Plus, I guess it can be more dangerous in terms of managing the tree, too. They are so noisy you can't hear the cracks in the tree that tell you something's happening. Or you can get too confident and cut too quick and have a tree falling on you before you know it.
Obviously a crosscut saw hardly guarantees safety but I agree with DH that it seems like a sensible choice. Obviously they are more work, but a skilled cutter can actually cut in about the same time as a chainsaw. But speed is not our concern, cutting a tree will take the time that it takes, and the priority is doing it right and safely.
Any book recommendations on forest management and crosscut saw cutting? I'm not having much luck searching Google and Amazon and my library catalog.
We'd be interested in these topics:
- Literally "how to" cut a tree, especially with a crosscut saw
- Safety tips
- How to choose the trees to cut. This will be for firewood and we want to responsibly steward the forest land. We don't want to just say "oh, there's a big tree, let's cut it." Trees in their prime should be left. How do we figure out what trees are on their way out? I understand freshly fallen trees are game for firewood, are there any other "castoffs" that we can take advantage of? What about animals living in the tree? etc.
- Not that I think this requires much info, but maybe a bit about cutting/splitting wood and storing for fuel. We do have the Encyclopedia of Country Living and I think Carla covers this ok, but more info couldn't hurt.
Also, DH doesn't see how this can be anything but a one man job. I cannot help him because I cannot see well enough to run (and especially, in the correct direction) when the tree starts to fall. I can cut and split a fallen tree with him, but the actual chopping down will have to be him. (Not to mention, somebody has to watch DD during all this - and, uh, make sure she's not an orphan). Apparently there are one-man crosscut saws out there. Safety is obviously a huge concern. We assume the biggest reason safety-wise to having two men do the job is so one can help the other (or get help) if he gets hurt. DH and I were thinking of doing a check-in system, by walkie talkie or phone, maybe every 10 minutes while he's doing it. And of course he shows me the tree before he begins, so I know where he is. I just wrote that out to see if anyone more experienced than we are might have some comments (you're crazy/sounds reasonable) on that.
Oh, one last thought - DH would be wearing goggles, hardhat, steel-toed boots, whatever while doing this. He doesn't have any need to be macho and pretend he's invicible. He'll take all the sensible precautions. Which apparently few men do - the contractors and tree surgeons we've watched cut trees NEVER had hats or goggles.