Monday, May 17, 2010

Felling leaning trees

Instead of waiting for the dead fall to come down on its own I decided to harvest the dead trees and build a cabin out of them. The first thing I had to do was find some instruction on dropping trees that lean into others. These are called "widow makers" because they can fall quite unpredictably when cut.

I found a few helpful resources on the internet. The most helpful was the one that instructed me to cut the wedge out of the tree on the top side and then cut the strap on the under side. This effectively caused the tree to drop straight down only a matter of a few inches. The tops of the trees remained lodged in the surrounding trees which turns out to be pretty manageable.
Once the tree is free from the stump you can wedge a sturdy branch under it as a lever and lift the tree up slightly. As you lift the tree will slide slowly back towards the stump. Move it back about a foot at a time and eventually the smaller branches at the top will free themselves from the surrounding trees and it will drop. I didn't take any photos of the leveraging process because...well, I was leveraging! This is one of the above windfalls with the top cut off after bringing it down. As you can see I only had to lift it a few feet back past the stump before it came down.


  1. please put it up on some stones, it will rot on the ground.

  2. I am using a creosote soaked utility pole with a butt diameter of nearly two feet for the foundation logs. I know it may rot in a couple of years but it may last twenty ... time will tell.