We have been milling a large Gary Oak of about 150 years old that fell in the Oak Bay area in mid February. It crushed a small shed and damaged the fronts of the owners house and his neighbors. The root ball was rotten, the ground saturated around it as the retaining walls for the garden fence were trapping the water around the base of the tree. As Gary Oaks like dry, well drained soil this had caused the roots to weaken and fail. Am grateful to the owners of the house who saw the potential to mill the wood instead of it been cut up for firewood, showing the tree some small respect and hopefully some nice pieces of furniture will be made from it.
There is usually a problem with metal found within urban trees. Here it was quite a bit, a bolt, some nails and a wire clothes line that had been wrapped 3 or 4 times around the tree about 50 years ago and was now buried until the saw found it. Width of the tree is about 36 inches at the base, we have been milling at around 28 inches and keeping the thickness to 4.5 inches. Most of the 22 slabs will be re-sawn later as time and noise restrictions made this a salvage operation.
With no crane or machine access the very green and heavy boards were removed by laying a track of 2x4s and using 3″ ABS drainage pipe to roll them out on. It was like a river of Oak slowly being rolled away from the tree and worked fairly efficiently. Once on the road a small walk-behind excavator was then used to load the wood for haulage to the mill.