Ice storm tree down

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Mike N
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Re: Ice storm tree down

Post by Mike N »

Still hunting and gathering. Got about 20 or so rounds of white oak (I think; could be ash*) today from a downed tree. The only problem was that I had to carry it uphill from below the pond about 50’ to load it into the wagon.

*[this link shows how even the pros can have trouble distinguishing between the two: https://www.ehow.com/info_12130012_diff ... trees.html]



I love Stihl leather chainsaw gloves so much that I still wear them even after wearing out the trigger finger.
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Re: Ice storm tree down

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A close family friend asked me to help him and his uncle clean up a few cherry trees and an elm that winds had knocked down. The three of us bucked them up this morning and I got a trailer full of rounds which I started splitting and stacking this evening. The cherry must have been dead standing for some time because it was already fairly dry. I introduced my friends to the hand grapples to lift and move the 16” rounds and they were amazed by how easy it made the process. Best $20 I ever spent on Amazon.




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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Almost done splitting the red oak (which I mistakenly thought was cherry until I split a few rounds), netting a 10’ face cord, a standard 8’ face cord, a full wagon (150 sticks) tonight to take up to the house to dry, and enough cordwood for another wagon or two.



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Re: Ice storm tree down

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The wind knocked down a nice white oak in our woods behind the house. Running out of firewood racks so I used some pine trees to store the rounds old school. Thank goodness it was downhill from where I bucked them so I got to roll them down the hill rather than carry them.



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Re: Ice storm tree down

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A few wood yard images…




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Re: Ice storm tree down

Post by Paul Roberts »

We actually had a tornado rip through the edge of our property about a month ago. I heard it coming and luckily it hit the edge and took down some trees. They were all aspen so they won't be firewood. Good split kindling though bc they split perfectly.
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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Filling up the wood yard slowly but surely.


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Re: Ice storm tree down

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The last Sunday of every month is the local antiques fair. I like to pick up a few wooden boxes with interesting markings to use for kindling. Here’s one marked Cotton Club Soda I use every year and another I found today for $12 marked “Product of Denmark,” I assume for dried fish? No smell, thank goodness, so who knows?

I prefer using a 4lb hammer and the ez split ring bolted to a round, but also use the log splitter. A wooden box of kindling also makes a great Christmas gift for a friend with a wood burner or fireplace. I split the pieces of straight grain cherry that were less than 16” and too nice to discard. The small pieces dry in only a couple of months indoors into really great kindling.






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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Two weeks ago I had my lawn mower in for service at my local True Value hardware store, which is also our local Stihl chainsaw dealer. I brought my old Stihl MS 251 (45.6 cc; 10.8 lbs) chainsaw in and got trade value of $250 towards a new MS 311 (59cc; 13.7 lbs), so I got the bigger saw. I had them change out the 20” bar for a shorter 18” bar, which is the same size as my MS 291 (55.5 cc; 12.3 lbs) pictured above earlier. I like the 18” full chisel chain length and it lets me carry one size chain for big cutting. I also have a smaller MS 181 (31.8cc; 10.1 lbs) with a 16” bar for limbing. For the record, most firewood cutters swear by the MS 261 (50.2 cc; 10.8 lbs).

Here is a nice comparison chart from Stihl. To me the most important column is the second one showing cc displacement followed by the fifth column showing power head weight. When you get up over 13 lbs for the power head alone plus add the weight of the bar, chain and fuel, it can make for a long day bucking rounds. Lighter is usually better.



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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Standing dead white oak I rounded up after work today with the MS 291. My buddy had cut most of this to random lengths so I measured and recut it to 16”. My goal has been to fill between the dozen or so pine trees in the back yard with unsplit 16” rounds to dry and split next year. But mostly I like the aesthetics of hardwood rounds stacked between spruce trees.


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Re: Ice storm tree down

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I can see a theme developing here with the spruces and ponds and cabin. I deem it the Redneck Japanese Garden aesthetic. In case I am misunderstood, I like it. Love the boxes too, I also pick them up occasionally, especially the shell boxes.
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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Despite the 84 degree temp even at 6pm, I had to go back to that tree this evening. I brought the MS 311 with the full chisel chain and the 6’ cant hook (a log peavey has a point) to turn this massive log so my chain did not hit the ground. Here’s the sequence:

1.measure 16” lengths and mark with chalk;

2.cut as far as you can; then use the big cant hook to turn the massive log;

3.finish cutting the rounds then load in truck and

4. stack.




Here’s a close up of how the cant hook grabs on to the log to allow the attached 6’heavy duty handle to provide the leverage to roll the log over.


Last edited by Mike N on Sun Jul 02, 2023 11:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Mystery solved- with the bark off this dead tree, I wrongly guessed it was oak. But a splash of water showed spalting, which means it is a hard sugar maple, the same as the harvest table I showed above.

