I was felling ash yesterday, here’s a link to a brief video of one of the trees coming down, as filmed by David (many thanks) who was kindly helping me out.
We took down ten trees, most of them were leaning, and therefore a little challenging especially as the site was sloping too. We had the paths you may be able to see in the background closed off and all went well. We took down a small beech two medium-sized ash, 5 sycamores, a small collateral damage ash and a massive (for the species) birch which was leaning at about 30 degrees from vertical, but which fell in the correct lie, after a slight nipping the saw incident. We took down the small beech first and spread it over the path to protect it from the heavy birch impact and the path was indeed intact after the day’s work. Then we took down the next biggest, the two leaning ash trees. All trees were bucked and the brash stacked as we went along. The timber will be extracted by hand later, but we had to leave it all reasonably tidy because of the very public access to the wood. Finally we had the small sycamores to fell, and know what? These last two of the day both got hung up in neighbouring trees and needed winching down.
It was a very productive day’s work with a wealth of timber for this year’s work, besides firewood and charcoal raw material, in due course after seasoning.
As we were about shot at by 3 we removed all the footpath closure signs and set off to see my mate Ian doing a bit of heavy stuff on the other side of the Wharfe valley:
Although this image is blurred (low light and rough ground!) it does give a sense of the movement and power of this machine (and the fear as it comes towards you!):
You’ve probably all seen this before, but being right next to a Logset 8H as it eats a tree is something else. Made our efforts seem very low tech! We chatted to the forwarder driver:
He asked us what we’d been using to extract the timber, “Us two and a pair of log tongs.”
We worked on a slippery slope, but not quite as slippery as this looked to be (couldn’t check it out without going through a meter deep mud puddle):
So, there you have it. Hand harvesting/thinning, and commercial logging, two sides of a coin. The big stuff is going for fencing and pallets. Mine just for the usual stuff.