What are some techniques for felling trees?


Quick Answer

In the felling direction, make a sixty degree top cut into the tree approximately 25 percent into the diameter. Make a horizontal cut that meets the top cut, such that a wedge is removed from the tree in the direction of felling. On the opposing side of the tree, make another cut horizontally a few inches above the wedge. Stop short of the wedge by 10 percent of the diameter. Insert a felling wedge into this cut.

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Full Answer

Before the second horizontal cut is made, be sure that the felling zone is clear of people, pets and structures. The felling zone is twice the height of the tree. After the felling wedge is inserted and the tree begins to lean, retreat from the tree in the planned escape direction. This direction should be at ninety degrees to the felling direction. Walk calmly and quickly, and maintain eye contact with the tree in case it does not fall in the anticipated direction.

For particularly large trees, the felling cut should be made by plunging into the tree where the hinge will be, in the direction parallel to the hinge. Saw away from the hinge approximately the width of the chainsaw bar. Once half of this cut is made, insert the felling wedge so that the chainsaw will not become pinched. Should the tree pinch the chainsaw, do not attempt to pull out the chainsaw. Insert additional wedges, if necessary, to free the saw. Once the tree begins to fall, follow the same instructions for retreating described above.

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