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Tree cutting skills. Be careful who you learn or take advise from

Normzilla

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Sometimes I hang my head. The internet and videos can be a great source of information. But mich misinformation on YouTube tiktok whatever too. Especially when you are Green to cutting trees, and saws. Be careful when you are learning how to cut and takedown trees, where you get the advise from. Research the info and the people. So many types around, hobby cutters, weekend warriors, green horns. And solid professionals. I'm not bragging here, but I was fortunate to grow up in a logging area and town, as well as a giant tree service area. Blessed to learn from who I have and learn things some the hard way too. I fell my first tree at 7, was nowhere near a pro. Did not start on professional work untill my early teens. Moved to Cazadero in 1987 that's where I really started my saw and tree education, surrounded by loggers, timber fallers, and tree workers. I looked up to them. At a young age I started developing a knack for saw and tree work, when I was not cutting I was running dogs and hunting pigs. I've been with Sonoma county roads for 21 years now, many times been leading and directing cutting large scale jobs. The last 10 years that's solely been my job, as well as tree work with a climber and friend for myself. Nowhere am I saying I know it all or I'm better than anyone. But I am just hoping people will seek true professionals for advise and techniques, not just youtube or the internet. As I mentioned their is a ton of great stuff, but their are also people who don't really know, and are not professional by any means, as well as some who want to reinvent the wheel, that's not always a good thing. Surround yourself with people who have years in the field, and use proven techniques, be wise to those who call techniques that have been used for generations, unsafe or unworthy. I'm glad to have been raised around the west coast, and gain the life knowledge and experience I have. As well as memories and moments. Be safe out their my friends, its one of the most rewarding jobs in the world, but one of the most dangerous too.
 

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Czed

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In the 80s i learned from the same old usually drunk neighbor that taught my older timber faller brother in the 70s
My brother made a career out of it retiring year's ago
I just make messes and leave
Still have all my fingers and toes.
 

Normzilla

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I pity the people learning from a wranglerstar or whoever on social media or YouTube.
I love the drunken neighbor part lol! Yeah too many fools on YouTube. I will say their are some that are completely legit, but very darn few. Most of it is new wave nonsense or hobby cutters, which is cool. But I get ruffled when they say it's the only way, or it's safer or better than west coast methods. Normally I could walk away from that argument, but it's like the fake martial artists mastering in Bullshito. A fight finds them they are stunned surprised and defeated. The nonsense saw wise is the same, except I argue it, because it is life or death, as I'm sure you know.
 

Spike60

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At best, maybe 50% of the people on you tube know what they are talking about. The rest are a collection of ego driven clowns who get a kick out of their self created celebrity status in their little corner of Disneyland. Many are downright crooks to boot.

The truly amazing thing to me is that no matter how big a jerk someone is, they have a loyal following of subs who think the guy is great. I suppose it's really just a numbers thing with millions of people, even the morons can pick up fans just like a dirty dust mop.

Lordy, the stories I could tell about people that would bring saws into the shop and tell me what was wrong with the saw from the videos they watched the night before. "I think the primary and secondary compression are out of phase" Send it to the guy in the video!

But saws and felling is both technical and dangerous work. And you can only scratch the surface of what you need to know by watching videos.

Cheers to you Norm, for bringing this up. :Saeufer:
 

Czed

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I love the drunken neighbor part lol! Yeah too many fools on YouTube. I will say their are some that are completely legit, but very darn few. Most of it is new wave nonsense or hobby cutters, which is cool. But I get ruffled when they say it's the only way, or it's safer or better than west coast methods. Normally I could walk away from that argument, but it's like the fake martial artists mastering in Bullshito. A fight finds them they are stunned surprised and defeated. The nonsense saw wise is the same, except I argue it, because it is life or death, as I'm sure you know.
You'd like terry aka tabby or tab he was given this nickname before I was born.
He ran gear drive homelites and mcCulloughs from the late 50s into the 60s then whenever the homelite xl12s came along he went to them for poplar
He once had about 30/40 xl12s
And switched to husqvarna in the 70s/80s/90s
He's always been totally deaf but reads lips
He'd keep a hand on a tree while cutting and watching the tops to feel it break loose and start falling.
I always liked when he'd tell me it was time for a new saw
he'd walk his property and drop a tree load it up take it to the log yard
Sell it buy a saw and come back home lol
He was a very talented faller and chainsaw mechanic
he's stopped drinking now enjoying his retirement.
Year's ago he showed me a 029 then new to the market he bought
he fried it on the first day his fault he leaned it out way too much it wasn't moving around enough he said he was used to high revving
husqvarna's.
 

Normzilla

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At best, maybe 50% of the people on you tube know what they are talking about. The rest are a collection of ego driven clowns who get a kick out of their self created celebrity status in their little corner of Disneyland. Many are downright crooks to boot.

The truly amazing thing to me is that no matter how big a jerk someone is, they have a loyal following of subs who think the guy is great. I suppose it's really just a numbers thing with millions of people, even the morons can pick up fans just like a dirty dust mop.

