RicelandMeadows


Taking Out the Ash
July 28, 2018, 5:16 pm
Filed under: July 2018 | Tags: , , , , ,

ashnotch

July 28, 2018

I started removing our dead and dying Ash trees. They have fallen victim to the Emerald Ash Borer, a pest from overseas. They have no natural predator here in the USA. My wife took these pictures as she stood by while I fell the first few. In the photo above, I am completing the notch cut. This cut determines the direction of fall. This tree had some lean so a few things came in to my decision, as to where the tree would fall. I simply wanted to guide it where it would do the least amount of damage to surrounding trees.

I am not a novice. I have been trained in the art of directional felling and have many years of experience working at this craft. I wear my safety gear always. I have someone nearby to call for emergency services if needed. I get help from seasoned professionals if I find myself with a tree that I am not comfortable doing alone. I suggest that most folks leave tree cutting to professionals, as this is a dangerous job.

In this next photo, I am making my “release” cut. I have cut all but the small hinge, looked around one last time for any changes to the area, like people or pets, perhaps even a limb I hadn’t noticed beforehand. Once I am sure all is well, I make the final cut, “releasing” the tree to fall. I walk a path 45 degree angle from the tree as it falls. My chainsaw has been shut off or the chain break set, at a minimum.

ashrelease

The release cut above…..Me walking safely out of harm’s way below.

ashhinge

My wife even caught the falling tree, just as it was about to hit the ground.

ashfall

I am watching above the tree for anything that would snap back from the falling tree or trees nearby as it brushes them on the way down. The tree is stripped of its limbs to expose the marketable logs. The logs are measured and skidded out to be loaded. This tree yielded two logs twelve feet long. The limbs will be all used for boiling maple syrup. The trees will not be wasted. I feel bad that this specie will disappear from our landscape in the way of the American Elm and Chestnut. I am glad to be able to at least utilize the ones in my control.

I’d like to write a bit more, but I better keep my “Ash” busy.  :o)


2 Comments so far
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This is so sad. Here in Lincoln County in Middle Tennessee we have recently been quarantined for ash borer. No ash logs, firewood, or any ash wood with bark on it can be transported out of the quarantine area. Our trees are ok for now but I’m afraid for what’s coming. We have had an extremely heavy seed crop from our ashes this year which gives some hope for the future, though. About a fourth of all the trees in our woods are white ash. For years cull ash trees have been my “go to” tree for firewood- splits easy and burns great. Loggers won’t even cut it anymore since it’s quarantined. I am considering buying a portable sawmill just so I can saw my own ash lumber.

Comment by Ken McGarry

Ken, if you can afford the sawmill and have the skills to run it, you will be a busy man. You will add value to your own timber, as well as, make good money sawing for others. If you’re going to get started, don’t wait. Those borers go through a woodlot, like gas through a funnel.

Comment by ricelandmeadows




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