How to buck a tree on the ground

Felling, Limbing and Bucking Trees

Hank Stelzer

Forestry State Specialist
School of Natural Resources

Whether you are using a chain saw to cut firewood, trim trees or harvest large timber, you will be performing three basic operations: felling, limbing and bucking. Felling involves cutting a standing tree and dropping it in the place you want it. Limbing is the removal of the branches from either standing or downed trees. Bucking is the process of cutting a downed tree into appropriate lengths.

For information on the selection, maintenance  and safe use of a chain saw, see MU Extension publications G1954, Selecting and Maintaining a Chain Saw, and G1959, Operating a Chain Saw Safely.

Felling a tree

Felling a tree can literally make or break your day. Landing a tree where you want it facilitates the rest of your operations. Many people cutting firewood have dropped trees on their pickup trucks.

Examine the tree and its surroundings
Note any uneven distribution of branches in the tree crown, lean of the trunk and signs of rot or decay. Inexperienced tree cutters should never attempt to cut trees that are decayed or rotted inside or that are leaning or otherwise under tension. Such trees are at greater risk of snapping or splitting while being cut, which could cause serious or fatal injury to the cutter or bystanders.

If power lines are in the vicinity of the tree, do not attempt to fell the tree unless you are absolutely certain that doing so will not interfere with them. If the tree must be removed and you suspect felling it will affect a power line, call the power company. They will have the expertise and equipment to remove the tree safely.

 Examine the tree for loose, dead limbs. Loose limbs that fall onto the tree cutter are a common cause of serious injuries and fatalities. Remove loose limbs before felling, if possible. If that’s not possible, fell the tree from a position where the limbs could not strike you if dislodged. 

Note the position of nearby trees. Be sure that the tree you are felling can fall all the way to the ground. A lodged tree is very dangerous. Experienced loggers are often killed by felled trees that hang up or snag in adjacent trees. A tree spring-back from the weight of a falling tree can whip a broken limb toward the cutter or bystanders with tremendous speed.

Plan two escape paths
Plan two escape paths (B) opposite the planned direction of the fall of the tree (A) and at about a 45 angle from each other (Figure 1). Remove all obstacles from the paths. Place all tools and equipment a safe distance away from the tree but not on the escape paths. Select a place to set the chain saw in case of emergency. Never run while holding a chain saw, operating or not. Rather, turn off the chain saw and set it down before making your escape.

Figure 1. When preparing to fell a tree, plan two escape paths. Clear the paths of all obstacles before making your first cut.

Used with permission of STIHL Inc.


Make the cut
Clear a safe work area around the base of the tree. Remove limbs, underbrush and other obstructions, being sure to keep your escape paths clear.

Ensure all bystanders are a safe distance from the base of the tree to be felled, at least 1-1/2 times the height of the tree, before the first cut is made.

For trees 6 inches in diameter or less, make one cut through the trunk. For larger diameter trees, the inexperienced chain saw operator should make two basic cuts: the undercut and the back cut. Advanced cutting techniques, such as plunge cutting, should only be done by experienced, professional loggers.

The undercut serves as the guiding or aiming slot for the tree. Basically it is a V-shaped notch placed on the side of the tree in the direction of falling (Figure 2). Either a standard undercut (Figure 2a) or a reverse undercut (Figure 2b) can be used. Typically the first cut is made parallel to the ground and then the slanting cut is made.

A modified undercut known as an open-faced undercut has become popular in many areas (Figure 2c). Introduced by Scandinavian felling specialists, this cut is easier to make, provides good guidance and has additional safety features. Instead of ending up with a 45-degree opening, the undercut provides a nearly 90-degree opening. When the tree starts to fall, this modified undercut allows additional room for the tree to fall before the top and bottom of the undercut come together.

For trees that are essentially straight, the depth of the undercut should be about one-fourth of the tree’s diameter.

Back cut
For all three undercuts, the back cut is made on the opposite side of the tree, slightly above the hinge point of the undercut (Figure 2). The back cut releases the stresses on the back of the tree, allowing the tree to fall. Never make the back cut lower than the undercut because that reverses the roles of the two cuts. Never cut through the undercut because that will cause you to lose all control over the tree.

As the saw nears the undercut, leave a small amount of wood to serve as the “hinge” or “holding” wood (Figure 3). The tree actually pivots on this hinge, and the width and angle of the hinge can be used to guide the direction of the tree’s fall. Because of the angled hinge, the tree will start to fall on the narrow section of the hinge while the wood at the thicker section of the hinge is still intact. The tree is therefore pulled toward the thick section. Making these cuts is an art and requires practice.

