Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Chainsaws and euthanizing Black Locust

There are few tools that are more "manly" than chainsaws.  It is not my intention to disparage women using chainsaws.  In fact, you are much smarter about knocking off for the day when you are getting tired.  People who chainsaw when they are too tired often injure themselves.  The reason they are "manly" is because it helps to have upper-body strength, they make lots of noise and you don't have to keep track of which fork you are using.

Modern chainsaws are better than ever.  By modern, I mean those that are less than, say, ten years old.

The carburetors stay in adjustment.  The bars are ellipsoidal and consequently the chain stays snug much longer and they are easy to disassemble, maintain and reassemble.

I have an inexpensive (maybe $125 new) Poulan "Wild Thing" with an 18" blade.  It was stubborn about running yesterday.  It wanted fresh gas and to have the air filter cleaned. 

While I was messing with it I sharpened the blade.  My sharpening technique would horrify a purist.  I use a 5/32" chainsaw file and give each cutting tooth the same number of licks.  I make a modest effort to keep the angle and pressure the same for each stroke.

Sharp enough to cut this.  Cutting a grove of hybrid poplar that is dying off was yesterday's job.  Stumps left high so I can inoculate them with Oyster Mushroom spawn.
Today's project was to go back to my parent's property and to euthanize the Black Locust that exhibited poor tree form.  They were originally planted on ten foot centers.  This is the second thinning.  I only cut and herbicided about 25% of the trees.  The act is irreversible.

This looks like a simple downward cut and, in fact, it starts out that way.  But the tip is rotated in so the cut plunges below the two ends of the "frown".  Note, this is not a Black Locust stem.  I was not carrying my camera.  This is a stem of NM-6 hybrid poplar that volunteered to be my model.

If this were a straight cut you would be able to see light shining through from the other side of the cut.

Filler-up!  Cut filled with a 4% glyphosate solution dispensed out of a simple garden sprayer.  Folks, garden sprayers are the right tool for dispensing herbicide.  Don't screw around with dish detergent bottles, Windex spray bottles and the like.  Use the tool that is designed to carry pesticides.

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