I’m a lumberjack and I’m OK…

11 12 2015

My better half is graduating with a Masters in Mental Health gong on Monday; as a result, I’m temporarily back in Queensland, and you better believe, I cannot wait to return to Tasmania, this short stay has categorically proven to me beyond any doubt I do not belong here!

Before leaving Geeveston, I got stuck into cutting down those pesky Macrocarpas that would shade the new house if left there. They will also be milled into building materials, some of the remains will be used as kiln firewood, and I’ve decided to have a go at turning the tons of leftover rubbish into biochar. At least I’ll try, watch this space.

20151201_091648After my Big Bertha chainsaw gave up the ghost, in the depths of frustration, I bought a used Stihl from Gumtree. And did I get lucky… A chap from Dover, just 20km away, had a five months old saw complete with carry case and spare tungsten carbide chain to sell, and I got it for barely more than half what he paid for it. It’s a ripper, if you’ll pardon the pun.

I even cut down what is probably the largest of all those trees with it, not without problems I might add, and none caused by the saw.

Because the trees were planted as a windbreak, they are very very close


One of the falling attempts that did not work…!

together, as the photos reveal. The result is that they are reluctant to throw branches against each other, and instead grow in a fan shaped fashion, meaning that their weight is spread unevenly, and in only two directions. This is clearly visible in the photo at right.. there are no branches pointing towards the camera at all.

I was trying to fall the tree away from the dam, but it had other ideas, and got hung up on the much smaller tree beside it, completely bending it against the third tree along. The lumberjack’s worst nightmare really, potentially very dangerous too.

So I called my extremely helpful (and unbelievably understanding) neighbour for assistance. Matt brought a 100m long rope and his 4WD, and 2½ hours later, it was down. In the dam. Well, the tip of the crown was, this monster is over 30m long….. what an epic fail on my part! I guess this is how one gains experience. At least, no one got hurt, always a bonus.

The very next day, Big Bertha returned (well, a brand new replacement did), and I used it to cut the bottom 7m off the monster. A couple of days later, Sid and his tractor had pretty well cleaned up the whole area for me, and I now have a stockpile of logs for milling ready to go. Not that I’m finished, there are another 20 or so trees to go. By the time I’m finished, I will hopefully be an expert tree feller. Oh and anyone thinking I’m denuding the area of its trees, once I’m finished there will be some one hundred other Cyprus left!


Stockpile of 12 logs for milling, with all the remaining trees at top right needing to also come down….

The view from where the house will be built is really opening up now, and I can’t wait to get started on that side of the project.


Even our friends who live by the sea liked our water views….!

I’ve been investigating how to turn the crowns of those trees into biochar. There will be tons of the stuff, so it won’t be an easy task, but then what is when you have a proper farm? Here’s a short informative video….




5 responses

11 12 2015

Glad you survived the felling Mike.
Aime dropped a tall tree at her place before she moved. She aimed to drop it down the dirt driveway but it did a 45 degree turn & the top of it landed on the bonnet of my car.
Guess you’ve seen enough of the storms up there in Qld too?
Meanwhile back here in Melbourne it’s wet, cold & windy & a day ago it was sunny & hot. This city got voted the worlds most livable city on quite a few occasions…………………..After a year here I still can’t figure that one out.

Take care Mike & all the best for now.

11 12 2015
Arthur Robey

Nice piece of dirt Mike.
I’m in the process of buying a bit down there too. It needs some work with a Drott.
Perhaps we can bandy words over beers some day.
Arthur Robey.

12 12 2015

Hi Arthur…… are you moving from WA? And where did you buy?

11 12 2015

Wow, what a gorgeous view you will have from your house once it’s built!

28 12 2015
Nat the Vegan Doomer

Very keen to have a go at biochar, so interested to hear how you find it. Looking longingly at your patch of land and the view. Cheers my new friend

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