Once the tree starts to fall, turn off the saw and move down your chosen escape path. Do not stand at the base of the tree to admire your work. Falling trees have been known to bounce backward over the stump and injure an unwary operator.

A leaning tree presents special problems. The difficulty of these problems depends on the direction and the degree of the lean. With a conventional back cut, a leaning tree will quite possibly split and fall prematurely. Rather than risk potential serious injury to yourself by trying to fell a leaning tree, consult a professional arborist.

Figure 2. Three types of undercuts. Note that in each case, the back cut is slightly (1 to 2 inches) above the hinge point of the undercut.
Figure 3. The direction a tree falls can be closely controlled with properly made undercuts and back cuts.

Limbing a tree

When removing unwanted limbs from standing timber, the basic safety rule is: Never limb above your shoulders; that is, do not attempt to cut off branches above the height of your shoulders. Cutting above your shoulders requires that you hold the chain saw at or near arm’s length, and you lose control over the saw in this position. Proper limbing techniques to reduce damage to the tree are covered in MU Extension publications G5160, Pruning Forest Trees, and G6866, Pruning and Care of Shade Trees.

When limbing a tree that is lying on the ground, other safety rules apply. The first thing you should do is evaluate the fallen tree. If the tree has become lodged or wedged in adjacent trees and has not fallen all the way to the ground, do not walk underneath the tree. It may fall without warning. Trees that are “hung” are especially dangerous and need to be removed by mechanical means. They can be pulled down with a cable and a tractor suitably equipped to protect against roll-over and falling objects.

Besides checking whether the felled tree is hung, also consider the following questions as you survey the area:

  • Do you see smaller trees that have been bent over and trapped by the felled tree?
  • Do you see branches holding the tree partially in the air?
  • Is the tree on level ground?
  • If you have just felled the tree, are there dead branches or other debris hanging above you that may still fall to the ground?

Dead branches and debris are called widowmakers for good reason. They have been known to fall several minutes after a tree has been felled and severely injure or kill saw operators. To be safe, wait a few minutes to allow any additional debris to fall to the ground. Use the time to take a short rest.

Once you have evaluated the obstacles and hazards and are ready to limb the tree, stand on the uphill side of the tree. Never stand on the downhill side of a fallen log. If you cut a branch that is holding the log in place, the log could roll downhill and trap you. Make sure you have good footing and are standing in a balanced position that allows you freedom of movement

Start at the bottom of the tree and work your way to the top, removing branches on the opposite side of the tree from you as you go. Whenever possible, always cut on the side of the log opposite from you. This places the log between you and the saw and provides additional protection for you.

Keep sight of the tip of the saw to prevent kickback. Periodically put down the saw and remove debris so you have clear vision and movement around the tree.

Try to cut the limbs off as flush as possible with the trunk of the log. Doing this makes the log much easier to roll or move. If the limbs are in a position where flush cuts are not immediately possible, remember to remove the branch stubs later.

Depending on the species and size of the tree you are limbing, some of the branches may be very heavy. When heavy branches are removed from a log, the log may shift its position unexpectedly.

Smaller trees that are bent over and trapped by the weight of the fallen log are called springpoles. Springpoles have a tremendous amount of stored energy and present one of the greatest hazards of the limbing process. This energy can be safely removed by using an ax or chain saw to cut the springpole at the apex of its bend. Figure 4 illustrates how to locate the apex of a springpole. Trapped branches can also be springpoles and can be dealt with in the same way.

When cutting a tree into firewood, you may want to start at the top of the tree so that some of the branches are off the ground. That way, the wood drops to the ground and the saw is kept away from the ground as much as possible. Again, this is a time when good footing, good balance and ease of movement are especially important.

Figure 4. To locate the apex of the bend, imagine straight lines (a and b) coming out of the bent springpole. These lines intersect at some point away from the tree. Draw a third line (c) that bisects the angle formed by lines a and b. Cut where line c touches the top of the springpole.

Bucking a tree

The process of cutting a tree into usable lengths is called bucking. Bucking often occurs as a tree is being limbed, such as when the limbs of the crown are to be used as firewood. When cutting firewood, make sure you know the needed length of wood before you leave home. When cutting full-size products, such as sawlogs and veneer logs, you must cut logs longer than the final product to leave a trim allowance. For an 8-foot log, a trim allowance of 4 to 6 inches is common. Many bucking cuts are angled, and the trim allowance allows the ends of the boards to be cut square at the mill to the desired board lengths.

