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Tree clearing technique?

Discussion in 'Forestry Operations' started by D6c10K, Sep 28, 2021.

  1. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    You are WRONG! Have you never seen Swamp Loggers, Mountain Men, or a dozen other television shows. Logs I'd push over a steep hill, they claim are worth thousands. What in Hell are you going to get from these? There is a whole new fad; River Tables. Any rotten piece of debris is split, bookmatched, and placed in a mold. 40 gallons of epoxy is dumped on top & it is sold for many thousands.

    UTTERLY PREPOSTEROUS!
     
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  2. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Take that up with the property owners, its their stuff and the last I knew, they could do whatever they want with anything they own, no different than you and your property. The offer is good for you as well Willie, if that's the case, I can line you up with tens of billions of dollars worth of the stuff, just come and get it, do whatever you want with it, pretty sure nobody who currently has the stuff cares how rich you become, their only concerned with getting the stuff gone as quickly as possible.

    But while your busy believing everything on TV, you may have also noticed land values in my state went up over 2000 dollars an acre last year alone, its selling for over 20k an acre now near me and heading much higher, so when you factor in the value of the land this junk is sitting on, farmers and landowners everywhere don't need to rely on TV for anything, the reality of the situation is, the dead trees are sitting on very valuable land, for a whole lot of purposes beside waiting for someone to show up and buy the millions of dollars worth of dead tree's to turn into billions by molding them into table tops.

    I'm more of the follow the money kind of person myself, there are hundreds of landowners in my area that feel for a multitude of reasons, its far better to pile up the crap and burn it today and get it gone fast, to prepare for the future and earn money in different ways that are much more reliable than anything you can see on TV, and until that philosophy changes anytime soon, which I doubt will ever happen, things will only pickup and speed up in the quest to clean up the whole area and countryside.

    It might not be on TV, but liability is changing, some laws have been passed, like if drugs are made on your property and your the landowner, your held partial liability, especially clean up costs and enforcement costs, that alone is a huge driving force to get rid of abandoned buildings and clearing off old junky timbers that have nothing of value in them, cost of equipment is skyrocketed the last two decades, so what cost nothing to repair, now cost tens of thousands of dollars and insurance companies are putting their foot down and telling everyone, for insurance purposes, your rates will be lower if those tree's and old buildings are gone, and poof, that's all it took for owners to spring into action and its gone. With land values skyrocketing, many sales agents are telling sellers to get that stuff gone and it will increase the value of your property X amount, much more than the cost to remove it all before the sale, so that's a huge driving force behind the clean up going on, those who bought high dollar land don't even have the paperwork completed and they want all that crap gone in days, not years and the list just keep going as to the reasons, none involve and nobody cares about anything seen on TV, so I'm sorry, maybe in your area people and even yourself watch and believe what they see on TV, but in my area, nobody cares about anything but what is actually going on and for reasons they can relate to locally, these are only a portion of the reasons behind what is the driving force to get rid of all the garbage, there are many more that would take pages to address.

    The reason I posted this stuff in the thread was to tell others how its possible to safely get those old big dead widow makers down and NOT have to wait it out for the wind to blow them over, because time is money and everyone wants it done today, they don't like to be told wait a few years for it to be safe to work around and since I'm only one business, I can't do it all across several states, but this did work for me, give it a try for yourself and keep your customers happy as well. Also, increase your profits by taking into account the risk involved and the time you spend doing the job.............but that depends on your competition and how they do things and what they charge and also their capabilities.

    I'd love to hash this over more but I'm heading out this morning to move machines, I have far more stuff to pile up and burn, even if it is worth millions, its still not mine to sell but do as I'm hired to do and that's to light it up and watch it burn, and as I drive around, I'm not alone, there are plenty more contractors, farmers themselves and property owners doing the same thing, apparently nobody wants plastic molded rotten table tops for their house, would that be the consensus we can draw then?? If thats the case, I'm going to burn about 100,000 table tops today worth what several grand a piece, should be an eventful day, maybe Swamp loggers will show up to do a show on the destruction of valuable table tops in a one day burn event................what do you think?? In all honesty, I'm thinking there are several million table tops being burned this week alone in a 60 mile radius of me, some really nice old barn boards went up in smoke yesterday alone on one fire I watched for a while along the road, was told the person that wanted them pulled a no show and the farm is being sold in a month so the barn had to go. I told the owner he could report a loss on his taxes as to the 3 dollars a board foot he didn't get from the sale of the boards, all he did was laugh and said, think I"ll make it up in a month or so on the sale of the acreage instead. Have a good day everyone, I'm going to at least stay warm via a nice outdoor bon fire, probably several more tomorrow as well, might even drag out into the weekend the way things are looking.
     
