Has anyone ever shot down a tree?


May 1, 2004, 11:21 AM
Well, the subject line says it all.

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El Tejon
May 1, 2004, 11:27 AM
[insert banjo music here]

How about a stump?:D

May 1, 2004, 11:30 AM
When I was a kid I used to think it was cool to keep shooting at the same tree to see how many rounds it took to chop it down, so yeah.

May 1, 2004, 11:50 AM
I did with my Remington 541S .22LR. It was a small tree about 50 yards away and I asked my sister could I shoot it down. Being a disbeliever she said yes, two days later the wind blew the tree in half. She's a believer now.:evil:

May 1, 2004, 12:08 PM

As a kid I used to shoot at small trees occasionally to see if I could make them fall.

In more recent times a friend and I had a competition to see who could cut down a similar sized mesquite tree. Reloads were necessary. I was shooting a High Cap 1911, he was shooting a Browning HP. (The ULTIMATE .45 vs 9mm test:D )

At a recent range outing the trees were sporting new leaves which were sagging into my field of vision. 870 was implemented to trim the offending branches. Worked so well, I trimmed a few other trees too.

YEah I shoot trees....what of it?



ps. .45acp won


May 3, 2004, 08:41 AM
My father and my uncles had a tradition of going bird hunting every Christmas Eve day. My father always came home at the end of the day with our Christmas tree. I was probably 10 or 11 before I realized that other kids dads didn't come home with trees that were all raggedy at the bottom.....

May 3, 2004, 08:44 AM
I set a target up against a rotted tree to shoot the Garand. It went thru the rotted tree and cut a 2" diameter pine sapling in half in one shot.

May 3, 2004, 08:48 AM
Used aq Dan Wesson .44 on a small poplar tree once... and did in many a new tree W/ my shotguns as a kid...

May 3, 2004, 08:57 AM

was a tall skinny tree with nice green leaves. we had a plate hanging on it and did some good damage to it. THe next time we went back a few months later the tree wasnt so green anymore. in fact it was the only brown one out of about 10 thousand trees. so i figured i might as well end his life. I took out the garand and about 3 shots later the tree fell over creating a nice set up for targets and such :D

Derek Zeanah
May 3, 2004, 08:57 AM
Ahem. Oleg, do you have some Uzi stories for us? :evil:

Chip Dixon
May 3, 2004, 08:57 AM
A 12 gauge shotgun with slugs crack a dead pine tree in 2 a just a few shots, if kept close to each other. It's my favorite way to do spring cleaning around the yard on dead trees.

May 3, 2004, 09:14 AM
A colorado blue spruce for the family christmas tree. 12 guage with #6 birdshot at about 6 feet blows through a 2 inch diameter trunk with one shot.

Ala Dan
May 3, 2004, 09:16 AM
Yep, shot down a southern pine one time with a
Ruger .44 magnum carbine.

Best Wishes,
Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

May 3, 2004, 09:26 AM
I know that 7.62x39 does a better job at cutting trees down than 5.56mm.

Use 7.62x39 if you want it done quicker.:D

Greg L
May 3, 2004, 10:09 AM

Just this past weekend. I was RO for a Scout Camporee (300 boys, a good turnout) & they managed to do it to a 6" diameter tree. The supports for the targets didn't get packed so we just leaned the targets up against some convienent shrubs & a couple of trees. About 2 hours into it there was an awed hush over the line as the tree slowly fell towards us :what: .

Funny memories for everyone. The best part was that it was a Troop from a very urban area of the District that did it. Can you imagine the stories in school this morning :D .

May 3, 2004, 10:17 AM
Yup, May 1970, rubber plantation outside of Dautieng, I was a .50 gunner on a tank. They were shooting and running, we were parked, I cut down two trees immediately to my front.


May 3, 2004, 10:31 AM
Then there was this tree behind the pistol stand at my range.

Funny what a few thousand rounds of 45acp will do to a 25ft juniper. I need to move the stand so I can kill a few others.