When a tree is totally on level ground, the biggest problem during bucking is avoiding running the saw chain into the earth. When a tree is suspended at one end, the bucking operation becomes more difficult. Figure 5 shows various bucking techniques. In all cases, stand on the uphill side of the log and keep a firm grip on the saw with both hands. Also, keep a strong, even stance on the ground so you can move quickly if the log starts to roll.

A sawbuck can make bucking easier. It holds a log still at a good working height so that you can safely cut the wood to length (Figure 6). You can find plans for building a sawbuck in your local library or your chain saw owner’s manual, or you can purchase a sawbuck from a variety of sources.


Figure 5. Different bucking procedures apply depending on how the tree lies.
Figure 6. A sawbuck is useful for safely cutting wood to length.

Electrically powered chain saws

Electrically powered chain saws require some additional precautions. Use only a three-wire cord of the proper size with three-pronged plugs and a grounded three-wire outlet. A ground fault interrupter in the power supply line will help prevent fatal shocks.

The soil in the working area should be relatively dry. Avoid working in areas where the foliage or ground is wet.

Lay out the cord so that it will not interfere with your work. Take care to place it where you won’t inadvertently cut it with the saw or trip over it.

Make sure that the saw switch is in the off position before completing the electrical connection. Always unplug the saw before making adjustments and when the saw is not being used.

Original authors: David E. Baker, Department of Agricultural Engineering, and Bruce E. Cutter, School of Natural Resources.

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Safely Limbing and Bucking Trees

Author : Countryside Magazine ContributorCategories : Self-Reliance

By Ben Hoffman Bucking trees isn’t as easy as it looks. Learn how to limb a tree and buck wood safely.

Many country folks buy their firewood in long lengths and then cut and split them. For them, bucking wood is the major use of a top-rated chainsaw, and it may be worthwhile to get a saw of 60 cc to 70 cc with a 16- to 18-inch bar. My 52 cc Husky and 16-inch bar are fine for ash up to 24 inches, but a few more ccs would help with rock maple and oak. If you have had little experience with chainsaws, better to use chainsaw safety gear and get some practice cutting logs before learning how to fell trees. The most important consideration is to cut it to length ASAP so it can start drying. Cutting stems into products, called bucking, will develop some familiarity with the saw before delving into the more dangerous job of cutting a tree down.

On the surface, bucking wood into sections seems pretty simple, but consider some of the challenges. If the stem is perfectly straight, resting on perfectly flat, level ground, no problem—except keeping your bar and chain out of the dirt. Otherwise, you face tension and compression forces in wood that is under stress. Figure 1 shows a log resting on uneven ground, supported at two points. Midway between the two points, the log sags, causing compression in the upper half and tension in the lower half. In Figure 2, one end of the log is unsupported, causing the reverse. Cut the compression side and your saw will be pinched; cut the tension side, the stem may split. In both cases, cutting into a neutral side first does not release either compression or tension forces. Often, obstacles such as trees, rocks or stumps cause side pressures (Figure 3).

Start bucking wood by cutting the off side, then a little wood from the compression side, and finish by cutting the tension side. You can feel compression forces as they begin to bind your bar and can see tension as the saw kerf gradually opens. When cutting a compression side, slide the bar back and forth until you feel pressure, then switch to the tension side. Always, before cutting, try to visualize the stresses in the wood and how they will respond—each situation requires a different approach. Keep some wedges handy.

For those cutting timber from their woodlot, before bucking wood into logs, you must remove the limbs. Limbing is the cause of most accidents, though they are not as serious as those from falling. Long bars are probably the major cause of limbing accidents. Tension/compression forces are often present in limbs, sometimes severe (Figure 4) because branches on the underside of the stem are under pressure. Before cutting, analyze each limb to determine what stresses are likely.

Check the three limbs on the right of the tree in the photo on this page of the whole tree on the ground. The first limb is free with most of its weight to the right. Cut this limb from the top (tension side) and it will fall freely. But the second limb presses against the ground—cut it from the top, your saw will be pinched, so cut it from the underside. The third limb, under sufficient pressure that it is split, is too close to the ground to cut from the bottom. The best bet is to carefully make a V cut from the top, just beyond the split. To cut the V, as soon as you feel pressure against the bar, remove it and make the second side of the V. Then, widen the V until you get through the limb. To safely cut brush and hardwoods with branches bent sharply (Figure 4), make several shallow cuts to relieve tension.

Many conifers have whorls of limbs at the end of each year’s height growth and the stem is supported by many fairly small limbs. Scandinavians have developed several systems for removing such limbs, the lever (Figure 5) and sweep (Figure 6) methods. The lever method is suitable for trees with larger limbs fairly well distributed along the stem and the sweep method works well for slow-grown northern conifers with many small limbs.

