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Premium Member
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Picked up one load of cedar branches that were pilled up after the tree trimmers got done thinning out the tops of the trees. We wanted them thinned some to reduce the risk of the tops breaking and falling on the shop in a big wind storm.

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WALTMART
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191 Posts
Walked around the back of my property this morning, seeing quite a few standing dead oaks. Don't know what's killing them, but I do see a lot of firewood standing around back there waiting for me to harvest.

Too many other projects at the moment, but I'll get them down over the winter.

Mike
Hey Mike,
Just curious if it might be Oak Wilt, it is taken a toll on oak trees and have seen a few in the area, Central Mi.

JUST thought I'd throw that out see if anyone else has a reason for the oaks dyeing???????
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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3,570 Posts
I would google oak dieases and insects that harm oaks in our region. Then if your want to save some oaks, get a hold of MSU area agent about getting sample and analysis of suspect trees done. Or hire a tree doctor.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #204
I've always assumed my dead Oaks, especially the Reds were the result of Oak Wilt, and I still think many are. But, I recently took a PA Horticulturist Society program (I'm now an official "Friend of the Trees" here in PA) and learned that the Red Oaks often live long lives, but it is not uncommon for them to begin their decline around 120 years of age. Many on this hill top are in that range. I now wonder if some of what I thought was Oak Wilt is really just old age. FWIW, my White Oaks, which live longer, and are not nearly as susceptible to Oak Wilt are not dying at the same rate as the Reds. Either way, I have not had any scientific analysis of them. I just cut them down and process them. It seems this woods is transitioning from Oak dominance to Beech dominance as it ages.
 

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Blank Space
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3,007 Posts
Kinda bored. Kinda angry. Whole bunch o' irritated. Commenced to lopping' trees off. Seemed like the thing to do at the time. Took down about 8 or 10 2-3" Oak saplings that'll make good kindling. Also went at a couple of 6-8" Hackberries. Ugly, snaggly sots. Walked around them a couple of times to pick the lean, cut the wedge, then the backside. Sucka's landed within inches of where I'd sighted them to go. Figured I'd not press my luck and gave it up for the day. Got about 6 more that size to go, but I'm going for straps or chains on them to help aim. 3 for 3 is about as far as I want to press it for a while.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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5,660 Posts
Discussion Starter #208
Hope you don't quit sharing you progress. I just haven't had any intelligent comments to make, so, my typing fingers have been resting! (Plus, still working on my Deck - great weather for this project!)
 

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Premium Member
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I haven't dropped any trees lately, need the ground to firm up. We had some cold weather, but have been getting warm spells and rain over the past few weeks.

I am actively working on bucking and splitting stuff that I already have down (as schedules and weather allow), chronicling that in other threads (such as the firewood processing thread and another centered around my splitter).

Mike
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #211 (Edited by Moderator)
Sorry for the double post into the Firewood Processing thread, I shouldn't have done that.

I have this triple set of leaners that normally I'd let Mother Nature finish the job on and put them down safely. But, as you can see they are leaning over an important transit route that needs to be made safe.

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In this picture, the one in the foreground is rotted, and will be falling soon. It is not really hung on anything up top, at least yet. I might just pull it down from the distance of a 100' of static line. That middle one, that was almost down till it caught between the bigger background leaner and an innocent by-stander Birch, is solid oak firewood. I'll saw it off that root stump, then probably pull it from the pinch.

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I used my grapple to lift the root ball out of the ground, and over a large rock,

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but I didn't trust continuing to push it in case it out-weighed my tractor and me when it finally un-pinched itself.

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I'll pull it after that root grapple hook is sawed off. This picture also clarifies how rotted, and dangerous that last, and biggest one is. This one I will probably leave for mother nature.

As if that significant rot there at the base isn't bad enough, there is a serious widow maker broken off, and just balanced up there near the top:

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Great day for surveying the options here today. But, I'm not yet convinced. Scout isn't either!
 

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Granted the good pics don't do justice to the gravity of the situation.

The small one close to the ground over the trail looks like it could be done without serious peril.

Ever think about just moving the trail temporarily until nature takes care of them, the ground is flat?
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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5,660 Posts
Discussion Starter #213
All good advice, and I take it into consideration. Today, we had some decent weather, before the snow, so Scout and I tackled the easy one, the one that was already closest to the ground.
I started at the root end, and cut it off, then marked 4 or 5 18" blocks, and sawed off an 8' section. Walked my way up the tree till the last one turned itself and fell down the gap between the two trees it was pinched in.

I know, I nearly committed to video, and my best laid plans are evident in this picture where I have added an arrow to point out the GoPro mounted in a perfect location for taking the video. Except, the battery was dead. So, I sawed anyway. You'll have to use your imagination:

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This is near perfect firewood in my estimation, straight grained dead Red Oak, with bark almost all off.
I know I'm tempting fate with the forecast for snow tonight, but the grapple was still on, so I moved the firewood up to the summit of my little piece of paradise in a couple trips:

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Since I committed to some video, I held my iPhone up during one of the runs from harvest location to eventual splitting location:

(Video Not for the easily bored, about 2 minutes of rolling through the rocky, bouncy woods. But, about midway through you get a glimpse of how far I've gotten with my utility poles so far)


Once I had it all there, I sawed it into the 18" rounds I work with the Dolmar 510. Scout needed a little sniffing to approve the work:

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Then my newest assistant showed up, and tractor rides were required. So, I moved a little junk wood away from my work areas:

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I guess the actual splitting will need to go in the "Firewood Processing" thread anyway
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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I loved walking and climbing leaners in my youth (the carefree dare devil days). Especially if it help me get way up into the canopy of the trees in the woods. A playground of nature provided adventures. So what will the grand kids do when you have everything cleaned up?
 

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Premium Member
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Looking good, Jere. Wise not to tempt fate with that big one.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #216
Went out this morning to take down leaner number 2. You might remember it as the one here in the foreground:
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Pretty rotten at the base, and only slightly hung up high.
Well, I was very careful. I cleared some under foot junk, then took a smaller face notch out. Just as I removed the notch wedge, and stepped around for the back cut, it tipped farther and harder into an overhead blockage. It stabilized in a manner of speaking there, so I proceeded with the back cut, and then wedged it to the ground.


This is not a recommendation to anyone on how to take one of these down. Just a GoPro video of how I took this one down. It's on the ground safely, and there is some good solid wood in there for recovery. But, it is most importantly, no longer a safety issue for Scout, I, or any other hikers that might use this trail.

Now, that leaves the biggest one. And, I've decided to let it wait on mother nature.
 

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Super Moderator
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Figured you just hook Scout up in a harness and have him pull that pinched one out!! Nice job rendering your trail safe. We had a ton of wind the last few days and the road I walk had small branches down all over it. I tossed a few off the road to keep the cars from having to dodge them.
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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5,660 Posts
Discussion Starter #218
And just because there might be a very bored mid-winter browser out there, here is the couple of minutes of bucking the pieces near the trail:


Hauled some of it that was solid off to my splitting pile and discovered it is in fact White Oak (which is not nearly as cooperative under the splitting Ax) .
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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5,660 Posts
Discussion Starter #219
Noticed a neighbor while driving off to play RB last night. Scout and I strolled down to take a look. A big, old pine tree broke off and into multiple parts. Unfortunately, the longest section came down on his attached garage roof. This must have happened during the worst of the wind a couple nights ago. Not sure how long they intend to leave it on there.

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