Saturday 6 November 2010

Tree felling with a UNIMOG and cherry picker

Look what came to visit the woods yesterday!


Here's the reason - a Sycamore, coppiced at some time in the past but left to grow for 40-50 years, and now very close to the power lines:

So, the local power company sent two tree surgeons with the UNIMOG to bring it down. The vehicle had a cherry picker on the back with a very high reach:

This allowed one guy to be close to the branches being removed, using a top-handle chainsaw - you're not allowed to use these on the ground, and you normally have to show your qualification to use one before a shop will sell one to you.


The other guy was down at ground level, taking the branches and logs as they came down, and bringing them over to me, so I could put them where I wanted. The tree came down in sections, removing the smaller stems first:

Then the top came off the large stem, using a rope to make sure it fell the right way (see the video at the end for this), leaving just the main stem to come down:

This was taken down in large chunks. The operator used the chainsaw to cut through from the back, but because the logs were so large, when each section sat back, there was still enough room to pull the saw out and finish the cut from the front.


Then the log could just be pushed off:

Before long, there wasn't much left:

When they were done there was just a pile of logs left at the base. The amazing thing was that every single log and branch landed in this small area:

Here's the pile of brash, which was left for me to burn up later (this was part of the deal, so we didn't have to contribute too much for the extra work of bringing the whole tree down rather than trimming it):

I also ended up with a pile of smaller logs:

and I arranged the larger logs onto bearers, to keep them dry until I cut them up later:

There was one bit that was too heavy to move, so that'll have to wait until I come back with our big chainsaw to cut it up:

Here's the stumps as they left them:

When I come back with the big chainsaw, I'll cut them off nearer to the ground. We have a plan for the logs to go to a friend who lives nearby, in return for some help in the wood.

And finally, the bit you've been waiting for: the video!



La Ferme de Sourrou said...

Nice one !

Mike Pepler said...

Thanks! :-) For us it's mainly a relief to have them our of the way, as they were leaning over power lines, a road and someone's house! I counted the rings, they were about 45-50. We'll be cutting them every few years from now on...


Industrial Dysfunction said...

Very cool. I'd completely forgotten about Unimog, I had a toy one (Britains) when I was a kid and the first time I saw one for real I was amazed by just how much they look like a five year olds idea of a chunky truck. I'm jealous :-)

Mike Pepler said...

Yeah, I wish we had one of our own! Though I'd probably regret it when the fuel or repair bill arrived...