Cutting Down Trees

Dynamite is a tool that can be used to cut down trees. To cut a tree 18 inches in diameter requires five sticks of dynamite: one on the north, south, east and west sides of the tree, and the fifth stick on the side to which the tree should fall. During construction of a dam, a tree 18 inches in diameter was completely covered by water. Since the treetop was fouling the boat's propellers, it had to be cut down. A diver went down and put a stick of dynamite on the four sides of the tree. Since the current is flowing south at 2 knots per hour, on which side of the tree would you instruct the diver to put the fifth stick of dynamite if you wanted the tree to fall north?

It doesn't matter where the fifth stick is placed, since the tree won't fall in any direction. Being wood, it will float and rise to the surface.

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