center!!!
HOLY SHIT!!!!! This was one of the hardest days I have had in a LONG time! The day started out with Art getting here about 8:30am and I was climbing the tree by 9:00. You can see me on the tree about 20 feet up by 9:30am. This is NOT an easy task. Tree climbing with proper gear helps, but the physically demanding nature of it and the EXTREMELY mentally tough part is what worked me the most.
I used the ladder to get me up the tree a ways to bypass the gnarly loose section at the base of the tree. The tree has about 4 inches of light, fluffy, loose decayed wood covering the strong core on the bottom 20 feet. The thickness of the decay lessens the higher up the tree but the higher up the tree the older the dead wood.
You can see below how high up the tree I climbed. This is the point that I rigged my lines for ascent/descent and then rigged the choke beneath the lay of the lines. The choke had to be positioned correctly so the cinching action when pulled taught aimed correctly.
I found myself a few times having to stop and chill my head. The insecure feeling of having 2 small spurs on my feet and a rope around tree keeping me up is very disconcerting. I had to calm myself down and focus on the task at hand multiple times. I know I can climb, I know I can limb, I know I can use a saw, but putting them together and keeping myself calm required a concerted effort for me.
The tree was tensioned with my logging choke, logging cable, chain, and 2 come-a-longs to a tall pine tree. We got enough tension that we drew the tree over a couple of degrees. I could tell it had tension as I made my face cut because the tree started to pinch a bit. The solid core of the tree held perfectly until I made the back cut.
The tree had a window of 10 feet to fall in. I have a hand stacked rock wall and in the wall is an opening for the path that is 2 feet wide.
I landed the tree in the opening of the wall!!!
Seriously! This was amazing. The tree barely hit the right side of the rocks opening and scattered a few of the rocks over a small area. The tree landed 2 inches from the center of the opening in the rock wall. It landed DEAD CENTER between the shed and the elderberry bush. Since I cut the branches off up to 45 feet, when the tree landed it did not break any of my cherry tree branches, broke one branch on a nectarine, dented the top of the wire fence, and missed my hops plants!!!!!
Hands down one of the most memorable days I have had on the farm. I have dropped trees numerous times before but THIS tops them all for size, precision, and effort involved.
Fleming Family Farm
FLEMING FAMILY FARM, LLC
Sustainable & Organic Methods | Heirloom Produce
All images are original works of Fleming Family Farm unless otherwise notated and credited.
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