Limbing

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Limbing a pine tree, 1978

Limbing or delimbing is the process of removing branches from a tree trunk.[1]

In logging, limbing occurs on standing or felled trees.[2]

In fire prevention, limbing occurs on live trees to prevent the branches from being a fuel ladder, which is a term for vegetation that allows a fire to climb from the ground into the tree canopy. A California fire prevention guide recommends to "Remove all tree branches at least 6 feet [1.8 meters] from the ground" and "Allow extra vertical space between shrubs and trees."[3]

In British English, limbing can be synonymous with snedding. Alternatively, limbing can be used to describe the operation on larger branches, and snedding on smaller.

In logging[edit]

Options for cutting off the branches include chain saws, harvesters, stroke delimbers and others. Limbing can happen at the stump in log/tree length systems and cut-to-length systems or at the landing in whole-tree logging.

Chainsaw limbing

When the tree is lying on the ground, branches may be storing enormous potential energy through mechanical strain. When a branch is cut, often with a chain saw, this energy can be released suddenly and the branch can jump dangerously. In addition, a branch may be supporting the tree, and the tree can fall or roll when the branch is cut. For these reasons, limbing is a skilled operation requiring careful safety planning.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Logging Safety: A Field Guide, Section Four: Limbing and Bucking, New York State Department of Health
  2. ^ Felling, Limbing and Bucking Trees; University of Missouri extension; by Hank Stelzer, Forestry State Specialist, School of Natural Resources
  3. ^ Maintain Defensible Space, Ready For Wildfire, CAL FIRE