Sunday, February 7, 2016

BIg, Off Balance Pin Oak

This big pin oak died last year and was still solid all the way through.  It had forward weight, but it also had side weight when viewed from the point we wanted to drop it.  If we dropped it in the direction of all the weight it was going to smash a good tree, so we gambled on fighting the side weight, and won.  If the side weight is too great the hinge will not hold when motion begins and the tree will go where gravity wants to take it.  No high value targets were in danger, so it was worth trying.

I placed a couple wedges behind the hinge on the heavy side to keep the hinge from crushing.  If that had happened the other end of the hinge might have ripped apart.  You can see where fiber pull happened in the wide end of the hinge at the end of the video.  Only so much wood will bend in a hinge, and then the wood behind it pulls apart.  You will often hear cutters say they are going to steer a tree by leaving the hinge thick on one end to "pull" the tree around.  That is a big fallacy.  The tree will go where the front end of the hinge points it, and where gravity pulls it.  The thick end of the hinge stabilizes a tree only until there is enough movement to pull it apart, and that is just for an instant while the tree begins to move.

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