May 3, 2004, 10:33 AM
I started this thread thinking there would only be 1 or 2 replies...Looks like we all have some confessing to do.

"You know you're a redneck if..." :D

May 3, 2004, 10:44 AM
We harvested one Christmas tree one year one the spur of the moment. 12 GA, birdshot, 2 shots.

May 3, 2004, 10:48 AM
So what's the best caliber to use on mutant-ninja-trees:D :neener:

May 3, 2004, 10:49 AM
2 of them in my yard actually....one went down in wind storm after a few weeks of using it as a back stop..and one smaller one as I was shooting ...it was pretty funny.....my wife made me a target stand for Christmas and said....to save the trees:D

May 3, 2004, 10:59 AM
Yep - palo verde tree - buddy caught it on camera. No, I will never post the pic.....:o

May 3, 2004, 11:28 AM
My wife shot down a tree in 1977 with a charter Arms Bulldog in 44 Special. We were shooting on her Fathers property and had ben setting up a target board against the same tree for a year or so .she was concentrating on the front sight and di not see the slow topple of the tree at first . It was funny to see her reaction when she realalized it fell.

Mal H
May 3, 2004, 11:33 AM
Yes - with a shotgun. Tree needed to be taken down anyway. Took a while.

Joe Demko
May 3, 2004, 11:48 AM
I removed several quaking aspens from my property by shooting them down with an AR-15. Quaking aspens are junk trees with very soft wood, so it only took a few shots each.

May 3, 2004, 11:56 AM

May 3, 2004, 12:01 PM
I've seen plenty of trees shot down. It really pisses me off though, especially when its public land.

There are 2 things that get public lands closed to shooting.

1. shooting down trees
2. littering

We have few enough public places to shoot that we need to work hard to keep them.

Uncle Alvah
May 3, 2004, 01:26 PM
Shooting the top out of a hemlock for a xmas tree is an old Adirondack tradition.

Years ago, while touring the Smithsonian, I recall seeing a chunk of a VERY large tree, maybe 24" in diameter or so. It had been shot in two during a Civil War battle by the sheer volume of lead flying around. It been years, wish I could remember more. I do recall being VERY impressed!

May 3, 2004, 02:25 PM
A 12 ga. with heavy shot is an extremely effective long distance pruner.

4v50 Gary
May 3, 2004, 02:33 PM
It happened during the Civil War at Spotsylvania Court House (Bloody Angle). A piece of the tree is at the Smithsonian and the Atlanta Historical Center.

Me? I don't shoot down trees. I hug them. ;)

May 3, 2004, 02:45 PM
Never shot one down.

Gave one lead poisoning, though. I was still in high school, and I'd put a target up on this tree in the back yard and shoot with my pellet gun.

The leaves began to turn a sickly yellow after a while. I didn't make the connection, though.

One day a friend of my Dad was over, and since he was a botanist with the county, Dad asked him to take a look at the tree. We all wandered out into the back yard and looked at it. The guy took one look at the tree and said with a puzzled tone, "It looks like lead poisoning to me." There was a pause.

And they both looked at ME!


The tree lived once I carved all the pellets out of the trunk. :eek:

May 3, 2004, 03:34 PM
Blown them up; never shot one down before though.

Uncle Alvah
May 3, 2004, 03:53 PM
4v50, thanks for the post and info! I'm glad somebody else knows about it. I've related the story many times over the years( roughly 25 years now) and LOTS of people refuse to believe me, or those that do insist I must be talking about a sapling. And brother, it wern't no sapling.........

May 3, 2004, 04:03 PM
Yes I have. Good times :)

Trees are dangerous so I always feel good when another one goes down...it's for the children!

May 3, 2004, 04:12 PM
Yep about two weeks ago. My Mother-in-law was very inpressed. :D She thought it was cool.

