What Are the Methods of Tree Lopping?
When cutting down trees, several steps must be followed:
when the tree is upright: the dismantling of the tree, then the felling;
when the tree is on the ground: delimbing, then cutting, and if necessary, stump removal.
Delimbing equipment: chainsaw or harvester
Once the tree is on the ground, delimbing consists of cutting the branches to free the bole before its transport (skidding) or cutting into logs. Appropriate pruning equipment is required:
The chainsaw allows a much faster cut than a pruning saw or any manual tool.
The harvester, which may be used to fell trees, can also be equipped with a fast and very effective delimbing device.
Precautions to take when delimbing
The personnel who carry out the delimbing must take many precautions for their safety:
be careful with branches kept under tension, which can have a spring effect and cause injuries when released during cutting: they must undergo (as for the barrel under tension before cutting) pre-cut notches that will release the torsion energy stored by the wood;
ensure the careful use of the chainsaw:
the log must always support the saw;
always have stable support.
Delimbing and PPE: the necessary equipment
The personnel handling the chainsaw, whether in pruning, felling, or delimbing, must wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
cut-resistant clothing and gloves, safety boots, or shoes;
pruning helmet with glasses and earplugs.
It is essential to ensure that people and animals do not approach the work site. For safety reasons, it is preferable to call a pruning company composed of professional climbers, pruners, or lumberjacks.
Two methods of lopping: depending on the size of the trees
Lopping can be done using two methods:
- the enveloping technique;
- the lever technique.
Wrapping technique of delimbing: the classic method
We take advantage of the fact that the crown of the felled tree raises the bole from the ground to start the delimbing from the bottom of the bole by going up towards the crown:
make pre-cutting notches between the base of the bole and the ground part to release the energy created by the overhang;
proceed with the rest of the delimbing from the crown to the bottom of the bole.
This allows for easy cutting of the logs without the chainsaw chain hitting the ground, fouling, or breaking.
Delimbing: Lever technique or Z method
With the lever technique, the delimbing is first started on the side of the tree trunk for about 1 meter, then on the top before delimbing on the opposite side.
The chainsaw rests on the tree trunk and is used as a lever to cut the branches. This method avoids the need for personnel to walk through the cut branches, which hinder movement constantly.
Delimbing the underside of the trunk: turning the trunk over
To turn the trunk over:
either keep a branch strong enough to turn the trunk over to access the underside;
or use a log-turner.
The bole should be placed on a stump or something that will raise the trunk: this will make the work easier. After delimbing, you can proceed to skid or directly to cutting.
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- What Are the Techniques for Cutting Trees;
- How Is Tree Felling Carried Out?
Hope this post has given you an idea of how to maintain your trees. Are you looking for an arborist in Kitchener? K-W Tree Expert Co is the one to call, and remember to share your experience in the comments below.