I tried something a little different for my first two trees of the season. It was a bad idea. I’m not a skilled lumberjack. In fact, I am not a lumberjack at all. I’m just a wilderman who loves Rolling Creek, in the Pike National Forest, just outside of Bailey. There are two dynamics to wood cutting season: 1) necessity; and 2) its good for my soul.
I have a chainsaw that goes by the name of “Stihl 026”. Its a relatively small chainsaw. When I bought it, used, from a guy with what appeared to be a trustworthy countenance, I felt pretty good about it. I still do. It has served me well. I’m quite thankful for it. The gentleman said that is should serve my purposes sufficiently. I have 1.3 acres thickly populated with evergreens, aspens, the classic lodgepole pines. So, if you look at the compatibility between my chainsaw and the wood cutting that has to happen, there is a bit of tension there. Bottom line? I need a bigger chainsaw: not much bigger, but … bigger. Now, back to my fiasco with my first two trees that I cut down, this season. Here is what happened:
- The chainsaw is not as powerful as it once was, I used my axe … chopping down at an angle on all four sides of the tree;
- Guide ropes? Yes, usually … but not this time (OOPS!!);
- I thought I knew exactly where the trees were going to land;
- When time came for each tree to fall, they both got hung up on the branches of another tree, and I had to get my chainsaw;
- The trees stood up straight, at first, that is how bad they were caught;
- Fortunately, I got both trees to a forward angle enough so I could make another cut, about 4 1/2 feet off the ground;
- And, they finally came down…. but not even close to where they were supposed to.
I am afraid that you cannot tell what I am talking about, the mistakes I
made,by looking at the picture above. I knew enough to be safe … but the stump of the tree is positioned beneath the crown of the tree, laying there in the snow. I was relieved to get the trees on the ground. I made a mental list of what I needed to do differently. Experimentation / making mistakes can be somewhat redemptive … we can learn a great deal.
You probably already knew this, but in some forest areas, trees need to be thinned out, if the trees are too close together. Translation: trees don’t grow as well / they are not as healthy if there is not enough room. Some of it is the root systems providing the trees with enough water; some of it is room for the branches to grow; and some of it is getting their fair share of sunlight. And, it makes sense to get the dead trees out, to help the healthy trees. Here is a tree that will need to come down, soon. You might need to expand the picture so that you can see the top, and the branches. I’ve never liked the idea of cutting trees down. I love trees. But because I love trees, I know that the dead ones have to come down, so that we can have a healthy forest. Fortunately, I am equipped with … not only axe and chain saw, but … a decent imagination. And I sometimes think about woodsmen predecessors …
Now, I don’t want anyone to think I am just crazy about cutting trees down. Wood cutting season is just as much about chain sawing the longer logs into shorter logs … which get chopped into smaller pieces of wood for our woo-burning stove. Ideally, I spend a little time each week chopping wood, getting ready for winter.
So, there it is. Peace to you. T