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  • Cutting a new trail & saplings

    Has anyone had to deal with large, dense stands of saplings when cutting new single track?
    The land that the new trail is going on was logged some years ago, and now big sections are covered with incredibly thick, wall like, need a #*%! machette to get through, stands of 6'-10' pine saplings. In laying out the trail, I've tried to skirt around them when I can, but some sections are just going to have to go through.
    I'm thinking the actual cutting & removal of the saplings will be just like any other; cut the trunk & dig out the little stump (so you don't have to deal with punji sticks after the trail gets packed down) we'll just have tons to cut & dig. And drag out, it's too thick in there to toss the cut ones off the trail.
    *But* I can't help thinking that I am overlooking something. ???
    I've looked through all my trail books, and this issue is not addressed, so maybe it is not anything to worry about. Any input would be appreciated.

    Jean





    "If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it."
    Bette Davis

    My bike jewelry.....
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Winterwoman...f=pr_shop_more

  • #2
    Re:Cutting a new trail & saplings

    Been there, Jean! I cut the saplings off about 3' high, then used a Pulaski to take the root ball right out. By leaving a big 'handle' on them, they pull out much easier. I should have taken a pic of the swath of little trees chopped off at the waist.

    Still a lot of work.
    <a href="http://wmnemba.wordpress.com/">White Mountains NEMBA</a>

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    • #3
      Re:Cutting a new trail &amp; saplings

      Cut off at 3'. Good tip! It will be tons &amp; tons of work. :P
      Maybe sub-consciously I was hoping someone would say &quot;don't even try, it'll be nothing but a disaster!&quot; and then I would have an excuse.
      It will be cool though, in a few years when the trees get bigger and the upper branches arch over the top of the trail, it'll be like riding through a tunnel.
      "If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it."
      Bette Davis

      My bike jewelry.....
      http://www.etsy.com/shop/Winterwoman...f=pr_shop_more

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      • #4
        Re:Cutting a new trail &amp; saplings

        I have also had some luck with a bar and a prusik sling (see Royal Robbins, Basic Rockcraft), which is a loop of rope so arranged as to tighten around an object and grab it firmly, sort of like a chinese finger trap.

        In the right conditions, this will pull the whole tree out in one easy lift. It's easier with two people. A piece of hop hornbeam makes a lighter bar than an iron rock bar for this exercise.

        J
        In the Closet of Kitchin Chamber, 43 pls. Erthen ware at 2 s. per doz., 7 s. 2d., 10 pls. Erthen ware, 2s. 6d.

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        • #5
          Re:Cutting a new trail &amp; saplings

          A D9 bull dozer works well.

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          • #6
            Re:Cutting a new trail &amp; saplings

            A D9 bull dozer works well.

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            • #7
              Re:Cutting a new trail &amp; saplings

              Go back in with your Gps and see if you can avoid it by contour. Sometimes yould would be surprise how close you are to a better spot. The risk that you take by pulling all those roots out it that the land owner will either denied you acces to his land in a few years from now or he will re logged the place. It happen to me over and over again. it's part of doing trail work. Make sure you work smart.

              I use topo scout as a sofware to download all my info on a 1/24.000 USGS map in order to visualise where I was. the high end of GPS now has a built in maps in them.They are a bit pricey for what i need to do.

              Good Luck


              Dan

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              • #8
                Re:Cutting a new trail &amp; saplings

                I definitely agree that you need to take the stumps out. No matter how close to the dirt you cut them down, the trail compacts as time goes on and the stump sticks out and becomes dangerous. Radair's suggestion about leaving a handle is a good one.

                [quote author=dan001 link=board=9;threadid=1514;start=0#13106 date=1053616664]
                The risk that you take by pulling all those roots out it that the land owner will either denied you acces to his land in a few years from now or he will re logged the place. It happen to me over and over again. it's part of doing trail work. Make sure you work smart.[/quote]

                Hopefully I misunderstood your comment, Dan, but rule number one is to get land manger approval BEFORE doing trailwork. That could solve that problem.

                Dan is right, trail design can be used to help avoid bad places. First pick your control points carefully, well before you lay out your trail. Negative control points: wet spots, difficult areas, etc. Positive control points: views, rock features, etc. It can take a whole season of iterations to lay out a good trail.

                But I wouldn't recommend breaking other design principles (e.g., creating fall-line trails) just to avoid some extra work building the trail. It's worth putting the investment in at the beginning.

                Well, you guys probably all know that. I'm just preaching to the choir!
                I'll live forever... or die trying.

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                • #9
                  Re:Cutting a new trail &amp; saplings

                  We need to get land owner permission before we do anything?.....whoo-boy....we're cutting this trail tomorrow, I better find out who owns it. :-X
                  Nahhh, just kidding. This has been in the works for a year. I went to all the meetings, sent all the letters, even let the local police know that there'll be lots of cars parked on the side of the road tomorrow.
                  "If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it."
                  Bette Davis

                  My bike jewelry.....
                  http://www.etsy.com/shop/Winterwoman...f=pr_shop_more

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