To simplify limbing small conifers, fell them across another tree to hold them off the ground, preferably at waist height. With an elevated stem, you can slide the saw along the stem rather than carry it. Swedes often fell trees across an elevated roller, similar to a sawhorse with a roller on top. As the stem is bucked into sections, it is pulled across the roller rather than walking along the tree. One cutter I studied felled up to seven trees together so he could limb all of them at once.

FIGURE 1: Bucking wood when the log is suspended at two points. Begin cutting at the top, gradually rotating the saw away from you to cut the off side. Next, begin cutting from top to bottom, sliding the bar back and forth in the cut until you feel the wood begin to pinch. When the cut starts to close, saw the underside, with the top of the bar, until the cut is completed. When working on a slope, cut from the uphill side so the logs will not roll into you.FIGURE 2: Bucking wood when the log is unsupported on one end. First, cut an inch or so into the bottom side so the wood will not tear when the cut breaks. Then, cut through the top, off side first. On sloping ground, work uphill of the cut so the log does not roll on you.FIGURE 3: Side-bind stresses are the same as in Figures 1 and 2, but are horizontal, not vertical. Envision where the stresses will be and their effects on pinching or tearing. Cut the compression side first until the saw begins to pinch, then the top, and finally, the tension side. Work from the compression side just in case one end springs out when the cut is finished.FIGURE 4: Severe bends in limbs or brush cause tremendous tension in the wood and cutting it through will cause both sides of the cut to spring out. Make several shallow cuts to relieve the tension, and then cut through. Stay on the compression side while cutting. Always analyze the situation before cutting.FIGURE 5: The lever method uses six basic steps to remove limbs and works on any species with large branches. The sweep method (Figure 6) works best with multiple, small branches such as spruce and fir. The important point in both: rest the saw on the stem, don’t carry it. Elevating the stem off the ground helps. Don’t move your feet while cutting on your side of the tree—use your knee to push the saw. Not shown is Step 7, cutting branches on the underside of the tree. With large branches under pressure, be careful that the stem doesn’t roll on you.FIGURE 6: Drawings courtesy of Sawmill & Woodlot Magazine

Learn proper techniques for limbing and bucking trees before the tree felling starts.

Originally published in the May/June 2016 issue of Countryside.

Categories : Self-RelianceTags : bestbucking-woodchainsaw-safety-gearcountrysidecutdeviledexperiencefreeholehowhow-tohow-to-limb-a-treemakemethodsmostoftree-fellinguseswholewood

8 methods to cut down a tree. 🌳 Correct cut technology. ✅ Blog SpilKursk.PRO

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8 ways to cut professional arborists

Author: Korovin Maxim Comments: 0 Reading time: 7 minutes

There are situations in life when the head of an organization, the owner of a site, a tenant or just a tenant of an apartment building needs to understand how to cut down a tree correctly. There can be many situations of necessity. It is important to remove the tree in accordance with the law and regulations so that people and the site where it is located do not suffer.

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Sawing with hand tools
  1. Chainsaw operation
  2. Cutting the trunk and branches
  3. Stump removal
Professional tree removal
  1. Free felling cut
  2. Use of natural stem slope
  3. Guided cutting with guy
  4. Free throw swath
  5. Cut in parts with curtain
  6. Complete removal
  7. Sawing when the tree is fully hung
  8. Use of vehicles

Sawing with hand tools

Manual tree removal technology seems to be the easiest and cheapest, especially on your site. Let's see, is that right?

Working with a two-handed saw or an ax today is the “last century”, which can only be used without health risks on shrubs or thin trees. Therefore, such "technologies" are not discussed.

You can not work with a traumatic angle grinder or a hacksaw for metal, designed for other things.

Chainsaw operation

Almost any owner of equipment is sure that he knows how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw. In fact, this work is dangerous and requires a clear alignment of actions.


Tool : before operation, the chainsaw must be fully prepared - sufficient level of gasoline, oil, chain integrity and tension checked (when the chain is pulled from the top of the bar - it is necessary that the guide teeth do not come out of the groove), switching on and off without jamming.

Tree : determine the fall area of ​​the felled tree, clear the space in that direction, cut all knots up to shoulder height. The fall zone of the object is planned 2 times more than of it crowns.

If you are going to fell a tree for the first time and it is not possible to determine the fall zone by eye, you can hold a carpenter's ax or any object 60-70 centimeters long (the standard length of a carpenter's ax handle) at arm's length, move towards the tree until the ax and tree become "of the same height". In the place where you stopped and there will be a point of contact with the top of the earth tree.