May 3, 2004, 06:28 PM
This post made me 'memba about a time years ago at camp. I had tacked a target to a birch tree in the back of camp. It may have been 4 or 5 inches diameter. I was shooting a couple different .22's at it for a while and then took some shots with my SP101 in .357. I went up to examine the target and on the way back to the spot I was shooting from the tree decided to pay me back. Darn thing fell right over entangling me in the branches. :cuss: Never even gave that a thought. :rolleyes: Haven't shot at trees since then.

May 3, 2004, 06:34 PM
Yep. I was out with my dad one time, and we took down a tree with his .54 muzzleloader. I didn't actually mean to knock the thing down, I was just shooting at a target that was tacked onto it. Was rather amusing and quite a surprise, though. ;-)

May 3, 2004, 07:03 PM
Not me personally, but my friend shot off a branch from a tree with a shotgun. Sad thing was the branch was like 5 feet right and 5 feet up from the target!

May 3, 2004, 07:08 PM
Gee I thought we were the only kids that ever blew down trees with our 12 gauges :rolleyes: I guess not

May 3, 2004, 08:59 PM
Reading through all the posts has reminded me of another tree incident. We had neighbor trouble when I was a teenager with a neighbor that didn't want us shooting. He made some wild claims that errant bullets were winding up in his driveway (he later admitted he made them up) and called 3 different police agencies with jurisdiction in our area before he found an officer that supported his view and threatened us with prosecution for reckless discharge. I was speaking with another police officer who was referred to us as the local "expert" on reckless discharge issues and after telling me that there was no way we were going to be prosecuted for what occured in that jurisdiction he gave me a pretty stern lecture about not shooting into trees - we had been target shooting at a target attached to an oak with about a 3 foot diameter trunk (and no, we didn't even come close to cutting it down, it's still alive and thriving) - reminded me that it took two hundred years for that tree to grow and we could kill it with just a few target shooting sessions.

I'm a homeowner now, who only wishes I had a beautiful tree like that for shade for my house. That lecture stuck with me and as both a tree lover and a shooter I only attach targets to trees that I want removed.

May 3, 2004, 09:09 PM
I'm still waiting to hear about Oleg and the Uzi....

May 3, 2004, 09:18 PM
My class at the police academy did a little impromptu pruning of a large maple that was right behind the berm. We were shooting prone from about ten yards in one of our drills. I was the "off-man" in our line of three, so I was just sort of chilling behind the shooters, when I heard one coach say to another, "Say, do you think any of those shots are going over the dirt?" At that very moment, and considerable limb tumbled to earth. "Cease Fire!!" :rolleyes:

May 3, 2004, 09:20 PM
Of Course...
Many times...
Then you have the stumps to deal with.:p

Logs count too...especially the one blocking passage to beaver dam and the dynamite we were totin' in the jonboat weren't for fishin'...honest. :D

"you ain't"
"yes I am, hold my coffee and hand me my small bag...steady the boat"
"Oh Nelllllie"
blam, blam, blam, blam...blam....
" we can get through now...you hear me ( tossing spent hulls at buddy)HEY! I said can you hear me...open your eyes...I'm done now"

May 3, 2004, 09:47 PM
I'm still waiting to hear about Oleg and the Uzi....

Me too. I gotta hear this!


May 3, 2004, 10:28 PM
Havent felled one yet, but I realized it was possible when I was testing my AK @ 25yds. Bullets (Silver Bear Match) were going right through a 8" diameter tree. :eek: I decided 20rds were enough.

May 3, 2004, 10:34 PM

..Took one out with Ma-Duece while qualifying..also set the field on fire with the tracers....:uhoh: ....


May 3, 2004, 10:41 PM
Not cut one down, but lit a small stand of trees on fire with an M2 while doing familiarization fire. The bummer was that it shut the range down for a couple hours, which severely limited the amount of shooting we were able to get in. :mad:

May 3, 2004, 10:46 PM
Re-reading the thread just reminded me of another tree/gun story.

My dad has a great story he likes to tell about a great-uncle (I think) in Maine 70 or 80 years ago, who kept the county road crew from cutting down some beautiful old elm trees on the right of way by sitting on his porch with a shotgun across his knees. Those trees are still there if dutch elm disease hasn't got them.