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  3. charles walton

    charles walton Senior Member

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    Like I said,I failed to read the part in the thread about the trees being dead, my apoligies.
     
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  4. terex herder

    terex herder Senior Member

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    I wondered if you could get an old flatbed semi trailer, preferably an extendable, and use it as a tree pusher/knocker from far enough away the widowmakers wouldn't be anywhere close to the operator. A much smaller version of the treepushers R. G. LeTourneau made for Africa.
     
  5. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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    Please don't think I'm criticizing any way you got it down without getting hurt. I think the TV shows pretending these waterlogged, muddy snags have value, or standing trash either are fraud. Show me a check where a mill owner bought this stuff.
     
  6. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    I am surprised you can burn anything there anymore. In Texas, in our city, we could clear land of anything and everything, as long as it was zoned for agriculture use. However, if it did not have an agriculture exemption, you had better not touch any tree on the property, or the code enforcement and police would be out there in a minute. On almost every property we cleared over a 15 year period, we had code people or the police come out and TRY to stop us. When they found out it was ag zoned, they left us alone.
    Now, as to burning, that was a different story. We could not burn anything we cleared, unless we had a state permit, county permit, and city permit, and followed all the rules they had, which were numerous and burdensome. Since burning was out of the equation, we mulched everything on the whole 2000 acres we cleared. This land was not extremely valuable when we started, as any developer could not clear cut trees without heavy fines and fees. However, once we cleared it all under ag zoning, it all became acreage that was sold by the SQ. FT. Land clearing is a weird business in today's world of regulations.
     
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  7. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Many states have rules just like yours, in my state, cites and towns have burning bans put on and you have to go through the permitting process. Certain area's have what's called by many "tree police" and those are to say the least, a complete disaster zone for anyone with property within them and its gets really complicated fast, but the jest is, even if a tree dies, it gets replaced, not with what the owner wants, but what he's told, is what it gets down to.

    As for the rest of the states rules, yes they have some, but it gets so complicated and confusing, it would take a dozen or more pages just to try to type it all out, and once done, take a lawyer to decipher it all.

    But the short and dirty answer is this, yes open burning is still allowed in my state, [rural area's] but my state like many others are trying to put up rules, long before any burning takes place to add to the cost, delay the process and complicate the issue and make landowners and home owners lives a bit more miserable in the process, would be the jest of it all.

    Now I can't change policy, but I can say this much, if all the tree huggers of the world would ever actually think for one second instead of standing around, hollering, yelling, screaming, protesting and creating laws, they'd do the world a huge favor but most of all tree's. Their thoughts are to create laws to reduce and block tree removal, but all they end up doing is not only NOT save tree's, but create in everyone a huge need to get rid of them all while they still can mentality, and never allow another one to START to grow. Which is an over simplified version of what's taking place all across many states right now with inflated land prices and has been taking place the last 20 plus years, only its speeding up with more land being sold at higher values.
     
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  8. mowingman

    mowingman Senior Member

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    One of the first places I cleared and cleaned up back in 2009,, was a 35 acre tract just off the end of a fairly nice neighborhood. The property was a mees of brush, trash trees and old concrete dump piles. As I was mulching brush and trees, a lady waved me down. She told me I was destroying all of "their" nice trees. I promptly told her I did not know she was one of the landowners, but that the VP of the land company had me doing the clearing. Of course,that shut her up and she left. Next day the "tree police" showed up, but could not do anything as it was "ag" land. I turned the property into a beautiful piece of land that was then used as a wheat field for many years.
    You are correct though. All the stupid tree rules did, was convince the landowners that all their properties needed to be clearcut, before going on the market and then changing out of ag. status.
     
  9. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    The same thing happened in Queensland in the late 1990's when the government was changing the landclearing laws. Millions of acres were cleared so it then couldn't be called reminent vegetation. Saved a lot of trees that did.
     
  10. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Willie, sorry to have read you post wrong and jumping on you like I did, next time I'll clarify better, hope there are no hard feelings.

