Cutting down trees

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Cutting down trees

Post  Storm on Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:45 pm

Im currently looking for huge trees I can collect next spring.
But, when I first find some, which have thick enough trunks, they are mostly 5 metres+ high.
When watching work by Graham Potter, he usually have chainsawcuts he has to work around. That got me thinking.
Can I cut down trees now, and dig them up next spring?
When is the ideal time to do this?
And if I do this with an oak, elm etc, would they likely survive it? Most times I see trees that are cut down, they just sprout from the roots or withing 2 inches from the ground.
I often see that people cut down and dig up trees the same day, leaving no leaves and barelly any branches. Wouldn't that greatly reduce the chance of survival?

- Storm

Storm
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Re: Cutting down trees

Post  Kev Bailey on Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:07 pm

That largely depends on the species. Hedging plants are very forgiving and can be cut back very hard, leaving no foliage. I usually do this just before I collect them in spring. I've done this with Trident Maples, Oaks, English and Chinese Elm as well. So your chances are good to excellent. They usually pop all over the trunk and many unwanted buds have to be rubbed out.

I don't think it reduces the chances of survival at all, as you are massively reducing the roots even if you collect a large rootball. A significant reduction of the top, at the same time, is a positive advantage.

Obviously this sort of reduction can't be done with Pines or Junipers. They have to have green growth left on or they die.

There's no real advantage to cutting them down earlier, as far as I can see. You may even allow pathogens to get into the cuts as they are left open all winter, in situ.

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Re: Cutting down trees

Post  Storm on Mon Dec 06, 2010 12:52 pm

Okay, thank you!
Most of the trees ive found are oaks. They have about 15 cm thick trunks with no low branches.
Can I cut them down to lets say 80 cm when the bud starts to slightly open, then a week later come back and dig it up? Or should I wait for signs of buds at the low trunk?
I prefer the looks of thick trees at about a metre, with hollow trunks.. So I dont mind a big scar at the top.

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Re: Cutting down trees

Post  Kev Bailey on Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:11 pm

Before the buds start to open, but when they are swelling is ideal. Cut the top of the tree off and dig the tree immediately. Wrap the roots in some damp moss if there's not much soil around them. Get it home and planted up as soon as you can. You shouldn't have a problem with an Oak. I've always found them easy to collect.

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