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Spruce Pirate

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About Spruce Pirate

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  • Birthday 03/05/1976

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  • Location:
    Stirlingshire

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  1. If there's enough to make it worthwhile that's fine, and probably what would happen. Most of the time we fell downhill whenever possible, but sometimes you get a steep wee snap that simply won't reach the bottom of the hill and the only option is to fell uphill. Unless the volume of timber is there to justify bringing a skyline or a winch in the easiest thing is to fell uphill - and take care. Provided you know what you're doing the risks are manageable in my opinion, but you definitely need to be paying attention and it's not a job for someone straight off a chainsaw training course. Skylining, or other means of winching are also not without risk so it is a balancing act between putting a few trees uphill with the risk there, or setting up a winch with its associated risks. For relatively small amounts I'd just tip them up the hill and run every time.
  2. What you can do sometimes is get the harvester to hold the tree while you take the hinge off. Only works sometimes if the tree is lying right. It can save the tree taking off, but won't help to stop it springing. Sometimes it could make the butt spring worse.
  3. Never used the Humbolt for uphill felling, need to have too high a stump to get the gub in the stump. Personally I use the sap wood cuts as you describe, narrow gub and leave as thin a hinge as possible. Forward leaning trees sometimes worthwhile boring in and setting the hinge nice and thin first. Wouldn't bother messing around with straps at the back, just come straight out. Most trees uphill will need a wedge in my experience normally means you end up chasing the hinge to get it as thin as possible and then making a swift retreat, not always easy on a steep slippy slope. Generally don't like uphill felling but sometimes needs must. There aren't many experiences as scary as you describe of a butt pinging 15' in the air and then taking off down the hill as you sever the hinge if it stays on.
  4. My old boss was always in a hell of a hurry. If he arrived at a set of temporary lights, normally screeching to a halt, he'd quite happily reverse back (providing nobody behind him) and then drive towards them again at high speed to try and trigger the sensor. He'd do this basically until the light changed or someone came up behind him. Used to hate going anywhere in a car with him.
  5. Got a call this evening from a boy I did a job with a couple of years back who needs a tree report done in Lochgilphead. Seems some trees have been felled, leaving the neighbour's trees (his brother-in-laws) exposed and likely to fall over. No problem felling the trees, but apparently they're TPO'd so needs a report done to get permission to fell, don't think there will be any issue with replanting. Anyone on here around about that area could do a tree report? Drop me a PM and I can put both parties in touch. Cheers
  6. Sounds interesting J. I've often wondered about a similar set up for 1st thinnings in spruce, but never got as far as actually costing anything. A couple of thoughts...… When you load the whole tree onto the forwarding trailer, with them being largely dead, brittle ash you're likely to break a lot of the branches off. Some of these will get left behind in the wood, mostly the smaller ones, but hopefully you'll retain many in the bunk. This might actually increase the capacity per load if I'm not mistaken? The same at the point of chipping, hopefully it will be more compact, resulting in more material per grab getting fed into the chipper. Jenkys are extracting brash from the mats along the road for us and chipping into walking floors in the wood, so there must be some sort of money in it. Clearfell, after everything has been extracted the forwarder lifts all the mats, stacks brash at roadside, tracked chipper comes in, loaded by excavator with grab straight into a walking floor. Commercial operation, non-grant aided as far as I know, customer getting a return on the brash. On a slight downside, if the spacing is that tight then a 30' pole is going to be quite something to manoeuvre around! Either you're going to skin the retained trees which isn't going to be good or you're going to break the poles, especially as they're brittle ash. Realistically I'd think you'd probably do both which is the worst combination. There are good reasons for short-wood working in thinnings as opposed to long-wood. Be interested to see how you get on with it and if the figures add up.
  7. Knowing practically nothing about coppicing I have a romantic image of hand-cutting and brash bonfires. That said there's a bit along the road that's grown for biomass which is cut with a forager. Is it a forage harvester you're talking about or forestry harvester or specific coppice harvester?
  8. Plenty of narrow roads on the continent: By now you really should have learned that everything is better up here!!!
  9. FC are now running Peugeot Partners with 4*4 around here. Look good vans, good enough ground clearance, 4*4 if it's a bit greasy. Towing not great obviously, but look good vans for the woods.
  10. Is this like a sweepstake? Is there a prize for closest guess? 15:47 on the 31st of this month - N/S wingmirror.
  11. I think a good assessor will decide whether someone is competent pretty quickly. How a person looks, acts, what condition their kit is in, what kit they've got all help to inform an assessor whether or not the candidate knows what they're doing or not. That is if the assessor themselves knows what they're about. The blethering and having a cup of tea should then confirm experiencea and underlying knowledge. After that a good assessor should know if they need to spend 45 minutes cutting a couple of trees to confirm what they think or whether they want to do lots of trees to make sure someone is actually up to scratch. So either you have a full day cutting getting refreshed or you only do a wee bit followed by a lot of gossip, reminiscing and drinking tea. This last part should still count as refresher as it is more than likely vocational and will cover all sorts of different scenarios and how they were / should have been dealt with. Never underestimate the importance of a good blether!
  12. Dendroctonus micans? Great spruce bark beetle, plenty of info on FC site about them.
  13. Bottle jack and a plate is by far the cheapest option. You can get a Tree Jack, but they're 5*, 6*, 10* the price. As above a slight angle down toward the felling direction helps keep it in place. Back it up with wedges.
  14. It's the last day of my easter "holiday" and I need to be up early tomorrow so I'll re-read your post tomorrow when my brain is working properly. All I can remember right now is that the yield models show as little as 3 years between thinnings for sitka so you're not totally out with going in so soon.

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