Cutting Trees

Discussion in 'Home Improvement' started by Ken Anderson, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    We had some pretty high winds yesterday and last night, and I woke up this morning to find that a maple tree in the back part of our lot had broken off about four feet from the ground, falling onto my garden. Fortunately, we had already harvested the beans and it couldn't do any damage to the onions. Another tree had fallen in the back a couple of months ago but I couldn't get my chain saw started to cut it up. Since it hadn't fallen onto anything important, it was no big deal, but this one was laying across my whole yard. It was a maple tree, about a 14-15 inch diameter.

    I have two gas-powered chain saws: a STIHL saw that I have here, but which I have often had trouble starting once it sits for a couple of months. Once started, it has a lot of power as it's a real working lumber saw.

    Because I once drove more than three hours north to cut some trees on my wood lot only to bend the bar of my chain saw on the second tree, I decided to buy a second saw. I bought this one new a few years ago. It's a Craftsman chain saw, not one that any real woodsman would choose but it's easy to start (either because it was new or because it was a Craftsman, I don't know) and it does fine with softwood, and that's most of what I have been clearing up north because I'm giving some room for the hardwood trees to breathe and to grow. The Craftsman also has a 20-inch bar, while the STIHL has an 18-inch bar. I can cut a hardwood tree with the Craftsman but I have to go easier with it.

    My understanding of chain saws is that they can be compared to motorcycles. Real bikers prefer a Harley, but a Harley requires constant tinkering in order to keep it running right. I used to ride motorcycles, and Harley riders always spent a half hour or so tinkering with their bike after a ride, whereas someone with a Yamaha or a Suzuki would simply park it, knowing that it would be good to go the next time they needed it.

    Real woodsmen like STIHL or Husqvarna chain saws but they require more maintenance than something like a Craftsman, and you've got to know how to maintain them, and be willing to take the time to do so. Thirty years ago, if I had had a wood lot, I might have preferred a STIHL or a Husqvarna. Today, I prefer a Craftsman.

    However, my Craftsman is up north and I had only the STIHL here, and I spent an hour trying to get it to start with no success. Pulling that chain is a lot harder than it used to be.

    So I did something I never thought I'd do. I bought an electric saw. As long as I plug it in, it will turn, leaving only the bar and the chain for me to worry about. Plus, it's quieter for use in town. My neighbors are pretty accepting but I imagine it can be annoying to have someone running a chain saw next door. If you've never been near one, they are loud.

    The electric chain saw cost less than fifty bucks, whereas a new gas-powered chainsaw worth having would set me back two or three hundred.

    With the electric chain saw, I cut up both of the fallen trees and a cut down a couple of other smaller ones that weren't doing anything other than crowding larger trees. The whole process was fairly painless and quiet. But I know people who would laugh at me for using an electric chain saw.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  2. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    Is this the room where the ECSOA meeting is held? (electric chain saw owners anonymous) It is? Okay....ahem....Hello, my name is Bobby Cole and I use an electric chain saw.
    Now, does @Joe Riley serve coffee and donuts here and when do I get my first coin?

    To tell the truth, I've had my share of the gas jobs and as long as I don't have some huge tree to fell I'm happy with my electric 18" chain saw. A hundred feet of cord, some 30 weight oil, and the ability to push the safety switch and trigger and I'm in happy land.
    I do not mind working the deltoids and arms while I am cutting wood but I do not like wearing myself out just pulling on a dadburn cord before I get ready to start cutting.
    Cleaning carbs, filters, the spark plug and all that jazz just isn't for me except when it comes to my lawn mower.

    I had an electric lawn mower and was soooooo tempted to run over the cord when I kept tripping over it and hanging up around the bushes that we went and got a real lawn mower. Yup, a gas guzzling easy starter that mulches, mows, catches and sings itself to sleep after I'm done.

    Okay.....I'll sit down.......who's next?
     
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  3. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Do you know that you need a permit from the department of natural resources when cutting trees here? But, of course, you can cut the tree without a permit as long as no one will report you.

    Our mango tree was felled by the typhoon Glenda in 2014. It was just lucky that it tilted on the neighbor's fence otherwise it would be uprooted. We had to cut the big branches so we could prop it up again. And since we had no chain saw, we hired 4 people to cut the limbs and then called another 4 to help us prop it up. Well, that mango tree still alive and had given us fruits last year and this year as well (I had posted a pic in the Leaky Roof thread).

