How Do You Cut Down a Tree With a Chainsaw?


Quick Answer

Cut down, or fell, a tree with a chainsaw by first considering safety, then making a notch and a backcut. After the tree is down, limb it, and cut the tree into desired lengths.

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Full Answer

  1. Plan for safety

    To properly cut down a tree with a chainsaw, gather the required safety equipment first. Goggles, a logger's helmet, ear protection, gloves and Kevlar chaps offer protection from bark, wood and the chainsaw itself. Then, consider the direction the tree logically falls when cut, estimate the size of the safety zone around the tree, and ensure the tree does not land on or roll over anything after it is cut.

  2. Notch the tree

    Cut a notch into the tree in the direction it needs to fall. The notch should be a depth equal to one-fifth of the tree's diameter. The top section of the notch should be cut at about 60 degrees above horizontal, in a downward motion to the horizontal. The lower notch section should be cut about 30 degrees below horizontal, and should meet the upper cut at the horizontal. Try to cut the notch in one piece.

  3. Make the backcut

    The backcut, or felling cut, is placed directly opposite the horizontal of the notch. Cut straight into the tree, stopping when the cut is about one-tenth of the tree's diameter away from the notch. Leaving this section, called the hinge, helps to control the tree's fall.

  4. Limb and section the tree

    Use the chainsaw to cut away limbs from the felled tree. Cut the tree into logs by cutting it into sections. Use caution to prevent the tree from rolling as it is limbed and sectioned.

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