Lordy, the stories I could tell about people that would bring saws into the shop and tell me what was wrong with the saw from the videos they watched the night before. "I think the primary and secondary compression are out of phase" Send it to the guy in the video!

But saws and felling is both technical and dangerous work. And you can only scratch the surface of what you need to know by watching videos.

Cheers to you Norm, for bringing this up. :Saeufer:
Totally agree with you Amigo, thanks for adding good insight and points. And years I'm sure asentioned by u on the ship side too:) some of its entertainment, I try not to take offense, and my wife says gotta let it go, she's right. I guess if it couldn't get people killed then I'd let it go easier.
 

Normzilla

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You'd like terry aka tabby or tab he was given this nickname before I was born.
He ran gear drive homelites and mcCulloughs from the late 50s into the 60s then whenever the homelite xl12s came along he went to them for poplar
He once had about 30/40 xl12s
And switched to husqvarna in the 70s/80s/90s
He's always been totally deaf but reads lips
He'd keep a hand on a tree while cutting and watching the tops to feel it break loose and start falling.
I always liked when he'd tell me it was time for a new saw
he'd walk his property and drop a tree load it up take it to the log yard
Sell it buy a saw and come back home lol
He was a very talented faller and chainsaw mechanic
he's stopped drinking now enjoying his retirement.
Year's ago he showed me a 029 then new to the market he bought
he fried it on the first day his fault he leaned it out way too much it wasn't moving around enough he said he was used to high revving
husqvarna's.
Sounds like my kind of guy indeed. I started on old saws like that hand me downs, and yard sales etc, before finding Stihl and husqvarna. I learned early on old Macs and homelites. That guy right there guarantee is a real man, and as u said I'm sure a good faller. Good story man.
 

Catbuster

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-G.F Beranek has a great couple of books.
-Douglas Dent has a book titled Professional Timber Falling that is the gold standard.
-Roy Hauser has a great book called The Art of Felling Timber, but it already assumes you can safely fall a tree and focuses on refinement of what you already know.

I dislike The Game of Logging. I really despise the extra time and work it takes to put a tree on the ground. But, I must concede it teaches probably the most foolproof way to safely put a tree on the ground.

August Hunicke is a great YouTuber. But he doesn’t go into great detail of the basics, you have to have a good idea of the fundamental principles of tree work to understand what he’s doing. Jacob Rogers and Jed Walters did a video a couple of years ago on the channel he had while he worked at Eastside Tree Works that was great. The best instructional videos in the internet today are the BC Faller Training series from WorkSafe BC. Otherwise, there’s a lot of junk, and a lot of stuff that’s not instructional but just guys tipping trees over.

*Edited for clarity… Then spelling.
 
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davidwyby

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I have beranek’s stuff and pick his brain on the treehouse forum sometimes. I didn’t learn much from Dent’s or “to fell a tree” but someone totally new should start there I reckon.
I just watched a GOT vid where they took the art of felling class. I will probably look into that. Guy from PA who went in the vid basically said yeah east and west are totally different and different methods.
I watch John Adler (GOL) some, good guy, safety minded, have learned tidbits on sharpening etc., and plenty of Walt as far as GOL methods go. I’m a longer bar guy but everything Walt does makes sense to me and he shows how and why what works and what doesn’t. I don’t really know all the steps of GOL, but I can see how if one tried to west coast Walt’s trees, it would wreck them
 

davidwyby

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@Catbuster I was really trying to challenge Norm in a friendly way to show us the right and wrong instead of just blanketing YouTube as junk. A greenhorn can’t tell if he’s getting good info or not because, as my grandpa would say, “You don’t know what you don’t know”.
 

Loony661

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Well said Norm! I agree with so much here. As I stated in another thread earlier today, YouTube is a double edged sword: Great for those who understand and practice the basics and beyond, but at the same time very dangerous for someone who lacks knowledge and experience and doesn’t know what they can and cannot get away with. Every vid I watch I take with a grain of salt, and decide whether or not that method could be applied to the species of wood I cut, the terrain I cut on, etc. For those of us “in the know” we can make the decision for ourselves if a vid has actual knowledge and insight, or if it is just filled with BS and Ego. Jacob Rodgers is a great resource IMO. There are times when I’ve felt I can cut circles around him, but mostly, I appreciate that he’s clearly admitting that he is not a know-it-all and he provides the opportunity to learn something along with him. That takes guts. And the professionals he surrounds himself with are top notch.
 

Loony661

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So who and which methods are bunk and which are good?
I agree with this as well. Because if you don’t have those role models to follow and look up to, you would absorb everything you could online not knowing what is good or bad for you. It’s an unfortunate by-product of YouTube University... Being naive has its consequences.
 

davidwyby

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I agree with this as well. Because if you don’t have those role models to follow and look up to, you would absorb everything you could online not knowing what is good or bad for you. It’s an unfortunate by-product of YouTube University... Being naive has its consequences.
Thinking about consequences and Jed…I wonder how many die or get injured from tricky unseen gotchas like him and how many from doing the wrong thing?
 
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