Best rope for bringing trees down

ctfjr

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L3800HST
Dec 7, 2009
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central ct
I may be missing something, but I seem to recall that you said these trees are in a location where they are not endangering anything, regardless of where they fall.

IF this IS the case, not sure why you need to use a rope/cable/chain at all...BUT tying off to a secure point can give you some security that if you evacuate the location the tree will not fall in the direction opposite the tie point. PROBABLY...
The trees in the woods in the front of the house, if they fall in the 'wrong' direction will land partly on the lawn. I would just as soon them fall deeper into the woods. Then I can clean them up at my leisure.
I want to do a lot of planting this spring so chipping and cutting firewood isn't high on the list.
 

NCL4701

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L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
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I may be missing something, but I seem to recall that you said these trees are in a location where they are not endangering anything, regardless of where they fall.

IF this IS the case, not sure why you need to use a rope/cable/chain at all...BUT tying off to a secure point can give you some security that if you evacuate the location the tree will not fall in the direction opposite the tie point. PROBABLY...
The probably is accurate and usually comes into play when the hinge is cut off partially or entirely. Cut the hinge off and it gets really random very fast. Cut off one side only and about 3/4 of the time it will rotate toward the severed side and fall 90 degrees from the face cut regardless of how many ropes are in it. Seen way too many that went wrong because someone kept cutting until it fell and it didn’t fall until totally cut off.

That’s the reason I tend to over rig these days now that the safety/efficiency balance we had with the tree service days has swung way over to the safety side. Felling can be routine until the tree leans backward on the back cut and traps the saw or you’ve cut all you can and the darn thing just won’t fall. A reasonable rope/cable and adequate tractor/truck setup helps a lot with that. I’ve gotten to the point I ideally prefer to have the 15K bull rope tied to the base of a substantial tree, pulled snug, and have the 9K rope tied to the middle of the 15K pulling perpendicular. A little tug on the 9K with the tractor provides a lot easier persuasion than a felling wedge and sledge hammer and I like the distance better than standing right by the stump. If it gets hung up in another tree, having a rope already in it also provides a swell handle to snatch it out.

Heavy leaners, dead, hollow, or lightning struck trees of some size are good candidates to have a couple of rounds of 3/8” grade 70 chains wrapped around with load binders snugging them up.

Don’t do all that or any of that all the time but I do tend to spend more time and effort over rigging than trusting my ability to jump out of the way of a tree that does a barber chair or goes the wrong way. These days I’m not in a hurry felling trees.
 
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BX'r

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BX2370
Jun 13, 2020
29
2
3
ipsc
I would buy a 5/8 stable braid rope.
A rope will prompt the tree over but it won't steer it, you need good wood in the hinge and a proper gun in the face.
 
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DogHandlerMN

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Nov 16, 2020
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Back when I was younger, we had a branch break off partially as you described yours, hanging by a thread. My father and I used a shotgun to “cut” it down.
 

JimmyJazz

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B2601
Aug 8, 2020
606
300
63
Pittsburgh, Pa
I have done a lot of this recently with no prior experience. I got my rope at Home Depot. Its very stretchy and perhaps not the best type. Heavy and long. The price was reasonable. I drilled a hole in a field hockey ball and attached a string. It usually takes several attempts to "set" the string. Use the string to pull and set the rope. The best way to tension it I found was to tie the rope to the hitch of my trusty and rusty old pick up truck. The experience is both scary and awe-inspiring. The hardest part is cleaning up after dismembering the tree. I agree with the others in that it is somewhat dangerous and perhaps best left to professionals. In my case I figure I saved $6,000 or so and I was in need of a challenge. It also "justified" the purchase of a SuperSplitter log splitter that I highly recommend. Its amazing. Good luck and be careful.
 
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fruitcakesa

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M 6040
Oct 26, 2010
705
143
43
Cavendish Vermont
Firstly I agree with all the above regarding face angle and hinge wood.
If/when I have to tension a back or side leaning tree, I put a choker as high as I can reach with a ladder.
I use a snatch block to redirect the winch cable so the tractor is out of the danger zone.
Then, make aim and bore cuts and insert wedge
As long as the tree is solid, I winch it up till the tree or tractor begins to move, then finish the back cut.
This ensures the tree will fall where aimed without swinging off line when cable tension is released
Rotten, lightning struck and other questionable trees have to be approached with much more caution and assessment.
 

BigG

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I was looking for a good rope to tie off my son as he worked on a 12/12 roof. The difference in the working load limits in the same sized ropes is amazing. Price does not indicate the WLL. Also many of the spec for each rope are not listed.

So who sales rope with a fair price and posted specs?
 

BX'r

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BX2370
Jun 13, 2020
29
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3
ipsc
You might want a rope with elasticity so his body isn't shocked by a fall over the edge.
Bull ropes for rigging have more static properties so they don't stretch as much.
1/2 inch climbing rope is what I would use with abrasion protection if needed.
 

pjoh784350

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BX23, quick attach bucket, 3 point, pallet forks
May 3, 2019
101
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Danville
Erigging.com has some good prices on steel cable and accessories. I think if you do a few trees a year it is well worth the investment to go that route.
 

Freeheeler

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b2650 tlb
Aug 16, 2018
385
114
43
Knoxville, TN
I was looking for a good rope to tie off my son as he worked on a 12/12 roof. The difference in the working load limits in the same sized ropes is amazing. Price does not indicate the WLL. Also many of the spec for each rope are not listed.

So who sales rope with a fair price and posted specs?
I get my tree working ropes and such at either Bartlettman.com or from TreeStuff.com
 

GaltsGulch

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L3800, BX2380, and BX23S
Apr 14, 2015
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3/4 Samson Stable Braid Bull rope for me. Have been using Samson ropes for years. My cousin has a tree service he won’t use anything else.
 

NetMagi

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BX25D (sold), L2501HST w/BH77 Backhoe
Dec 30, 2014
110
38
28
Pennsylvania
I used this line to bring down 37 55’ norway spruce trees last fall to clear a spot for my pole barn:


All but 2 came down in exactly the direction we were tugging from. We tied the rope up about 12’ on the trees and my buddy kept tension on them from the seat of my l2501 while i cut them.

the metal clips on the end are garbage, but I substituted some anchor shackles in the end loops, and the rope shows no signs of damage after a good bit of abuse.

edit: that 3/4 samson referenced above would be a better choice for sure. Don’t cheap out if the tree(s) can reach something u don’t want to be hit. I had room all around, just preferred them all to drop on one side. The 2 that didnt come straight down still came the right direction, but about 30 degrees off from whete i desired.
 

GeoHorn

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...Maybe... Can we have a video...??
EB0D6DF4-05F5-4B77-8C58-A81CB1A56E65.gif
 

bcp

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BX2360
Apr 20, 2011
629
53
28
SW WA
A single rope doesn't determine where a tree will fall, only where it won't fall.

tree-rope-pull.jpg
Bruce
 

bbxlr8

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L2501 R14s, LA525, BH77 thb, LP SGC0660, CL 5' BB Ford 1260 60"mmm, CL 3PH PHD
Mar 29, 2021
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Eastern PA
I just saw this thread but there is some very good advice above. Part of my investment in new Kubota is firewood, clearing &easier processing. I have been in this property with unmaintained old growth and many dead fall and hung trees for over a decade.

I use the 200' of samson rope with this Maasdam: rope puller
A good plan, prep and contingency. Experience has shown that 1/10 will surprise you even then!

Another REALLY great site for learning & help is: Arboristsite

How did it go with your drop?