Posted by: Neville Robbins 9 months ago
Douglas Fir Extraction (Part 1 - the site visit)
The Douglas Fir tree was located adjacent to the old railway line that linked Fort William to Inverness. The line ended at the old Pier in Fort Augustus and passengers would then change their transport mode from train to an old steamer, to travel the length of Loch Ness. The railway line was located on the top of an embankment with Loch Ness on one side and a small Lochan on the other (as shown in the photo).
We were contacted by a local tree surgeon (Mark Smith) who was asked by the landowner to fell the tree. One end of the tree was on the stump and the other end on the embankment. So the only method of removal of the log was to engage the Unimog to drag it up the bank and then cut to length, ready for loading on the trailer. When it is said quickly it sounds very easy.
I didn't say that the embankment top was only a metre or so wider than the "mog" - to add to the difficulty and there was also fencing (shown in the foreground of the picture) to reduce the angles of the extraction. Mark did manage to drop the tree near the fence NOT on it!!
Mark said that when the tree was felled it had a very soft landing for such a large tree, several of the branches on the lochan side stabilised the tree, from rolling over into the water. He cut all the rest of the branches ready for the extraction. The actual tree when felled went over the road and the very top ended in the Loch, all this was removed to permit access to the house.
A price for the timber was agreed with the Landowner and the extraction arranged for Tuesday 12th March 2019