Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Don't Get The You-Know-What Smacked Out Of You By A Springpole

You will see springpoles if you cut trees or deal with storm damage. They occur when a falling tree pulls a sapling or pole down with it, and they are loaded with energy much like a longbow. A good friend of mine cut one about thirty years ago on the outside (tensioned side),and it knocked him cold. It broke his glasses, blacked both eyes, but he came to after a while and staggered out of the woods.

Imagine two lines, one parallel to the section coming up from the ground, and the other one parallel to the pinned end. Bring your eye to the point where those two line meet, bisect the angle and draw a line to the pinned tree. Nip it; that's right, NIP IT on the inside of the curve at that point. Lay your saw over so you are not cutting straight in. You can extract your saw when using your blade almost parallel to the stem, and use repetitive nipping. You will see the energy ease out of the stem with every little cut you make.

Bisect that angle perfectly and the two sides will still touch when you are done. You don't have to do it perfectly to release the energy safely. Have a helper pull a sapling down and stand on it the next time you are out with a chainsaw to practice this technique.

Photo Credit: Mary Grapperhaus

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