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This is a badge bit (BB) that is part of the PEP curriculum.  Completing this BB is part of getting the sand badge in woodland care.

This project will be dropping a 6” to 8” live standing tree with hand tools (bow saw, cross cut saw, axe, etc)..



Harvested live trees make great material for building things like in the round wood woodworking PEP Badge!

Green trees are especially easy to peel and carve.  Green trees are also good for the sawmill.

When selecting a tree to drop, select a tree from a spot that has too many trees and/or the tree has a defect (so we don't want it to have baby defective trees).   If the tree is a nice looking tree, but is crowded, take a smaller tree.



This video goes over a lot of the safety precautions and a demonstration of felling a tree with a bow saw.



Here's another shorter video.



Be safe when using hand tools and felling trees, be aware of your surroundings and the falling tree and above canopy, work at your own risk, and enjoy cutting stuff!

To get certified for this BB, post pics or video showing:  

  - Your chosen tree to cut
  - Action shot about half way through felling the tree
  - Fallen tree
COMMENTS:
 
gardener
Posts: 1961
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
746
forest garden fish fungi trees foraging earthworks food preservation cooking bee woodworking homestead
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Approved BB submission
Cutting down a poplar to use for a hugelkultur and to expand my food forest!
20190202_133141.jpg
Poplar to be cut
Poplar to be cut
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Cutting the wedge, love my new katanaboy saw
Cutting the wedge, love my new katanaboy saw
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Wedge finished!
Wedge finished!
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Timber!
Timber!
Staff note (paul wheaton) :

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
gardener
Posts: 2123
Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
946
hugelkultur kids forest garden fungi trees books bike homestead
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Approved BB submission
So I had a little fun yesterday cutting trees. Part of my day job is managing 5 public access properties--basically I'm a restoration manager, parks manager, and park ranger all folded into one position. Fun! Anyways, the recent snow storm caused a lot of problems on my preserves. In this particular case a lot of small hardwoods are leaning/bending over a trail making it potentially unsafe for public use. So I went out to cut them down. Most were too small to meet this BB requirement but one was at least 6 inches and potentially up to 8 inches across. So I thought I would document it for this BB

Here you can see how much this tree was bending--this made me nervous so I decided to do a test cut on a tree next to it that was also bending but was much smaller. Unfortunately, I forgot to get my bow saw so I had to use my small flip saw... that was a pain...


*Tree to remove--the very bendy one


*Testing this method out on the small tree

The test on the small tree went well so I moved on to the big tree. Here is a picture of the wedge being cut.



This next picture shows the completed wedge and the start of the back cut.



Lot of work cutting down the tree with just a small hand tool but it was successful! Next time I will bring a bow saw... that little flip saw works fine on the small stuff but it is slow going on the 6" or larger trees!



In addition to these trees I think I cut a good couple dozen down yesterday and I got more to go at that site. Though the rest were too small to count for this BB or were just branches/side trunks where I did not need to cut down the whole tree. Through this work I also collected a lot of live stakes of cottonwoods and willows that I'm going to be "planting" at my homestead. When I go back to the site to do more work I'm going to gather some more live stakes. I also think I will be able to get some wood to use to make a spoon or mallet for those BBs

Fun times!
Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
Posts: 15
7
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Here is the tree I fell at the PEP 1 course.
Before-picture-choosing-live-tree-to-fell-with-bowsaw.jpg
Before-picture-choosing-live-tree-to-fell-with-bowsaw
Before-picture-choosing-live-tree-to-fell-with-bowsaw
action-shot-bowsaw-felling-live-tree.jpg
action-shot-bowsaw-felling-live-tree
action-shot-bowsaw-felling-live-tree
Aftershot-luckily-it-went-right-where-I-aimed-instead-of-taking-out-Pauls-fence.jpg
Aftershot-luckily-it-went-right-where-I-aimed-instead-of-taking-out-Pauls-fence
Aftershot-luckily-it-went-right-where-I-aimed-instead-of-taking-out-Pauls-fence
Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 120
Location: zone 6 (Kansas City)
50
forest garden urban chicken
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Approved BB submission
Tree selected, wedge cut made plus started 3rd cut, then tree down without squashing Paul’s fence.
F72F6BC4-CCBB-4BC6-9BA1-BCA923253FFC.jpeg
tree selected
tree selected
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wedge cut
wedge cut
live-tree-felled-with-bowsaw-at-Basecamp.jpeg
live-tree-felled-with-bowsaw-at-Basecamp
live-tree-felled-with-bowsaw-at-Basecamp
Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
Posts: 24
18
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Approved BB submission
Live tree standing? No problem
IMG_20190521_115758465.jpg
Too big to fit in the picture
Too big to fit in the picture
IMG_20190521_120015642.jpg
Was this supposed to be a shot of the wedge I cut?
Was this supposed to be a shot of the wedge I cut?
Tada-live-tree-felled-with-bowsaw.jpg
Tada-live-tree-felled-with-bowsaw
Tada-live-tree-felled-with-bowsaw
Staff note (Dave Burton) :