    Here was the tree right after when it was felled by the typhoon.... IMG_4927 typhoon glenda.jpg
     
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  4. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson I personally would never, ever, laugh at anyone for using an electric chain saw. Obviously, their only drawback is lack of electric power way back in the field. I loved mine so much, I carried a generator in the back of my Bronco to power it!

    The VERY BEST chain saw I have ever had was a Dynamark 20", bought many years ago. It had a built-in saw sharpening stone which pivoted against the cutters to hone them to a keen edge. This required a special chain, though, and I never opted to replace it when sharpening was no longer an option.

    Last GOOD one I bought was a Stihl MS 311, I believe the model was. Started and ran OK. frank
     
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  5. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    I have both a Stihl and a Husqvarna but at my age and condition I've had trouble starting them. I bought a Ryobi cordless 14 inch chainsaw. It came with a battery charger and I bought one extra battery. The batteries last a long time and will recharge in about an hour so while using one the other will recharge. The saw has enough power to do most of what I need. I did hire people as I said in another post to cut up a tree on my property, but that is a huge tree and more work than I wanted to do.
    I highly recommend this saw for the average homeowner.
     
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  6. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Now that I'm in the mood, I cut a few more small trees today, as well as a few suckers that had grown from a tree stump in the middle of our yard. Between the back of our yard and the tracks, we have a few large trees. Because I am reticent to cut a tree down that might fall onto the railroad tracks while they are in use, I let several other small trees to grow from these larger ones. They tend only to crowd one another out, with none of them becoming worthwhile trees, while shading my yard in places I don't want it shaded, I like to get rid of them. Since a train that went by very late last night was the only train we've seen or heard in a few years, I figured it was safe to cut them. So I cut a few of them down, and cut them up into lengths that someone could use for firewood, or they could just stay piled up in the back of my yard like the last bunch did when I trimmed these trees out ten years ago, and cut the branches up into sizes small enough to add to the compost pile.

    We had large maple tree in the middle of our yard when we bought the house. It shaded our whole yard so I couldn't plant anything, but then there were times when I could appreciate it being shaded. However, when a few of its branches began dying, I figured it was time to either heal it or kill it altogether. Since I didn't know how to heal it, I cut it down. Since then, five suckers grew up from the stump, themselves becoming tree size. So I cut three of them down today and I'll cut the other two, probably tomorrow. I need to move the cars out of the driveway because if things don't go as planned, one of them could easily land where we normally park the cars. If things go really badly, one of them could hit the house, but I think I can avoid that.

    Our town council just voted to allow people to have chickens here now, so I think I'll build a chicken pen around the stump of that tree. Otherwise the stump is going to sit there, in the middle of the yard, looking ugly. This way, the chickens can eat whatever bugs a rotting stump might attract, and if they have a taste for maple, maybe they'll even keep new shoots from growing.
     
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  8. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    A few years ago the cedar trees around our yard decided to drop a few branches during a storm so I had to go out and cut the limbs up. All I had was a jig saw, a hand saw and even bought a tree limber so I could reach up higher on the trees and get the damaged ones down.
    I am certain that ya'll know what a tree limber is like to use. You know, a long pole with a hooked saw on the end. As long as your shoulders, elbows and arms work it does the job.

    Long story shortened, my wife took pity on me and saw a thing called an electric handsaw on Amazon for about 30 beans. Although I told her I didn't know what I could use it for she ordered it anyway. Imagine, a real man with an electric hand saw! Just didn't seem right for some reason cause if a real man doesn't have a lot of aches, pains and a bunch of sweat involved in cutting limbs and such then it's a job for a girlie man.

    Well, this husband has been wrong before and was wrong again because I just bought new blades for it last month. The old blade lasted about 2 years of constant real abuse and the only other problem I've had with it was when the thingy that holds the blade broke. I disassembled the saw and ordered a new part for $9.00 and it is again doing what it was designed to do which is to keep me happy!!

    Here's a pic and some info...........http://www.chainsawjournal.com/black-decker-phs550b-electric-hand-saw/

    Dunno if owning an electric handsaw qualifies to join the ECSOA (electric chain saw owners anonymous) but if it does them I guess I am a double doser and might need to fess up at our next meeting.
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Uh huh. I've got a tree limber too. I used it today, also.
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I used to work for a company that made electric tools for a number of companies, including Black & Decker. I remember that Black & Decker was the only one that was actually different from any of the others. They used a stronger casing than those we made for other companies, although the electronics were the same. That looks like a real tool, while I do have to say that my electric chainsaw looks like a toy, but that's probably because I opted for the cheapest one I could find. Now that I know that it works, I might consider buying a more expensive one like the one that @Sheldon Scott has.
     
