Felling a Large Maple Tree

Our family still has one 40 acre piece of the farm in the Wisconsin Managed Forest Law.  We signed a long term contract and now suffer the consequences.  As is the case all over Wisconsin, while the MFL sounds really good to a landowner, there is great pressure to harvest your forest once you start the program.  Even with the market being the lowest demand ever and the lowest prices in 30 years, the DNR is still forcing landowners to carry out their "Mandatory Harvests". 

Why cut trees when there is no market?   To satisfy the paperwork gods in state government!
I did get my Sauk County Intent to Harvest Permit - for the first time!

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A 32" dbh red maple gets a final hug.  1,320 board feet is the Scribner estimate.

 

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I cut out an open face notch, aiming the tree about 15 degrees to the left to miss a nice red oak tree.

 

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The stump is about 40 inches diameter - so I cut in from both sides with my 20 inch bar.

 

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Next, I plunge my saw into the middle of the notch and cut out the center of the tree. 
This is to cut the wood that my bar won't reach from each side.  I hope the tree is strong!

 

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Next I do my plunge cut from the right side, setting my hinge on that side of the tree.

 

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Another plunge cut from the left side, setting the other half of the hinge. 
The wide root flares are a problem when you cut this low to the ground,
but I don't want to waste the good wood!

 

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Now I cut the more of the tree from my right side plunge cut.
I will leave the large root as holding wood.

 

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I cut the left side towards the bore cut. 
Now the tree is nearly cut off - yet the huge leaning tree has not moved.
I hear a small crack, signaling that I've done enough on that cut.
I quickly reach over and cut the root that is holding up the tree.
I hear another small crack and quickly move away to a safe spot behind a large red oak.

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Before I can turn to watch, the tree crashes to the ground - right on target.

 

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This bucking cut is the top of the third log.

 

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The cut is finished from the other side.  
A group of white oak and cherry trees had tipped over several years ago creating a space
in the forest to drop this large tree.

 

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The old Iron Mule picks up the logs. 

The butt log is the biggest log I've hauled so far with this machine.

 

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That is a load!

 

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Up and over the hill, right to the sawmill - 600 yards distance.

 

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This is why I have the Super Size Logrite cant hook!  Nice wood.
Commercially, this tree is low value. 
As butcher block counter tops - we will earn a good income!

Photos: Shawn Olmstead

Sawing the Butt Log with a Chain Sawmill

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