    Don't get me wrong guys, everyone used to depend on timbers for everything, from heating their house, to lumber used to build buildings, fence posts were cut from timbers, you name it, it was utilized, the last 70 or more years, nobody bothers with anything from them, nobody culls out bad tree's, new tree's are not allowed to grow via management, once a logger gets done, nothing is done with the timber, its just forgotten about basically and before long, there is nothing left of worth, nothing anyone wants or will ever want is in them, some hunters might use the timber somewhat, but that's about it. With the uptick in save the tree's mentality and new ownership of the land, cleanup is under way, but that in itself isn't new, anyone who buys land, does things to it, shapes driveways, builds a new house, puts up hunting blinds, shapes waterways, you name it they do it, its now theirs and they bought it and plan to do whatever to it. I've cleared thousands of acres over the years, I have yet to clear off anything descent, if you'd roll back the clock 100 years or so, none of what I've done would need doing, the owners would have done themselves, those 150 feet from the fences, would never have gotten that bad, once a tree fell over it would have cleaned up by the owner, in the last 70 years if a tree falls over, nobody needs the firewood, just farm around it, someday he'll get to clean it up, then the next on falls over and so on and before long your 150 feet away from the fence, you can't see the fence, someone might need to repair the fence but if you ignore it long enough, maybe not, livestock disappear so the fence isn't needed anyway, the other side of the fence looks like this side and it just keep going. If the work is close to a road, people will stop by and scream at you, swear at you and harass you for destroying those valuable tree's, first thing I do is look around and ask, you mean those dead rotten ones laying on the ground, the answer is always, yes?? Well their free, bring a pickup and you have can take it home, lay it down behind or in front of your house and keep it safe yourself.............only to be told I'm an a**hole that should be shot for what I'm doing. I've been threatened to be sued so many times over the years, if I'd have put a dollar aside every time I'd been threatened, I could retire by now, as of yet, none have ever materialized, I've been video taped [for evidence to be used in court] I've been put on the internet via video for the destruction of timber and tree's [was only told about never saw it myself] have even been called by attorneys and threatened if I didn't stop doing what I was doing, and none of it was by anyone who owned or was anyway connected to the land I was working on. I as of yet, have never had stuff vandalized, but those I've worked for have hired law enforcement out of their pocket to stand guard all night long beside my equipment [we agreed on this beforehand]. And the whole while I'm thinking to myself, if anyone would attempt to tell any of these people what they should or shouldn't do with anything they owned, all hell would break loose and they'd hire an attorney and file suit against those attempting to tell them anything, its always a one way street with those people.

    Well along came the Dereco in Iowa a couple years ago, which in itself if tragic, I had kids of my own in it at the time, all turned out safe, but the destruction was unbelievable to say the least, I don't think anyone who lived through it will ever forget it or the aftermath anytime soon. Now they say out of tragedy comes hope and survival....................I'm not sure, but out the Dereco might come the fact laws could be changed, turns out, even though the media won't report it and if they did they'd screw it so badly it wouldn't matter anyhow. But for the first time ever, many can find out what laws do in fact mean to them, starting with tree's, many found out really fast, tree damage is covered by insurance, tree removal isn't, so the owners had to bear that cost, they also are finding out, stuff done for free at the time, will be taxed on those who had it done and be collected later on down the road, so that whole massive tree cleanup to clear city streets, increases taxes over decades to recoup those costs, [who would have ever seen that coming] and lastly, those laws in place in many area's, namely to replace tree's once they are removed, might have some stiff opposition when the homeowner who couldn't afford it, had to pay tens of thousand of dollars to remove the old destroyed trees just two years ago from their property, not to mention all the damages to their houses the tree's caused that weren't covered by insurance, many are also finding out insurance doesn't cover 100 percent of the damage, [apparently its a shock to some if not most] Now the city wants them to pay to replace their trees, or be given more trees to plant back?? and basically orders them to put back..........yea that might not be going too well at the moment. Right now in my state, in many cities I don't think tree huggers are being rallied behind at the moment, matter of fact, I think my state is kind of being avoided by them at this time and people want the laws changed, to make it the property owner decision IF they want trees planted back at all. Big government of all kinds can single out a few at a time and make examples of them and force action against them, but when it comes to the masses, maybe not so much, those masses vote and right now, their not happy and even though they may have the right to be upset, I hope they all have to obey the laws they voted in themselves and shut up about it obey those laws, THEN change those laws back. Time will tell how this goes, but right now while there is controversy going on within the state, many are using it to their advantage and rightfully so. I can't discuss politics, but laws are not really politics, they are in place and things we are supposed to obey and observe and right now, those laws are really being talked about locally and many are upset over a whole raft of issues, starting with tree's and their definition and exactly who has the right to do what and who should or shouldn't be allowed to make that determination. As they say time will tell in the end, but for the first time in over 30 years, many can now understand for themselves what I've been trying to tell them all along, it might be nice to tell others what to do, but kind of sucks to be told by others what your going to do or else, especially when money is tight, and things are not going too well for you the way it is, you know, pretty much life in general. I know other areas deal with hurricanes, but things are designed to withstand some of those winds, my area has never seen those prolonged wind speeds before and virtually nothing was designed to take it, and they failed miserably due to that fact. Now the upside is, maybe some of the codes will be updated to help in later events, we'll see, again maybe some good can come out of a disaster.
     
  11. chidog

    chidog Well-Known Member

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    Also with the correct size dozer and the right person running it, it will do much more work than 3 excavators, and keep the trash clean enough for chipping. Chipping is the new burning. It is best to log first before clearing and is how it is done most of the time. Huge fir stumps need to be split to be chipped or even burned.
     