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  11. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Very Well-Known Member
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    @Sheldon Scott just has a bigger and better electric chain saw so he can have the donuts with sprinkles on them at the meetings.
    For now, I'll settle for my cheap...uh, rather......less expensive electric chain saw.
    And yeah, I like Black and Decker tools but I still hold some resentment for buying out SKIL. Now it seems that SKIL is just a hair above Pittsburg or Chicago(harbor freight)when it comes to tools while Stanley Black and Decker (Stanley merged with B&D) hold onto the higher quality tool.
    Either way, the saw is fantastic!!
     
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  12. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    I also have a B&D cordless pole saw. I prefer the battery operated ones so I don't need a mile of extension cords or a generator to lug around.

    @Bobby Cole You can have the sprinkles, I want the crème filled donuts.
     
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  13. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    I like the looks of this one, Shel. I also like the hassle free idea of no cord . The gas & electric chainsaws can be members of the same team, for each has their place. A wise man once told me ,when faced with two good choices....why not both? I will have to consider this one. Thanks.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 12, 2016
  14. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Mine looks more like a toy, but then I paid less than fifty bucks for it and it has cut down a few trees, proving that electric saws do work.

    homelite.jpg
     
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  15. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Thanks, @Ken Anderson, I was going to ask you to post that. About how heavy is the saw? I could definitely use something to trim up the trees around here, since the owners refuse to do it, but of course I'm limited in strength and can't use anything too heavy. The price sure sounds reasonable. I already have a long cord that I use for the electric trimmer, so that would be one less thing I'd have to purchase.
     
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  16. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    @Sheldon Scott - I went ahead and bought the RYOBI 14" Cordless saw & extra battery, on Friday. I looks great and I plan to try it out this week. I have an 18 inch, gas, Husqvarna and this one will work well on smaller pruning. Thanks Shell, for the tip and info!
     
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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
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  17. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    It's very light, as compared to a gas powered chainsaw. The trees, of course, are much heavier and they don't always cooperate as well as I'd like them to. I think they make one even smaller.
     
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  18. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    If i ever get the money, I might try to get one of them. It would be nice to not have the branches scraping the roof/side of the house, even though i only rent the place. Lightweight is good, so is inexpensive.
     
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  19. Von Jones

    Von Jones Very Well-Known Member
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    I have an EagerBeaver electric chainsaw. I happened upon it at the flea market one year at an excellent price of 27.00 it was $30 but I offered what I had left and the seller took it.

    I can only cut down obstructions below the power lines though. Johnny uses it a lot around the church grounds when it's needed so I'm glad that it's being used.
     
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  20. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    @Joe Riley let us know how you like it after you try it. It sure is easy to start.
     
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  21. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Will do, Shel, I am anxious to try it, but the rain and other jobs have slowed me down.
     
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  22. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    @Sheldon Scott - We had two twisted pines (giant Bonzi?) The one on the left had turned brown and I had a tree service remove it. ($250 / 2 hours) The one on the right, needed the lower 4 branches cut off. Today I used my new Roybi 14 inch cordless chainsaw. It had the power of a gas saw, and was much lighter and easier to start and use while working off a ladder. I really like it. It charges in under an hour, so you could get by without an extra battery ($100) but I like the idea of an extra. It is a lightweight that carries a heavyweight punch! I will use it for smaller jobs, and pruning. I really like it!;)
    two pines crop.jpg
     
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    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  23. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I have a larger tree that I might have to pay someone to remove. Not because I can't cut a larger tree, but because I would be afraid of it falling the wrong way and hitting the house or the fence. The tree had been damaged in a fire next door sometime before I bought the house, and I'm afraid it might fall one day. Since it leans toward the house, I imagine that's where it would go. I've cut a lot of trees in the woods and I can usually get them to fall in the direction I want them to, but sometimes they don't.
     
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  24. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    We have some majorly big trees around here too, with all the storms we have, it is amazing more of them haven't come down. I do sometimes find branches of varying sizes littering the yard and or driveway though. However, a few days ago when I was coming back form Richmond, I saw a tree, obviously uprooted from a storm, but the base of it was enormous...It must have been 50 to 75 feet in diameter. It is going to take some work to remove that thing! We need to do some tree cutting around here too, next week is supposed to be cool finally, so maybe some will get done!
     
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