Three-stage felling:

  1. Oblique cut of wood from the side of fall from top to bottom at an angle of 60 o to the base. Sawed to a depth of up to a quarter of the diameter of the trunk.
  2. Notching horizontal or at an angle of 30 o – made from the bottom on the same side, until it connects to the top one, until a wedge is obtained. The cut angle should be 45 o . Full sawn wood prohibited!
  3. felling cut. Clearly on the opposite side of the future fall trajectory. It is carried out parallel to the second cut, but with a distance of 5-10 cm above it and leaving 10% of the diameter uncut. Not finished between the main cut and the saw cut is the guide chip. It is left at the corner of the broken tree. If left incorrectly, part of the barrel bounces back violently and can pierce a person's chest.

A 3-step cut is the basic foundation for any tree cut.

Possible options for cutting from the side of the fall: the first is a horizontal notch, then the second goes to the connection to the first from above at an angle of 45 degrees. All the time it is important to work smoothly, without jerks, but at maximum engine speed. When the final cut is nearing completion, a wooden wedge is inserted and hammered into it so as not to jam the chain guide. You can use a pole, pre-installed cables, and even a jack to guide the barrel.

At the final stages, it is especially important to follow the direction of movement of the trunk in order to cut the tree with a chainsaw in the right direction, if necessary, correct or run back. As soon as there is a crack trunk, you need to urgently remove the saw, turn it off and move as far as possible. It is important to calculate in advance so that a fallen tree does not get stuck in the branches of neighboring trees or power lines. There should be enough space left on the ground so that you can come up for sawing branches and cutting the trunk.

Peculiarities of sawing sloping trees

A tree whose slope from the vertical does not exceed 10 o is considered upright and is sawn in the usual way. If felling is to be carried out on the opposite side of the slope, it is important to consider the following:

  1. After the main cut, it is important to level the tree in the right direction, while coping with the resistance of the guide chip. You can align with cables or make one edge of this chip wider.
  2. A winch or chain hoist can be used to block back movement.
  3. If the slope of the trunk is more than 10 o , it is better to choose a different way of sawing, without the need for leveling.

For old, rotten trees, it is better to leave the guide chips thicker so that they do not burst at the most unexpected moment. If this happens, the trajectory of the tree's fall cannot be predicted. If possible choice in space, it is better that the cut tree falls on the side where it has more branches and branches.

Safety and retreat areas for fellers are on the sides of the fall path at approximately 45 o . It is impossible to remain in the place opposite to the fall. If a person makes a mistake in the thickness wood chips - the trunk will sharply go back and cripple.

If you need to cut a small tree, there will be no particular problems. But if the tree is of a decent age or rotten, big troubles can arise. A person may not accurately calculate the direction of the fall, make a mistake with the depth of the undercut or even jam the saw in the cut. At the most unexpected moment, the appearance of wind or a change in its direction is possible. All this is fraught at best with a broken tool, a branch flying over the head or shavings in the eye, and at worst - a broken roof of a structure that has turned up under the trunk and even broken ribs or a neck.

Cutting the trunk and branches

Branches are cut down starting from the bottom of the lying tree. Each branch, first from the bottom, then finished it from above. In large branches, a large part is first cut off, then the remainder is finished.

If you don't have enough experience, then it's better not to start dismantling large trees alone. It is very difficult to calculate the forces, and you will get tired very quickly, which will increase the risk of error.

Maxim Korovin Arborist. Head of the company SpilKursk.PRO

The cutting of the trunk begins with a cut to half in depth. Without taking out the saw, a wedge is hammered with an ax. This is a guarantee that the equipment will not be squeezed between parts of the tree. Then comes the doping.

Stump removal

Only a person with serious experience can use a chainsaw for sawing in a stump. There is a high probability of a strong rebound of the saw!

Stump type Working technology
Small Use a shovel under the root in a circle like a lever. If a tearing sound is heard - well, the process has begun.
Medium Dig a hole 2-3 times wider than the trunk. Hard roots must be cut or cut off with an ax from both sides. You can use a chainsaw, but first thoroughly clean the roots from the ground in the place of the saw.
Large Can be used as a crowbar lever. If it is possible to install - use a lever hoist or a 3-4 ton winch, if there is a strong support for its attachment.
Any Use a wood chipper, which will turn the stump into shavings with disc blades.

