Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tree Down On Perimeter Fence - Yikes!

Wild Cherry Tree Smashes Corner Brace & Fence
We had very high winds Monday night as a front moved through - we now assume that's when this happened.  We were busy with shearing at that time.  Mr. WRF spotted it in the afternoon yesterday when he was feeding the ewes over at the Loafing Shed.  Something looked amiss and he walked back to find this big tree down on the fence.
The second thicker upright post from the left is a true corner post.  Luckily, the wires loop around it from both directions and terminate back around on themselves with wire clamps.  Also, luckily, nothing is in our main pasture field right now. 
Cross Brace Knocked Out, But Electric Wires & Knife Switch OK!
You can see that the 2nd corner brace post in the line is pushed out and broken below ground level. 
That post will have to be pulled, dug out, and replaced.  This is a 10 strand High Tensile (HT) fence, so it requires double corner braces. 
Brace Pin Bent & Fence Wire Staples Popped Out
The beauty of an HT wire fence is that it takes this kind of abuse and the wire generally doesn't break.  The force popped the fence wire staples out of the post on the top 4 or 5 strands and stretched the wire to the ground.  The problem comes with clearing the tree (or car, truck, etc.) from the fence --- and that is a SAFETY issue.  The tensile strength of the wire can cause the tree to suddenly spring in an unexpected direction once some of the weight is released as the forces shift.  You also have to take into account the possibility of the wire snapping or springing back to position.  This is not a job for one person alone. 
Tree Cut Off - HT Wires Back In Position, Almost!
The cross brace will have to be replaced along with the broken post on the left.  This is the oldest fence on the property & was installed in 1995.  At that time we cleared this fenceline THROUGH a thicket of hawthorn, crabapple, & multi-flora rose just like you see on the backside of the fence in the 2nd picture above!  I'd forgotten how much fun that winter was --- yes, winter because there are no leaves, you can see, and the ground is frozen, not muddy.  Cut and drag, cut and drag, cut and drag ...    
We've had no problems with the "10 strand" other than a couple of trees falling on it.  The picture below shows the remains of the last tree to fall back in this corner.  We were lucky that time.  It just missed the cross brace! 
Mossy Remains of Fallen Tree Outside Pasture
 When we installed this fence, we didn't own the acreage on the other side.  Now we do & you can see through to a clearing across the creek.
So what surprise awaited you today?   :)

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