The large dead Mountain Ash seen in this video was hanging precariously over the newly built Olinda Falls viewing platform. In particularly, three large limbs were pulling a lot of the trees weight.
At the base of the tree, the stump was so severely burnt out that only a small semi-circle shell around 80mm thick held the tree. This was extremely brittle and extended nearly 40′ above, where it formed back into a chimney.

Around 120′ from ground level was a large bee’s nest. The risk that was facing Parks Victoria meant something needed to be done to mitigate the hazard so as to allow visitors to use the platform as expected.
In this situation Graeme elected to pre-rig the three limbs, and then cut them with explosives. This had a number of safety advantages;
– No-one needed to be under the tree as it was shock loaded with the limb being cut-off
– Graeme didn’t need to be in the tree as it could potentially pull out of the ground, or snap off above him as the tree was loaded up by the branches
– The limbs were so long that traversing out and lopping was not an option given the tree’s condition
– Long term exposure at 80′ was likely to attract unwanted attention from the Bee’s nest

The video shows one limb being severed with explosives, and then being caught on rope.

Olinda Falls Blasting
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