May 4, 2004, 12:29 AM
My brother and I used to start at the top of a dead tree with .22LR rifles and shoot a section at a time off until we had the whole thing cut down.

May 4, 2004, 02:44 AM
Right after that son of a Beech hit on me, I said "Sorry I don't swing that way!".

May 4, 2004, 02:59 AM
So what's the best caliber to use on mutant-ninja-trees
They're called TRIFFIDS :uhoh:

May 4, 2004, 09:10 AM
....but the comment about public lands is right on. What people do on their own land is their business, but a lot of resources, goodwill and money can get lost by shooting up trees. Target stands are easy to build: nailing a target to a tree is right up their with sticking it on a metal sign, Ralphie. And hitting bullets with saws and milling tools is no fun.

Now I have to confess that I've done it to trees on our range that were already so bullet ridden I did not want to damage a chain or blade. I also knew a dendrologist who collected samples of nuts and cones with a shotgun.

I am also not adverse to cutting up 4x4s and such that serve as targets. It makes for a good race between relays to see who can cut their post first, and I dont have to inventory a lot of excess ammo afterwards.

May 4, 2004, 02:12 PM
I remember an article in some gun magazine years back where they stress tested a Colt HBAR. They decided it would be fun to see how many rounds of .223 it took to cut through a tree stump in between accuracy groups. I forget how many... anyway, seems like a good way to spend some time and rounds.

May 4, 2004, 02:23 PM
I am also guilty of this. I wanted to see how far an actual 50 BMG round would go through a tree. I have family who ownes a lot of land and I took the rifle into the woods to see. Needless to say, the round when right through a tree that was probably 5-6 inches in diameter. Two rounds and it was down for the count.

It was an interesting experiment, but I enjoy taking out small metal targets instead. They are more reactive.

May 4, 2004, 02:52 PM
Having cut down many many thousands of trees with a chainsaw, it has never occurred to me to shoot one down.

But I read in a book about some handloggers in Alaska, when a "falling" tree hung up on a limb of another tree. The logger's wife came along about then with her rifle, and shot off the offending limb, thus bringing down the tree that had previously been cut off at the stump with a crosscut saw.

May 4, 2004, 03:53 PM
My favorite gun to shoot down trees is mt Moss 500 loaded with Buckshot!! It is amazing how powerful that load is.

May 4, 2004, 05:10 PM
I've shot down many spruce trees and snags. I use them for target stands at the compound. I also found that the only way to get rid of a snag when it's well below zero is a firearm. The dead wood is frozen, and there's no way that chainsaw will start.

I found the best spruce blasters to be 12 ga. slugs and SP's in the .308 power range. The bigger magnums (ie my .375 H&H) tend not to expand enough in the small trees. .308 and 7.62x54R SP rounds just blow the things to bits. Likewise slugs do enormous damage, but also hurt the shoulder more.

May 4, 2004, 05:41 PM
The government doesn't care around here as long as they can still sell those trees off for $6 an acre to the commercial loggers who clearcut all my favorite hunting spots.

I've never shot down a tree, filled plenty of them with lead though and have sawn many in the lumbermill that were filled with it.

I used to get more of a thrill from tipping them in the swamps. Amazing how large of a tree you can push over if it's rotten enough. Too many close calls with those widowmakers cured me of that though.

Shanghai McCoy
May 4, 2004, 07:27 PM
The wife and I were both shooting at the same target on our place down in Oklahoma once when a 3" sapling about 10 yds back came down.Seems that we had a point where our rounds were intersecting...That was a fun day:D

May 5, 2004, 03:32 AM
I would never shoot a tree down on public land except in time of war. I shot down many of them in RVN with a 106 Recoilless Rifle. The HEAT (High Explosive Anti Tank) rounds often zip right through without detonating. The HEP-T (High Explosive Plastic - Tracer) rounds work best when aimed at the base of the tree. Most of these arboricide incidents were an attempt to get the the BG behind the tree. It does stop the firefight when trees start falling on them.
You should not underestimate the tree lovers. We had a lady in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose, CA claim that the trees were almost weeping from the pain of having nails driven into them. The nails were holding up the Christmas decorations. Ahhhh California!

