How would you fall this?


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Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
Red Feather Lakes, CO
This is why this is so scary to me. The branch on the first picture was barely 6 feet over the ground on the far end, bowed down, and maybe 12 - 15 feet high by the trunk and about 4 inches thick . So I was going to cut the branch off with my gas pole saw from my 8 foot ladder, my belly was not sticking much above the top of the ladder and the pole saw was probably at about 45 degrees up cutting on the tree to the right of the first picture. I started to make the cut until I heard the "crack, crack" , I backed the saw away and the far end of the branch was already on the ground. So, I finished the cut when the branch instead of falling down, it went sideways across where the ladder was and the next thing I felt was the ladder falling forwards while I was holding to the pole saw in the middle like the balance rod of tightrope walker. When finally all the action was over, I found myself still holding the saw (engine running) but now sitting on the ladder steps with my feet on both side of the ladder as shown in the first picture. I felt no pain discomfort or anything and everything felt fine. So I my initial thought was that the ladder had gotten closed and I fell. But when I turned over the ladder that was not the case. In the second picture is easy to see that the branch came across and broke both front legs of the ladder, destroying them. So I was fortunate that I was not hurt on the fall but also I was not impaled by the broken and jagged aluminum pieces below.

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If that is an 8 ft ladder it probably has a 150 lb weight limit lol.

glad you are safe and lesson learned. The only way I will get on a ladder to cut a branch is if I can use the entire tree trunk for protection. That usually isnt the case so I dont do it much at all.


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B7510 hydro, yanmar ym146, cub cadet 1450, 582,782
Mar 15, 2022
One of the most common mistakes I see. First working off of a ladder but second, when the limb does not detach and fall straight down as the person cutting assumes it will.

Instead it swings down (far end contacts the ground) then tears loose or person cutting continues to cut. Not realizing the limb (now at an angle) HAS to fall with the butt coming back in the direction of the person cutting. Invariably it takes out the ladder or the person on it.

Second most common occurrence is when a person fails to make an undercut FIRST on the limb. Instead makes the cut from the top nearly all the way through until the weight of the limb takes the limb down but the remaining 'hinge' (wood or bark) lets the limb swing back into the cutter.

Usually these are homeowners with little to no experience and they just don't think about the dynamics.

Other is just the tree itself or the type of wood. Even
A - I'm strapped to it - so it's a ride and then the loader gets me off - no biggie - and the sections I'm dropping are so short now it wouldn't be a catapult event anyhow.
B - @Flintknapper 's first point below also true - so at this point in the project I don't think I'm riding much more than a foot or so. Honestly - when the tree was a lot longer it was a bit exciting, when a section would drop it was like sitting on a diving board ;)
(and before people worry - no - I never wrap your legs around the trunk - incase the trunk side splinters when the section you are dropping pops off - even with an undercut kerf - I "squeeze" the tree between my thighs - learned that from a guy who cut tree limbs away from powerlines for a living)

C - throwing or abandoning equipment in favor of not needing to visit an urgent care is looked at more as an opportunity to buy new equipment more than anything else :) I have lost a chainsaw to drop because things were not right... and a pole saw that was caught in a limb (still don't know how) that popped off a tree and went down a ravine... I opted to not try an "hang on" and watched it go.
D - If I'm not engaging in a cut - I flip the bar stop forward - so if I do have bad trigger control (or a stick or anything else does) - the saw just makes the angry bogged motor sound anyhow.
If more people used the chain brake like that there would be a lot less accidents.
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Well-known member

May 3, 2022
Deep East Texas
Biggest thing you having going for you is that you are astute.

That goes a long way toward staying out of possible trouble.

Good job Sir!
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Well-known member

Apr 2, 2019
don't know if it's been mentioned but sometimes it's better to take smaller sections off, say 2' long not 3-4' pieces. yes, more cuts but possibly safer as less mass being removed
I know everyone expects the tree 'down and gone in an hour'...but safety needs to come first.


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BX24 & L4760HSTC
Dec 16, 2017
The High Taxes part of lovely NY, USA
And we are done.

The last 16’ or so of the trunk to the rootball can sit where it is forever as part of the backstop.

This has now officially stopped being a cleanup project and become a range backstop improvement project as the next steps are gonna be piling the trunk sections on and infront of the berm adding height and depth.
last few chunks were a lot bigger diameter than my bar length - so I undercut up about 1/4. Then cut in from the side close to me. Then cut down from the top until the kerf opened up. Pulled my saw and then used the loader to push it (not a lot of force needed) and snap it off letting 4’ or longer sections fall off.
when the very last section came off the trunk gently came up about 4”. And then, Ohh so slowly another 2-3” while I was putting tools away.
So - safe, slow and controlled -only one moment of a “humm”. So - all in all - very successful and my last update on this thread in terms of status. Cause status is “done”!
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