This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
As the cutting down and the removal of trees are as much the work of the forester as their planting, and the after care of their growth, I thought the following remarks regarding an idea suggested during a trip West six months ago, might be a legitimate contribution to your department of Forestry.
In many cases, very especially where the ground on which the forest stands is needed for tillage, or for growing the ordinary crops of the farm, it is desirable not only to remove the trunk of the tree with the foliage which shades the ground, but also the stump which, if left, stands in the way of the plough and harrow and so causes much loss of time in passing around it. There are patented articles for extracting the stump after the trunk has been cut away, but the employment of which requires considerable outlay either in their purchase, or hire, or in pay of men skilled in their use.
What I here propose calls for nothing in addition to the woodman's axe excepting one or more lengths of stout rope. The tree in fact by my method lifts its own roots, the axeman's duty being simply to cut the diverging branches of the root. Whilst the cutting was being clone, a rope would be attached to some point well up the trunk, by means of which the fall would be facilitated and a direction given to it. After the felling of the tree a large saw would make a clean separation of trunk and roots, and this use of the saw instead of the axe would work an average saving of a lineal foot in each tree and a number of cubic feet where the tree was a large one. This process of removing trees is after Nature's own way, and I offer it as worthy of consideration on account of its economy both of time and product.