Rope for pulling trees over

   / Rope for pulling trees over #11  
I have been using 5/8in dacron for about 30yrs or so with no problems. It does stretch some, but less than nylon.
   / Rope for pulling trees over #12  
There is a difference in PULLING a tree OVER, and putting TENSION on a line to guide. If you are going to pull it, the strongest and newest of anything is best. The easiest way and safest is to use blocks and tackle if you don't have a winch and a deadman. Blocks increase your pulling power dramatically with a limited power source. Blocks can also use to change the direction of your line, so that you don't have to have a straight shot at it, thus reducing your risk. Aborist sites and others have great block and tackle statistics. Putting tension on a tree you want to fall is by far the easiest way unless you have an enormous heavy leaner in the opposite direction
   / Rope for pulling trees over #13  
And if you can't rig, i've seen people be very successful using hydraulic jack w/steal plates, used to push the tree in the right direction. I personally mainly use wire rope, chain and strap along with snatch blocks and come along and or tractor to apply pressure.
   / Rope for pulling trees over #14  
Give us a little more info please.
1. How big are the trees??
2. How much is "a little" help
3. What happens if things go wrong?? Structures in the way?? or just dont want to hit another tree??

IF the help they need isnt too much, some felling wedges and good technique is the easiest. But dont trust that if there is a building within reach.

Another way I have done it with trees up to ~12" or so is use the FEL elevated high and pushing. PArk the tractor at the tree with a little tension pushing. Cut the wedge and back cut but leave a good bit of hinge, then start pushing on tractor. How I'm not recommending this, especially if trees are larger, cause unless you know what you are doing, you can drop the tree on the tractor. If you cut too much of the hinge, or if the tree is dead and snaps, it can flip over the loader and land on the tractor/operator.
   / Rope for pulling trees over #15  
Amsteel blue is great stuff, but you can get by with standard logging rope in 5/8" or 3/4" and it will still last a lifetime for most of us. Sampson makes good logging rope, but expect to spend about $1.20-2.00 per foot. Also get a pulley block so that you can pull in a direction away from the fall or use it to increase mechanical advantage (or get two pulleys if you want to do both). And then some shackles, and a tree strap or towing strap for anchoring. I spent about $300 on all this stuff a few years ago, and it was money well spent. I use an old duffel bag to stuff my rope into to keep it clean and tangle free.
   / Rope for pulling trees over #16  
The key is really how much force you want to put on the tree, and what are the consequences of an unexpected fall direction. I use old half-inch line off a wrecked sailboat. The stuff is strong and I have a lot of it. Out in the woods just cutting for firewood, I just cut and usually get it to fall just where I want it. Where there is a farm or cabin nearby, I use the sailing line. I use a latter to get it is far up the tree as possible, then put tension on it with a come-along. Usually I just put enough tension to have the tree bend a little. Then I cut it. I have cut down trees for 10 years like this and never come close to an accident. Trees next to a home or valuable building - or hanging over it... I just call a pro who can take it down in sections.
   / Rope for pulling trees over #17  
There is a difference in PULLING a tree OVER, and putting TENSION on a line to guide.

You can do a little of both. +1 on the hi-tech poly ropes vs cables/chains for handling weight and what 'flies' if something snaps. Worth the $$ if you want them to last a few years, too.

30 yrs as of this summer using a lo-cost 1/2"x100' 3-ply anchor rope(s). (Replaced the 1st one 3 yrs ago) Anchor high in the tree for leverage on it. Cut wedge out to aim the fall. Tie to truck's front tow hook or tractor, refine the aim, and take out the slack. Backing up 10-15' (or so with practice) puts tension on the rope for the back cut. Rope length protects the truck by distance if you have the length & room. Most land within 5-10 deg of a well planned aim.

Limb removal on the 'down side' reduces bounce with conifers, but you can't trim 'em all and it sacrifices balance. Rope helps make up for that as well as guides felling aim. Worst thing I've seen happen to a pull rope is to have a prior-removed limb stub land smack-on and cut it. Tie a 'sheet bend' to repair on the job if that happens. This works for cheapskates but if you're not one you really could spend more $$.

btw: One 60' spruce cut this summer and 3 more to 'guide' away from the house we don't want them to land on during a storm. Lots of s__-elms to cut on my 10. (Much better firewood than spruce, but a bear to split) One lucky member here has acres of oak to clear. Another has a lifetime of ash coming down after the borers got to 95% of his. I'm just keeping up with 'weeds'. :)
   / Rope for pulling trees over #18  
Ill vote for the amsteel blue. WE used it underground on our scoops for winch ropes to move everything from power centers and belt drives to long wall shields. Guess what we did when one went over a sharp edge and snapped though? Yup I have a couple 1 1/8" ropes. IIRC over 100k lbs tensile strength. I also have a 12k winch on my trailer with amsteel blue and man is that stuff slick. The lightness and toughness of it is fantastic plus no little burrs sticking out to snag your fingers on.
   / Rope for pulling trees over #19  
I bought a 50' cable for cheap 25 years ago and pulled down a lot of trees using a come-a-long. It works quite well. I had a leaner over a pole shed hung up in another tree so I had to get a 100' piece of cable and then start winching and pulling in a safe direction. I jerked with the tractor and pulled with the truck and come-a-longed a lot and the only thing necessary was to have three cable clamps on each end for the loop to make sure it didn't come loose. I think you can get those cables for 60-65 cents a foot.

If you are older and are only going to use it once or twice I would go that way. If you were younger and have a lot of trees to work on, maybe the better more expensive stuff is the way to go.

A BIL was cutting down a big 3' diameter oak and had a 3/4" regular rope hooked to. They cut almost through the thing and gave it a pull and the rope snapped. Then they were screwed because it was a tall straight tree and they didn't have a clue which way it was going to fall. It all worked out but I like steel.
   / Rope for pulling trees over
  • Thread Starter
I am thinking about going with a 30' tow strap. I can throw the strap around the tree and tie a rope on pull some by hand or hook a chain to it and pull with a tractor or truck to guide it down. The trees I want to take down are mostly oak but one or two are a hickory. The first two I want to take down or close the the house so I want to be sure they fall were I want them. I am guessing they are 16'' in diameter. They are not leaning real bad but I want to be safe. I have borrowed a rope from my neighbor in the past to take trees down. I don't have any way to use a come along or a block and tackle on some of these trees.