Close Call: Cedar tree falls over without warning

Location: 
Northern Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
2012-11-27
Company Name: 
W.D. Moore Log Co. Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

Faller had just felled a 40 inch Cypress, left his chainsaw on Cypress stump and walked over to his falling partner’s location to have lunch.

During lunch, a 30 inch red cedar, which was behind the previously felled Cypress, fell on its own approximately 15 minutes later, landing on the chainsaw and stump of the previously felled tree. The red cedar had only a 10-15% lean and actually swung away from its lean when falling due to root structure.

The trees were likely somewhat limb tied and the second tree was disturbed during the falling of the first, weakening an already poor root system. Fallers were aware of poor root systems and wet ground, they knew not to file up or otherwise work in front of potentially disturbed trees.

All crews were made aware of the incident and the unstable roots in the area. Fallers were reminded to fall any possibly unstable trees in progressive fashion and not do any work below a face until it is considered stable.

Learnings and Suggestions: 

This serves as a reminder 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 undercut pinches 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: Cedar tree falls over without warning.pdf
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