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Slipster

Leyllandi Tree felling

We have some Leyllandi trees approx 55 feet high (according to my yardstick calculations) the trunks are between 18 and 24 inch round.
Does anyone know how the root formation grows on these trees ive been told they run long and flat not very deep . Im wondering on digger size to dig them out as they run quite tight along a post and rail fence that i do not want to destroy.

Ive cut a couple down already quite scary    these are cut up into 3ft lengths drying for hopefully next years logs if dry enough
kaz

I would like to know the answer to this one as well

We have a line of them that were only 2 foot high when we moved in 23 years ago.......they may need 'trimming' now
Gareth

I have felled a few Leylandii over the years but none as tall as 55 feet. I think that mine went to 30 feet max, with 16-20 inch diameter trunks.

The first 5 or 6 that I felled, I made the big mistake of making the the felling cut at around 12-14 inches above ground level and then manually digging the roots out.

Now when I fell Leylandii, I make the felling cut at about 4 feet above ground level. This leaves me with a decent length of stump to work with.

Then with the exception of the first stump I want to get out, I rope or strap the rest of the tree stumps together. These I use as "dead man anchors" and using ropes or lorry ratchets straps attached at the top of the stumps I pull the first trunk out of the ground, working my way along the trees until I get to the last two which I pull together with the straps this leaves me with one stump that can be pulled out manually because of its weakened root ball.

By and large I manage to pull most of the root ball out of the ground, leaving me only a moderate amount snapped off roots to manual dig out.
HonkHonk

I have recently dug out 6 of these by hand, it was hard work but for the height of the tree the roots wern't massive, a few thick side roots then lots of the little stringey bits, I would think a mini digger would manage it fine, it took me a full day with a spade and an axe.
goodlife

In answer to your question leylandie have fibrous rooting system unlike your oak.sycomore and ash which have a tap root and  are very near to the surface  spread in any direction the bigger the tree the bigger the spread  50ft tree 20 to 30ft spread and the thicker the roots 3or4 inches  i take it the roots and the stump are in the way if not then take out the stump and the roots will die and rot  couple of ways to do it depends on what room you have to work in if you have a j c b fell them all 4ft from the ground push them with the j c b tie a chain round the trunk and lift them out with j c b or mini digger dig all round to about 18"then lift them out pulling slightly from one side
Slipster

Gosh quick replies    many thanx

I do have access to a digger and also have a Turfor (Gareths reply) I like the idea of slinging them together and then using one against the other and then using the digger for the smaller roots.  

To be honest if i had to axe them i think they would be staying  

As soon as the rain stops im going for it.

Ps would the smaller branches be any good for mulch as i do have access to a 6inch deisel mulcher (what a beast)
goodlife

Quote:
Ps would the smaller branches be any good for mulch as i do have access to a 6inch deisel mulcher (what a beast  
any woody material if used as a mulch is fine anywhere you don't want to plant anything path's.drives etc as the process of decomposing pulls all the nutrients from the soil  do not use fresh leylandii as a mulch for anything i would burn or bin it as it contains turpintine  not as much as pine but some and it is very acidic if composted for two or three years it should be fine
goodlife

they are big trees hope there isn't any wind Don't know if you have done this before but for those who hav'nt
cut a 3"wedge out at the side you want it to fall and start cutting directly opposit the wedge a tip i allways start 4" higher than the wedge and cut towards the wedge this gives it a shoulder to lean on if it wants to fall the other way as you proceed with the cut get some one to knock a wedge in after you if you are near the end and the tree has not moved this could happen if the weght of the branches are on the cut side do not continue but use a sledge hammer to knock the wedge in you might need two wedges proceed slowly keep knocking in the wedge it should crack
Slipster

Thanks for the tips Goodlife

I have done two smaller ones that where easy and also one of the big ones It really did scare me  i did cut a wedge as you described and all was going well until you realise how very big the tree is and how very small and insignificant you have just become all i keept thinking as i was running away was this B*****d tree wants revenge, not something to be taken likeley
bodger

The woods good for the fire the second year round. We're burning some now.
lizzie44

Echo Bodger about burning the wood. We had a hedge removed and OH cut and stacked the wood. Its really good in the woodburner in year 2 and despite its resinous nature dosent tar up the chimney. We do use it mixed in with other woods though.  If you dont want it there will be plenty of people who do. Love Lizzie
Slipster

lizzie44 wrote:
Echo Bodger about burning the wood. We had a hedge removed and OH cut and stacked the wood. Its really good in the woodburner in year 2 and despite its resinous nature dosent tar up the chimney. We do use it mixed in with other woods though.  If you dont want it there will be plenty of people who do. Love Lizzie


Three wood burners here Lizzie but if your ever passing with your trailer your welcome to a load  
lizzie44

Thanks Slipster but were OK til 2014 !!!.....  and still collecting Its like a sport for OH to nab wood before anyone else does! I was just thinking you could ebay it for a bit of spare cash. Love Lizzie
Gareth

lizzie44 wrote:
Thanks Slipster but were OK til 2014 !!!.....  and still collecting Its like a sport for OH to nab wood before anyone else does! I was just thinking you could ebay it for a bit of spare cash. Love Lizzie


Stick any excess firewood up for sale in the heating and fire place section of your local gumtree free ads http://www.gumtree.com/heating-fireplaces/norfolk  
bodger

Its best to let friends like Lizzie have it, rather than total strangers. and by the way, there's no such thing as excess firewood.
Gareth

Since we moved into this house 12 months ago, I have felled and dug the roots out on 18 Leylandii; not very big ones as all had trunks of about 12 inches in diameter and heights of about 20 feet, and I have also dug out the stumps & roots of another 6 previously felled Leylandii.

The logs have been cut into about 12 inch lengths, but have not yet been spilt, the stumps and roots have been piled up to allow the wind & rain to wash away any excess soil, etc.

We have neither a wood burner or open fire place inour home, and so I am going to try and turn the seasoned Leylandii logs into charcoal: not for BBQs or cooking with, but for hobby iron-smiths to use when iron working, as the charcoal made from coniferous timber burns a lot hotter and quicker than charcoal made from deciduous timber. From the stumps and roots I will try to extract pitch and possibly tar. Both the charcoal and the pitch/tar making processes will be undertaken in a retort type kiln that I am currently making from an old 45 gallon oil drum. I have still got over 60 Leylandii to remove from our garden and these I am gradually replacing with indigenous thorn hedging. I would very much like to use any tar and pitch I can extract from these Leylandii stumps and roots in a small boat building project that I want to do.
sod

Have to agree with bodger,  stop swearing "excess firewood" never heard of it we are just starting to cut n split ours now even thought one and half shed still full  

slipster I agree they always seem to get bigger as they start to fall I think   never done them but done pines,macs and others

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