Close call: Hidden hazards in old growth cedar

Northern Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
W.D. Moore Log Co. Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

This close call represents a situation that happens on a somewhat regular basis in large, old growth, cedar stands.

While putting in the undercut on a large, 8 foot plus red cedar, a faller with 30+ years of coastal experience began to get bar pinch. As this is not unusual, due to slabs etc. the faller completed and removed the undercut.

While standing on the backside of the tree (and just into the back cut), tree began to pull its roots and go over in the direction of the undercut. Faller moved clear and there was no damage or injury.

Upon examination (see picture in attached pdf), the cedar tree had very little root system, but the faller would not have been able to discern this while standing.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

Always keep in mind that large, old growth trees can fall even with no human interaction - especially cedar in wetter sites.

When falling in these areas, be particularly wary when the undercut pinches the bar and be prepared at all times for the potential of a tree to fall on its own.

This danger also applies to road crews working around large cedar, and yarding crews using them for tail-holds.

For more information on this submitted alert: 

For more information contact: W.D. Moore Log Co. Ltd. 250-969-4222 graham@wdmoore.ca

File attachments
Close call: Hidden hazards in old growth cedar.pdf
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