If it was not possible to overcome the stump, you don’t want to make special efforts to cut down, and time is not in a hurry - you can use the “old-fashioned” method, which works great:

  1. Use a drill with a long drill bit to drill many vertical holes in the stump, 15-20 cm deep.
  2. Pour one of the agents into each: carbide, potassium or ammonium nitrate. The first remedy works best. For a stump diameter of 60-75 cm, 1 kg of carbide is enough.
  3. Pour the agent with water, strictly without splashing.
  4. Seal the openings securely to prevent rain from getting in. You can use chops, but it's easier to wrap the stump with construction polyethylene and tie it with twine. In order not to fly away the edges - press them down with stones or sprinkle with soil.
  5. A year and a half mixture will "dissolve" the stump.
  6. Remove the polyethylene, lay out the “bonfire” on the stump and move away. A very active burning of wood will begin. Such a fire goes inside up to 2 m and burns even thick roots.
See also: 8 ways to remove stumps.

At first glance, the simple removal of a tree is fraught with many surprises and additional physical work. You need a sober assessment of the risks and time spent on this for a person who has never felled trees. serious work can be done quickly and safely only by specialists with constantly updated experience.

Industrial tree removal

It is really dangerous to cut down a tall, thick and sprawling tree by yourself. It is no less unpredictable to work with an old and rotten giant, who can “treat” not only a healthy branch on the forehead, but also fall down entirely in any direction. Therefore, we are not talking about self-cutting here at all. Unless, of course, a person does not want to risk his life.

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For hazardous work, there are professionals who do it every day, have vast experience and will not hurt anyone. But even they work with climbing equipment, usually with an assistant, and stop any actions in case of sharp gusts of wind or its speed is more than 11 m / s. For each object, the most appropriate method of cutting is selected, taking into account safety.

Free felling saw cut

The object is cut down immediately. Beforehand, it is important to calculate the direction of the wind and its strength, the distribution of branches from the center of gravity, the presence of cracks or large holes. From the side of the fall, traditional 45 degrees, on the opposite - felling cut. The method is used when there are no power lines, houses and other obstacles to the felling nearby. After falling, the tree is sawn into pieces for disposal. The easiest and cheapest way, but for professionals.

Free felling option - sawing to railings. It is suitable if there are at least 2 trees in the direction of the intended fall, comparable in diameter and size to the saw cut object. Between them at a level close to horizontal ropes (“railing”) are pulled on the ground, which slow down the tree when it falls. A problem is possible - a tree that accelerates “in flight” tears the ropes. Experts calculate the distance to the tree, its mass, the length of the fall, the strength of the ropes, the feasibility of using a quickdraw from behind to slow down the fall, and other possible nuances.

Climbing rope "standard" with a diameter of 10-11 mm in a new condition withstands a breaking load of 2-3 tons. Over time, it wears off and becomes much weaker.

Using the natural slope of the trunk

The method is suitable for even trees with an average height of up to 4 meters, a trunk diameter near the ground up to several tens of centimeters, an inclination angle of 2-3 degrees - so that there is no chance of falling in the other direction.

Scheme of work:

  1. Sawing all branches up to the height of growth - before making cuts. It is important that in case of an accidental course of the trunk with a deviation of the branch, they do not interfere with bouncing to the side.
  2. Produce classic cuts from the side of the fall at an angle of 45 degrees.
  3. Remove sawn wedge.
  4. Carry out a standard felling cut, leaving approximately 10% of the diameter of the cut out.
  5. Ropes are fixed at the top with special “big shot” slingshots, a line thrower or a stick with a hook.
  6. With ropes, a pole and wedges, they fell the trunk.

Recommended felling cut for strong trees - up to 50%, for sick and rotten trees - from 20 to 40% of the diameter. In the worst condition of the tree, the cut is made less so that the tree does not break before.

The height of the cut from the ground, depending on the further purpose of the stump:

  • 70-100 cm, it can be a little higher - if the stump is uprooted, for the convenience of working with a winch.
  • 30-50 cm - with further destruction of the stump with chemicals.
  • Minimum possible - when the stump will be destroyed by a crusher.

If the tree is not clearly displaced, or the center of the displacement is difficult to determine, specialists control the fall with wedges.

Guided cutting with guy

The method of destruction is suitable for a tree that can be completely felled into a selected area with a rope attached close to the top of the tree. To secure it, the rope with the load is thrown as high as possible onto wood. This is usually done with the help of a huge slingshot, which shoots loads with a thin braided line.

See also: How to legally cut down a tree.

Suitable for tall and mature trees with heavy branches or a large number of them, even a slight slope in the opposite direction. This creates difficulty in determining the direction of "leaving" at the time of saw cut. You can work with most trees, there would be opportunities for installing quickdraws and strong ropes.

Scheme of work:

  1. The crown is tied with a pole or an equipped climber, depending on the height of the tree.
  2. The rope is pulled tight by hand, winch or chain hoist (with rope backstop). First of all - side stretches.
  3. Make standard counter cuts.
  4. Felling cut in progress.
  5. A tree falls into a precisely defined region of space.

