Friday, July 18, 2008

Chainsaw Workshop: Agriculture Power Systems

At Sterling, we are fortunate to steward a working woodlot of nearly 130 acres to support our wood-product needs on the farm. Our property is managed by a local forester with faculty and students responsible for oversight of the forest management plan. Today, our Sustainable Agriculture Semester students spent a morning learning chainsaw maintenance, operating procedures, cookie cutting, bore cutting, all culminating with a directional felling workshop in the woods. Here, a student releases the trigger wood on a stem after setting the face cut and bore cutting to set the hinge; she pounds two wedges to lift the stem into the face cut, then escapes along a predetermined route while the stem falls within a few inches of her desired target. Tomorrow, students will return to the woods to learn limbing and bucking practices, releasing spring poles, special cuts to assist with extraction procedures, and finally special techniques to fell side-leaning and back-leaning trees.

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