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
steward
Posts: 8883
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
2549
hunting trees books food preservation solar woodworking
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Paul needed this tree cut down near the Fisher Price house.  It was on a steep hillside, had trees downhill from it, was leaning a bit left, all the branches were towards the hill and it needed to come down to the right.  Hmmm  should be fun.  Why not also do it with a bow saw?  Oh, and it was 14" at the cut.  Yay...

So I notched it and did the back cut until the cut closed due to the slight left lean.  Baylee brought up a big rock and I used that with the timber tool to crank on the tree and push it a bit to the right (to open the back cut back up).  Then I finished the back cut, leaving a slightly thicker hinge on the downhill side due to the branch weight on the uphill side.  Used the timber tool to push it over and it fell perfectly.  

For those who don't know, a timber tool is a long, beefy, heavy jack that you can use to push a tree over.  It's the orange thing in the last photo.
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[Thumbnail for 20190527_141050_resized.jpg]
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[Thumbnail for 20190527_143950_resized.jpg]
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Staff note (Greg Martin) :

I certify that this BB is complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 2134
Location: 4b
512
dog forest garden trees bee building
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Approved BB submission
Live cedar that needed to be removed. All my cedars have cedar apple rust.  This one is about 50 feet from my food forest.
live-cedar-tree.jpg
live-cedar-tree
live-cedar-tree
starting-wedge-cut-one-live-tree-with-bowsaw.jpg
starting-wedge-cut-one-live-tree-with-bowsaw
starting-wedge-cut-one-live-tree-with-bowsaw
wedge-cut-on-live-tree-with-bowsaw.jpg
wedge-cut-on-live-tree-with-bowsaw
wedge-cut-on-live-tree-with-bowsaw
immediately-after-felling-live-tree-with-bowsaw.jpg
immediately-after-felling-live-tree-with-bowsaw
immediately-after-felling-live-tree-with-bowsaw
stump-of-tree-felled-with-bowsaw.jpg
stump-of-tree-felled-with-bowsaw
stump-of-tree-felled-with-bowsaw
tree-down-with-bowsaw.jpg
tree-down-with-bowsaw
tree-down-with-bowsaw
Staff note (Dave Burton) :

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
pollinator
Posts: 158
313
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Approved BB submission
This may have gone a bit smoother if I sharpened the bow saw first. If I did, it most likely would have taken longer to do that and cut this tree than the energy put into cutting it.
This was during the PEP event so we were all trying to get our BB's. If I looked ahead I would have realized that sharpening is part of a straw badge so I could have gone for a potential twofer. Maybe next time...
tree-and-bowsaw.jpg
tree-and-bowsaw
tree-and-bowsaw
wedge-cut-by-bowsaw-on-live-tree.jpg
wedge-cut-by-bowsaw-on-live-tree
wedge-cut-by-bowsaw-on-live-tree
back-cut-and-hinge.jpg
back-cut-and-hinge
back-cut-and-hinge
fallen-over-live-tree-felled-with-a-nowsaw.jpg
fallen-over-live-tree-felled-with-a-nowsaw
fallen-over-live-tree-felled-with-a-nowsaw
Staff note (Nicole Alderman) :

I hereby certify this BB as complete!

 
steward
Posts: 32873
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
hugelkultur trees chicken wofati bee woodworking
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A video with Lee dropping a tree here at wheaton labs

 
I love a woman who dresses in stainless steel ... and carries tiny ads:
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