See what it looks like felling a tree with a quickdraw:

A good choice of action for a tree in the park, forest and even on the site. Professional companies attract high-level specialists who calculate the level of tension, eliminate the risk of splitting the trunk and fall with unpredictable consequences.

Free throw swath

A method to cut a tree in pieces and drop them down. It is chosen when a tall and thick tree cannot be felled freely, but there is free space under it for dumping sawn-off fragments.

Work steps:

  1. The arborist climbs the tree on gaffs (“claws” worn on the feet with which the climber digs into the tree) and a girth, cutting down all large parts of the branches “along the way” to the very top, if conditions allow. Also he can "hang up" and lower.
  2. Before cutting down the top of a tree, the climber ties a rope to its top and throws it off to a partner.
  3. He pulls the rope in the direction of fall with the force of his hands or a chain hoist.
  4. The climber cuts off the top and finally throws it off.
  5. When descending, all the remains of branches and the trunk itself are cut down.
  6. When the arborist reaches a height of 2-2.5 m, the workers clear the free space below the trunk for him.
  7. The specialist descends and cuts the remains of the trunk into plates of the desired length.

A specialist works on a tree with two belays. Having worked one tier, he fixes the second insurance to a higher level. Only after that removes the mount from the lower tier. During the descent, the trunk is processed and cut an average of 2 m per tier. The stump is left no more than a third of the diameter high, if you work according to the standards of the Kursk region.

Hydraulic lift possible. Actions are performed in the same sequence, with mandatory insurance. If a sufficiently large and heavy tree is cut down, the ground below can be severely broken.

Cut in parts with curtain

The method is suitable when they do not know how to cut down a tree hanging over a fence, wires or a roof. When sawing, part of the branches that threaten important objects or buildings will be carefully lowered on the ropes. The rest of the cut will be thrown down in small fragments. A qualified assistant can lay down a shock-absorbing “pillow” on the ground from the branches, and then the falling parts of the trunk will not hit the ground / lawn so much. If space the bottom cannot be damaged - the tree will be removed with the descent not only of the branches, but also parts of the trunk on a rope.

The felling technology is the same as the free throw felling method. Next is the descent:

  1. A rope is pulled between the thickest branches, and a block is fixed to it.
  2. A tree specialist secures part of the branches or trunk with a rope.
  3. Cuts them down.
  4. At his command, assistants on the ground begin to smoothly lead the rope down, lowering the felled fragment.

This is the way to deal with all dangerous parts of the tree. As a result, the safety zone under the tree is reduced, since the fragments do not "blow up" the ground, but land in a precisely specified place. If the saw cut of a tree comes with aerial platforms, everything is done in the same way, including the fastening of the block.

It is desirable that at least two specialists work together. This reduces the operating time and makes it safer.

Removal with full screening

Expensive, but the safest way for the owner, balance holder or tenant of the site to delete the object. The best option is to cut down a large tree in a limited space where there are buildings, people and animals may suddenly suffer.

Work steps:

  1. A climber on a gaff climbs a tree, cutting branches and lowering them on a rope.
  2. Attaches a carabiner with a rope for future hanging of sawn parts.
  3. An assistant fixes the same construction on a neighboring tree, but below.
  4. An arborist is tying a rope to a piece of wood to be cut.
  5. Leads the rope through the upper carabiner to the lower carabiner, where it is fixed.
  6. Cuts down the selected part of the tree, and it hangs on the rope.
  7. An assistant brings the felled part to the ground through the lower structure.

When two to five (for a large specimen) meters remain to the ground, the technology of work changes. A potential threat arises - the “pendulum” from the lowered part of the tree can damage the building, wires or residues the trunk on which the person is fixed. When the tree is rotten and split, the climber can fall from a sufficiently high height and with all the tools. Therefore, in order to avoid troubles and accidents, the remains are cut down along small particles and lowered manually or folded gently from above.

Hanging cut is not recommended in winter when the wood becomes brittle.

Sawing when the tree is fully hung

The method is especially suitable for emergency specimens that have fallen on buildings or nearby stands. Reminiscent of cutting with a guy, but requires a minimum of free space. Be sure to have a strong wood.

