View Full Version : Paleo Tree Felling

12-07-2009, 02:29
While out for a walk in some jungle yesterday, I noticed a tree which had been ring barked.


Looking up I saw that it was pretty much dead


I was upset since this was good hill forest


I then discovered more trees in a similar situation



This was the work of an aboriginal who was preparing the area for a dusun, a jungle orchard, probably for durians which his family would sell in village markets. There was a village a few klicks away

I explored further and came to another area about a kilometre distant and I saw a tree prepped for felling.


To discover natives using fire and ring barking to fell trees when nowadays even in Borneo they usually use chainsaws was exciting and I wasn’t upset any more. These people had an ancient and moral right to work the land when they used these techniques.

Think of the patience required to ring the trees and then wait months or years before building the fire and felling the tree. And then planting and growing the durian trees ( a native species). Years before the first harvest. This man is leaving a legacy and livelihood for his grandchildren.

It shows a sense of connection to the land that is something we city dwellers can never share

Think of the pain if it was yours and it was felled in 20 years time for a housing estate.

12-07-2009, 04:46
I was told that only the outer layer of the tree (the tree bark) is 'alive'. This layer, if were separated/ severed all around would kill the tree.

Perhaps this is a good demonstration of how to 'kill' a tree :P

Thanks for the post Bod.

12-07-2009, 09:35
They look like the trees on many of the local parks and streets after the residents have decided they dont like trees cause of leaves and light issues, near (or not) their homes. We have to come along after and fell them, and replant. Then the cycle starts again.

Mikey P
12-07-2009, 11:19
From what I remember, the Xylem (carries water & minerals) and Phloem (carries nutrients, etc) are like tubes that exist just under the bark. As you say, if you ring bark the tree, it cuts the tubes and the tree dies. Same deal with deer and squirrels ringbarking trees/saplings in UK. Little blighters!

12-07-2009, 11:28
Cheers for posting this, its the best thing I have read on here in a long time, such a stunning setting aswell. Will you be going back to monitor the progress?.

All the best.

12-07-2009, 18:33
This is really nice to see. This is how my ansesters here in the U.S used to clear land for farming before the whites brought metal axes. Some tribe would just girdle the tree and leave them stand and plant amougst them.
But some tribes that did burn down the trees they would burn them some then chop the burt part with a stone celt and repeat that untill the tree fell. The natives in your area might do it like that.
Here is a stone celt that I made in the same fashoin as my ansesters.
http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/1769/hpim9926.jpg (http://img20.imageshack.us/i/hpim9926.jpg/)
http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/215/hpim9928.jpg (http://img25.imageshack.us/i/hpim9928.jpg/)
I have only cut down saplings with this axe but it works suprizingly well.

Dose the tribe that you talk about use any type of stone axe?
Great post, Thanks.