Skidding Logs Without The Ruts
By Scott Wunder | Posted: 12/09/2013 1:42PM
I always think I am going to do a short post, especially late at night, but I never seem to pull it off. This will be an exception. Introducing my first, official, quick short post.
Logs in back yard, truck with winch in front yard, nice lawn between the two.
Get logs out without tearing up the yard.
Now… if it was just that easy, short and simple I would have nothing to talk about, would I?
(Stop reading here if you don’t have a little extra time and a tiny violin to play.)
This tree was only two houses away, and I had had my eye on it since it started dying a couple of falls ago. It was a nice white oak that had a 11-foot-long veneer-grade log in it and two lower-grade 9-foot-long logs. (The logs in the skidding pictures are the upper logs, not the veneer quality log.) The tree was quickly declining through the last summer of death and was totally dead when I got to it. It was still solid and the heartwood looked good, but the sapwood had started spalting (rotting), and the bugs had moved in. Even though I wouldn’t be able to sell the log for veneer because of the lack of freshness, I still deemed this tree worthy of a little effort to procure. Notice I said a little.
I got out to meet the tree crew early on the Friday after Thanksgiving of 2012. Chris woke me up. She was telling me that the tree guys were there, but all I needed to hear was the word chainsaw, and I was out the door in a flash. I trust no one to cut a tree correctly. It goes back to when a friend of mine cut a 30-inch-diameter walnut tree 24 inches up from the ground and turned a $1,500 log into a $300 log. He knows all of the best wood is close to the ground. He just got lazy. Now I remind everyone to cut low and tell them, “Get your chainsaw dirty.”
As far as the felling, things went great. The guys were accommodating and cut the tree perfectly. (I think they were happy to leave the big parts on the ground and still get paid.) I headed home to let them wrap up and returned in the afternoon with my log truck to start skidding the logs.
An Uphill Battle
From the spot where I set up I had a straight shot to two of the logs, but the stump was still there and in the way of the main log. I figured I would get those two logs and stop by the next day to pick up the last one after the stump was ground up.
About the Author
Scott WunderFrom felling the trees through installation of the final piece Scott Wunder, owner of WunderWoods in St. Charles, MO, shares his woodworking knowledge with anyone that will talk to him about wood. Whether you want to learn about milling lumber or need help on a project, get your fill of woodworking infotainment at WunderWoods.com. Scott writes about all aspects of woodworking and specializes in finishing (mostly because no one else likes to sand). Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out Wunderwoods' website at Wunderwoods.com.