When making a road on our property, I sometimes come in a situation where I have to fall one or more trees. In this video I am falling several dead Aspen trees.
It is important to first ask if you can avoid falling any tree at all, and if it is possible to go around them. But in this case I needed to fall these trees, since dead Aspens are dangerous to have around, especially when it is blowing.
The main Aspen in this video was about 3′ in diameter
If you have wondered how to fall trees with an excavator – this is the process that I always follow:
- Think through if I can avoid falling the tree, and if I can go around.
- Before falling any tree, look at the surroundings, and decide which way to push the tree.
- Remove soil on the left side, and on the right side of the tree, then start removing soil on the side of the tree closest to your excavator. Make sure you cut off as much of the roots as possible…CAREFULLY(!). Any big root can suddenly start moving the tree if you do not watch what you are doing.
- Try to remove some of the soil in front of the tree if possible. Make sure you don’t remove too much, since the front roots is what is holding the tree from falling on YOU.
- Using your bucket, try to get a sense of how loose the tree is, by carefully trying to move it sideways.<l/i>
- When the tree is loose enough, curl your bucket and slide it (with the underside of the bucket towards the tree) carefully up the tree as far as you can reach.
- When you are ready to push the tree, and have said your prayers, do NOT push the tree with the underside of your bucket! This can be dangerous, since the bucket can suddenly slide off the tree when it get some tension in it, and the tree can swing back TOWARDS you. Based on experience: You will experience an adrenaline rush if you do this… Avoid it…
Instead, curl your bucket a bit out, so that the tree kind of is stuck in between a couple of your middle teeth on the bucket. This stabilizes the tree a bit, and makes it more difficult for the bucket to slide off the tree, and the teeth will dig themselves into the tree a bit.
- You have come to the pushing part. The higher up on the tree you can reach, the easier it will be to fall the tree. Sometimes the power of the boom and arm is not enough, so I tend to try to drive the machine forwards a bit.
If you cannot fall the tree safely yet, because it is still too stuck…well, then you need some more diggin’.
[box type=”info” align=”alignleft” width=”93%” ]Watch the video at the top of this post to see how I fall trees with my excavator![/box]
[box type=”warning” align=”alignleft” width=”93%” ]ALWAYS REMEMBER: Trees kill! Be very careful! Above is just a description of how I do it. You are responsible for your own work.[/box]
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