Sugar maple is heavy. A cord of sugar maple weighs just under two tons. I struggled lifting these 150 lb plus rounds into the truck. Good thing I’m on Medicare as of July 1.

Sugar maple delivers 24 million BTUs per cord * (a cord is a 4’ high by 24’ long stack of 16” pieces of split firewood). Cherry delivers 20 million BTUs and White Oak burns hot at 26 million BTUs per cord.


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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Added another pickup load of maple Saturday afternoon.

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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Mike N wrote: Sat Jul 01, 2023 8:10 pm Added another pickup load of maple Saturday afternoon. To keep the bottom rows off the ground, I laid down some leftover 1x8” oak stair treads painted red with paint I had on hand (you can see it if you look closely) and I also used leftover 1x6” hardwood flooring from a remodel several years ago.

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Re: Ice storm tree down

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WTG Mike. Nice new saw too. Keep it up and you'll have a lifetime supply of firewood! I'm keeping ahead of our burn rate here at least.

Added a new tool to my arsenal :)

Arborist with our power company stopped by asking if we had anything near a power line we thought should come down. I had a dead/dying 17" dbh sugar maple that needed to go.

My neighbor hauled the log up onto level ground.


I sharpened the saw blades but I think the rakers were a little too aggressive, as the saw bound up a bit too easily.


100lb rounds waiting for the hydraulic splitter. I've been hand splitting (axe, maul, wedges and sledges), but for these big rounds I'll haul in the splitter.


Hand split red maple drying.


Acorns stashed by a squirrel once upon a time, forgotten, then sealed up within the tree.


Wood shed is getting stocked. Mostly maple (red and sugar) this year. Fine splitting aspen and poplar for kindling as it's straight grained and splits like butter.


Bought a moisture meter and found that what I suspect by eye measures out right. Wet wood is heavy, and gives a low thump when rapped against something. Interestingly, air humidity affects the wood surprisingly quickly, different by about 5% morning to evening. and really humid days had all my stacked wood in the woodshed climbing to near 20% after a few days. 20% is still ok, but we'll see how things progress through the summer.
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Re: Ice storm tree down

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That criss-cross stack job of the red maple splits followed by the acorn stash are the two best photos on this thread! Very cool, Paul.

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Re: Ice storm tree down

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I finished up the rest of the big maple today, using the MS 291 with full chisel (yellow) chain and 18” bar. I called my nephew who came over and helped me load and unload these last rounds, several of which were 20”+. This gave us a nice fourth row of hardwood rounds between the pines.








Paul’s point above about the “shavings” vs. sawdust your chainsaw produces is a good one. A chainsaw cuts through wood by literally having each tooth on the saw “shave” off a small portion of the log, as if you were using a small hand plane or making shaved ice. If the chain is producing nice shavings like this, your chain is sharp. If you’re just getting sawdust, you need to sharpen the chain.

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Re: Ice storm tree down

Post by Paul Roberts »

Nice chips Mike! :cool

I've got enough firewood cut, split, dried and stacked. But the trees keep coming down.
This dead beech came down, falling onto one of our lawn areas. It had no leaves of its own, the crown being all grape vine. That much weight finally toppled the tree following a good drenching rain. I was out mushrooming and heard it go.

Branches and entire trees come down on a regular basis here in these mature woods. I keep my eyes and ears peeled when I'm out and about, esp after rains or during breezy weather. During big wind events, I stay away.

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Re: Ice storm tree down

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I’ll be cleaning up a few branches Saturday that came down in the wind and had to sharpen the chain on my smallest saw, the MS 181C. To sharpen a chain without removing it from the power head head, you lock the bar into a bench vise where you can rotate the chain as you sharpen. Bars are expensive, so for about $7, I purchased a pair of magnetic rubber vise pads. This is the first time I used vise pads and they were great so I thought I’d post a few photos if anyone might need a pair, also.



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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Nifty!
I made some, rather crude, vise shoes a while back: (Hope John Elder doesn’t see this lol.) Magnetic is a great idea. :idea:
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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Now, here's a handy tool for tree work: A ‘spider lift’.

Had a 90ft (85+ yr old) 19” dbh Beech, with two trunks beginning to separate, too close to the house for comfort. My word it popped a hole to the sky when it came down. We have a bit too much shade here. That hole will not only bring in some sunlight but will most probably allow the rain to drum harder on the metal roof of our home. Better than having the entire tree crash onto the roof some windy night.

The crew also had an articulating grapple/skidder that could maneuver in tight places and move massive logs with ease. I could make use of one of those.




Last edited by Paul Roberts on Fri Sep 29, 2023 6:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ice storm tree down

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Wow. Anything that makes that dangerous job safer is a very good thing.
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