To implement your backyard woods plan (see Making a Master Plan ) you may want to remove some trees to give a favorite tree room to grow, or cut some firewood or fence posts, or remove an unhealthy or dangerous tree. A chain saw is the tool used most often to cut down trees and often used without any training.
Cutting down a tree is one of the most difficult and dangerous activities you can do in your woods (see Carl Smith Interview ). From the moment you take a chain saw out of storage to the time you put it back, you can be hurt by it or by what you are cutting. To work safely in your woods you need knowledge, skill, and safe working habits.
To become skilled enough to safely drop a tree in a desired direction requires hands-on chainsaw training. Here are tips on becoming more familiar with a saw and keeping safe:
Become familiar with a saw and its parts by taking my chain saw eCourse.
Take a hands-on course or get personal instruction from your dealer.
Absolutely nothing will help more than watching and working with an experienced tree feller.
Start out first with small trees, less than 8" in diameter, and fell several. Practice cutting off branches and bucking the trunk.
There are temptations to use a saw alone. Please don't! In the event of an accident or emergency, you must have someone who can help or bring help. Hire a professional for jobs that exceed your abilities.