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How to Fell a Tree
From your Forestry Guide

Cutting down a tree is very dangerous if you don't know how to do it.

Difficulty Level: Hard

Here's How:
  1. You begin by being physically fit, sober, and wearing protective gear.
  2. Start the chainsaw on the ground with the chain brake on.
  3. Look at the tree to be felled and check for the direction it will naturally fall.
  4. Mentally prepare an escape route at 45 degrees to the rear of the expected direction of fall.
  5. Cut a wedge out of the tree - 1/4 to 1/3 of the tree diameter - facing the direction of fall.
  6. Cut a back cut in rear of, and 10 cm above, the point of the wedge, leaving a hinge or holding wood.
  7. Tap in a wedge as you make the back cut. It keeps the tree from pinching the saw blade.
  8. Move away from the falling tree letting the hinge assist in slowly dropping the tree. See first Related Information Link.
  9. Turn the saw off while putting it on the ground.
  10. Move towards your predetermined escape route.
  11. Do not return to the stump until everything is settled.


  1. Don't fell trees with kids or spectators around, on windy days, or near structures or power lines.
  2. Never work alone.
  3. Even with this explanation of tree felling, you should initially be assisted by someone familiar with using a chain saw.

Related Information:

More How To's from your Guide to Forestry

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  5. Tree Terms/Courses/Quizzes
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  7. How To Fell a Tree

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