May 5, 2004, 05:16 PM
First time: 17 years old, ROTC. M60.:evil: Lately, I'v been helping my boss trim the trees on his farm with our Mosin Nagants.:D

May 5, 2004, 06:56 PM
Y'all remind me of when Homer Simpson joins the NRA... using a gun to open a beer, turn off the lights, etc. :D

May 5, 2004, 07:17 PM
No. Never been attacked by one and they don't taste as good as venison or elk meat.

4v50 Gary
May 5, 2004, 07:45 PM
Stand still Mute. There's one growing beneath your feet right now. ;)

May 5, 2004, 07:48 PM
Yeah, just hold still......

.... for a year or two.


Seriously, there's one variety of tree I'd shoot without hesitation - the ailanthus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ailanthus). Miserable weed tree. Grows fast, stinks, and propagates by seeds AND runners.

Yech. Brittle wood, too, so if it gets big, it's dangerous.

May 5, 2004, 10:16 PM
Well, my personal favorite tool for whacking southern pine at 1,000 meters is a mixture of 20mm AP and tracers from a Vulcan :evil:


May 5, 2004, 10:55 PM
My Granddad had to once...he was stationed at Pearl Arbor.

Johnny Guest
May 6, 2004, 01:20 AM
Southern Oklahoma, some years back - - -

Old scrub oak, I believe it was, about three inches in diameter. Took a full Thompson SMG drum plus nearly two 30 orund mags to fell it.


PS: I was NOT present when Oleg had to subdue that tree with an Uzi. I DID see the aftermath a couple of days later. Nasty-looking customer, that tree. I accept the self defense story. :D


May 6, 2004, 01:55 AM
Paging Oleg Volk...Page For Mr. Volk...please

*ahem* seems as if there is a story about a Uzi and tree that needs to be shared...got pics? :D

May 6, 2004, 02:35 AM
Didn't cut down a tree but have a tree story... As some of you may already know I grew up in a Communist country where even BB guns were illegal and only accessible at fairs and amusement parks.

I came to the US and lived with a host family the father in which had been the Director of the Dallas Garden Center at Fair Park. He was retired but took great care of his trees and other plants. He gave lectures to different garden clubs monthly and often had their members tour his yard which he was extreemly proud to show off. He had a total of seven or eight 30+ year old live oak trees in his yard.

I and a fellow international student found two old BB rifles in the attic which had belonged to our host family's sons when they were kids. We promptly set up a card board target on one of the live oaks in the back yard and had us a two hour competition:D . We meticulously initialed our shots after each 10 so that in the end we could count who had the most closest to the bullseye.

After two hours and many many BB's we decided to call it a day and went to take the target off the tree. As soon as we did I'm sure some neighbors heard some choice Bulgarian curse words. The 12'' to 15'' shiny circle made up of bb's imbeded in the tree bark gave us both a very bad stomach feeling, which translated itself into a mad dash to the kitchen where we acquired some knives.
All is well that ends well but let's just say it takes a while to dig out hundreds of bb's out of tree bark.:)


May 6, 2004, 04:19 AM
No, but I used a Ruger .22 Bearcat to open a # 10 can of GI M&M in Alaska one time. Couldn't find the damn can opener and we were hungry.

May 6, 2004, 06:35 AM
Shooting down a tree is one of my best remembrances of my officer training in the Swiss Army. I shot down a 20 cm young oak tree with a 12.7 mm machine gun. It did take quite a few rounds but it was fun. Certainly worth being told off by the instructor!

August 1, 2004, 01:06 AM
The number of replies to this thread scare me :D

August 1, 2004, 01:24 AM
I will categorically deny ever having shot a tree in half with a No.4Mk1.