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  12. DMiller

    DMiller Senior Member

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    Here around us Loggers will only take those saleable logs, Walnut, White Oak, Hard Maple varieties, some considered trash wood used for pallets where if anything as Elm or berry trees, Hackberry, Mulberry and Crabapple end up as brush pile fodder. SOME Fruit trees as Apple, Peach end up as smoker charcoal where the remnants of walnut and oak tops get harvested by charcoal makers for that end product.

    Still a few smaller grade contractors here do shove work with dozers but pretty in frequent anymore as a larger excavator with a good operator can sit in place and clear 1/4-1/5 acre area sizes building a burn pile while only rotating the house. Excavator can also stir a burning pile without actually crawling into it. Most common method here of land clearing.
     
  13. Willie B

    Willie B Senior Member

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  14. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

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    Burning anything here is frowned on or prohibited by law. Dozers used for clearing is going away to a large extent. All my clearing customers over the years had at most two of them per development site and usually one was just a spare. They all went to multiple excavators of 200 and 300 sizes. Dozers can't load grinders, operators for the last twenty years don't know how to push a pile in a way to drop the dirt and dozers get stuck far more often than an excavator does. Excavators can stack or load logs for transport. The discussion shouldn't be what works best by itself. Both machine types are best used in combination as determined by the grade of land, type of vegetation and ultimate goal of the clearing process. My customers typically had three to five excavators on a site with one dozer. All that work is done by bid so dollars per acre is what hones down decisions of which machines to use.
     
  15. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    There are several types of people doing the clearing in my area, those doing bid work, which is usually done for developers and have time deadlines and penalties involved, that done for landowners, some is bid, most isn't, and that done for farmers, about half and half for bidding and now lately, that done for sellers and also buyers, sort of a whole new breed of work so to speak. In my area clearing is an afterthought at best, whoever you like uses whatever they have for machines to get the job done however you prefer it done. In order to save money, just shove and pile it, its the cheapest way to go short term. If you don't want to look at the junk and garbage left behind, depending on how you like it done, will determine who you hire to do it. Today those selling land, don't care, they need it done yesterday in order to get the land sold today at high prices and its worth more cleaned than the left as is, so its a dollar thing to clear it before the sale. Those buying it want the junk piles gone a week ago so they can farm it, others find out those selling it and had it cleared didn't do it legally per say and now they are in violation of something, usually the EPA involving asbestos with old house or building roofs and need to clean it up properly now or face fines. Some involving wood/lumber debris shoved into sink holes and ravines find out after the fact they can't do that, or in other words, they now own the property and have to clean it up to avoid fines and such a week after buying it as is. Some land that wasn't cleared before the sale, now the new owner wants the stuff gone for their own needs, whatever those might be, that's dependent on the new owners previous experiences involving clearing.

    Couple that to the excess rains we've been having the last 5 plus years and that puts a huge crunch on time for many, compelling far different tactics that what should be used to clear and clean up tree's, basically it gets down to, maybe its not done quite right, but its all we had time for today, worry about tomorrow when it comes, if it even comes, for sellers, no longer their problem, for buyers... it sort of seems to be their new problem to deal with.

    Different areas have different soil types, moisture and a host of other things do consider as well, for my area, dozer rakes should be used, but seldom ever are, basically because of mud, they flat out don't work in mud, and lately if your not working in mud, your not working at all is the jest of it. They really don't work the best in frozen conditions either and in the really wet area's, you clear when the ground is frozen somewhat to carry you, and it has to be cleared before you tile it in the spring, so thanks in part to the rainy weather, your now working in frozen ground, a whole new level of fun, which determines who's doing the work in the first place.

    I've been doing clean up after clearing jobs for over 20 years now, basically someone gets tired of looking or farming around or now needs the land the junk got piled on for something else and that's where I come in and clean it all up once for all. To me, it really doesn't matter how it got done, its a huge mess no matter what and its going to cost a lot to make it all go away. Dozer operators create the worst mess, having shoved everything into piles and have a huge mound of dirt surrounding the pile now that needs to be spread back out, sorted through, debris picked up and burned and the rocks disposed of. John is partly right, many don't know how to use a dozer and leave the dirt out of the piles, other can't with the conditions they are working in, not even using excavators sometimes its impossible to do the job correctly. I've been seeing a lot more of this lately, when its raining all the time and the seller needs to list the property in a week, and its done nothing but rain and not even an excavator can get around, yet the work goes on, yea, seen a lot of that after the fact, and using the correct machines means nothing if the conditions are not even remotely fit, I'd like to think eventually I can even work again in fit conditions, but I'm losing hope more so every day and year that passes that will again become a reality.
     
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