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
- You begin by being physically fit, sober, and wearing protective gear.
- Start the chainsaw on the ground with the chain brake on.
- Look at the tree to be felled and check for the direction it will naturally fall.
- Mentally prepare an escape route at 45 degrees to the rear of the expected direction of fall.
- Cut a wedge out of the tree - 1/4 to 1/3 of the tree diameter - facing the direction of fall.
- Cut a back cut in rear of, and 10 cm above, the point of the wedge, leaving a hinge or holding wood.
- Tap in a wedge as you make the back cut. It keeps the tree from pinching the saw blade.
- Move away from the falling tree letting the hinge assist in slowly dropping the tree. See first Related Information Link.
- Turn the saw off while putting it on the ground.
- Move towards your predetermined escape route.
- Do not return to the stump until everything is settled.
- Don't fell trees with kids or spectators around, on windy days, or near structures or power lines.
- Never work alone.
- Even with this explanation of tree felling, you should initially be assisted by someone familiar with using a chain saw.
More How To's from your Guide to Forestry