Okay, well, it was blocking the road... :uhoh:

August 1, 2004, 04:01 AM
I used to shoot at a old range that a tree had grown in front of the berm. When the rifle targets were moved one was directly in front of the tree. That tree had a hole about 6" in diameter completely thru it.

August 1, 2004, 08:49 AM
I've shot down a couple on my own land, but the best I ever saw was a friend who used a Blackhawk in .41 Magnum to set off dynamite taped to a 10" pine. He had 4 sticks, one on each side, and it took about 5 shots to hit the one on front, but when he did, HOOO WEEE! (It was on his land.)

August 1, 2004, 09:03 AM
Using my M1 and pruely accidental, my buddy shot a sapling in half.
Got it on video!:D

August 1, 2004, 04:32 PM
Bank robbers who cut down a branch Manager with a sawed off shotgun.

Does that count?


August 1, 2004, 05:32 PM
Yup, but I was better with home made pipe bombs. I'll refrain from going into what my 15 year old cousin and I did, and how!:D

August 2, 2004, 08:08 AM
Had to take off a few branches about 70 feet up in a pine tree to get a clear shot with my satellite dish. .44mags in my Ruger Deerfield. (live way-way out in the boonies and on my own land)

August 2, 2004, 08:20 AM
I didn't, but I saw one of my shooting buddies do it with his m94 and some 45 colt Buffalo Bore ammo. took 3 shots, about a 5 inch diameter pine tree.

The closest I ever came is shooting the heads off of wild flowers w/ a 22.

August 2, 2004, 09:13 AM
Funny you should mention that. Just this past week I spent some time at a friends cabin where we. . . . . . you guessed it. . . . . . . shot down a tree. Two or three people with shotguns loaded with slugs and me with my FAL make quick work of that tree. We then shot the tree in half where it fell. Good times.

August 2, 2004, 01:50 PM
This thread reminds me of a story in R.L. Wilson's book, "Ruger and His Guns". IIRC, Bill Ruger, and someone else who's name I can't remember, spent an afternoon in some woods near the Sturm, Ruger & Co. factory, with early prototypes of the .44 Carbine, shooting trees in two, among other things.

And yes, I have done it myself.

August 2, 2004, 06:43 PM
Back when my current brother-in-law was dating my sister he and two other buddies went out on my family land to shoot. They decided they were going to shoot down a small cedar tree(my dad hates cedar trees so this was O:K) However, after my to be brother-in-law shot there was a hissing sound heard by all. Well he KNEW he had made a bad mistake. He shot a hole in the natural gas line (We had an above ground line running to our house about 1 mile). He had to go and tell my dad what he had done and he was scared to death. My dad just looked at him for a few seconds and grunted "HUH". Went back with him, cut out about four inches in the line and patched it. My brother-in-law still has that piece of pipe with a hole in it. I think that was the day my dad decided he was good husband material for his daugher!!:D

August 2, 2004, 06:49 PM
Over seas, with a m-60 mg and a few thousand rds of ammo, also m-79 thump gun, beats using a saw!

August 2, 2004, 10:29 PM
Guilty as charged:D
I wonder if anyone has ever injured a tree hugger while shooting down said tree?

Pug Puppy
August 3, 2004, 03:06 PM
Shooting trees, in some cases, is safer than chainsawing them. Two friends of shotgunned a rotten tree down that was next to their house.
The tommygunner and AR and AK crowds were cooler.

August 3, 2004, 06:17 PM
Yep been there done that . Had one said tree Fall on tailgate of truck how the bugger ever turned enough to hit the truck is still beyond all who saw it happed to this day should have been 15 foot shy of truck if taken out with chain saw

August 3, 2004, 06:54 PM
Sure have, with a .50 cal on a ring mount sitting atop a 5 ton Duesenhalf (sp?).


Red Tornado
August 4, 2004, 12:42 AM
Not yet...but I did just get a Garand last week, and I have several thousand rounds of .22, and a 9mm, and....

You guys are a gold mine of ideas.:D

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