  • The climber reaches the top of the tree being cut down and ties the rope so that it is about a fifth of the height above it, provided that the tree is not in danger. A rope is installed on the emergency trunk remotely - with the help of "big shot" slingshots, line thrower or pneumatic gun. The principle of operation of the most common slingshot is simple: a cord with a weight is thrown through the base branch, under the influence of which it falls down.
  • Throws a rope over a "helping" tree and descends.
  • The rope is stretched and fixed.
  • The removed trunk is cut down and the old tree hangs on a nearby tree by a rope.
  • The sawing of a hung tree starts from the bottom, with a shortening of 1-1.5 meters. The action continues until the top and bottom are balanced, to prevent the leaf cover from flipping down.
  • The rest of the stem is placed on the ground.

The method is time-consuming, suitable for a situation where it is not possible to lay down the whole specimen to be cut.

Use of vehicles

When an arborist cannot climb a tree, it is better to use the services of specialists who have additional automotive equipment: a tower or a crane.

This work is estimated to be cheaper, since it is easier and faster to work from a tower. But the “approach” of technology is not possible everywhere. More often, professional arborists with ropes are required, of which there are few. They work in dry weather without wind. It is better to call specialists in the first days of spring or late autumn, when the crown is the rarest and juices do not play in the trunk. All work is carried out in accordance with the instructions approved by Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Russian Federation.

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Maxim Korovin

Arborist. Forest feller of the sixth category. Head of the organization SpilKursk.PRO, which provides services for the care of green spaces.

See also:
All about lawful cutting of trees

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How to cut down a tree on your property

No matter how much gardeners take care of plants, sometimes it is necessary to cut or uproot trees. How to cut down a tree on your site without big problems? All this is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. Let's figure out how to do it easier and better.

There are various reasons why a tree needs to be removed. Old diseased or emergency trees, shrubs in new areas are often subject to sawing. Sometimes you have to uproot old fruit trees that are not suitable for their varietal characteristics or strongly obscure young plantings.

In any case, the task of cutting down unwanted and large trees on the site must be approached intelligently and prepared accordingly so that there are no problems with the law.

So widespread is the erroneous opinion that if the land is in their ownership, then trees can be sawn on their site without permits. This approach applies only to fruit trees and shrubs in suburban areas.

It turns out that if you want to uproot an old apple tree or a bush, then you will not need permission. But if it comes to an adult oak, a large maple or any other tree growing on your site, then it is not always possible to do without the execution of the relevant documents.

Don't want to be fined or otherwise punished? - read the document in your region, which stipulates the rules for the maintenance and protection of green spaces. Perhaps by cutting down an adult tree, you will break the law.

Of course, you can uproot a tree quietly, but no one is safe from compassionate neighbors who will not fail to write and report where they should be about your illegal actions. And cutting down trees at night is not very exciting.

Which trees should be uprooted?

Trees also have their own lifespan, so even varietal fruit trees sometimes need to be removed and uprooted. It is especially important to do this on your site if the tree is sick, rotten or staggering.

These trees usually have a broad and rather dense crown, they are tall and can threaten buildings and people. At any moment, with a strong gusty wind or under the weight of snow, the tree can collapse. To protect yourself from such a case, these trees need to be removed.

How to cut down a tree on the site?

The easiest way out is to contact specialists who are engaged in such work. Then you will quickly and painlessly get the finished result for a fee. If you do not want to bear the costs and are confident in your abilities, then you can cut down the old tree yourself. For this you will need:

  • ladder,
  • saw,
  • long strong rope,
  • work clothes,
  • helmets
  • and definitely an assistant.

If possible, prepare the work area first. Determine the height of the tree and remove from the area equal to two tree heights everything that can be broken and damaged when the trunk falls. Cut down the largest branches first. Then carefully inspect the tree. Often, old trees, under the influence of prevailing winds or uneven crowns, are tilted to one side. It is better to make sure that when cutting down the tree falls in the direction of the slope.

Cut off all branches on the side where the tree will fall. This way you will protect yourself from branches and chips that have bounced off when falling. If the crown of the tree has “fallen apart” into two parts, then it is better to first saw off the branch that pulls down, and then deal with the rest of the crown.

If a whole tree needs to be cut down

If you are going to fell the tree right away, tie a rope around the trunk as close to the top as possible. The assistant will pull the rope and direct the fall in the right direction. From the side of the fall on the trunk you need to cut a triangle. To do this, washed down at an angle of 45 degrees per quarter of the girth of the trunk and washed down under it parallel to the ground. This piece is taken out. Further, on the reverse side, one person saws at the level of the cut slice, and the other pulls the tree by the rope in the direction of the fall.

If the tree is cut in pieces

Sometimes it happens that it is not possible to make room for the tree to fall. Especially if there are buildings or power lines nearby. In this case, you need to use a stepladder or a high ladder to cut the trunk in parts. In no case should you “cut the branch on which you sit”, namely, you should not saw while sitting, hanging or clinging to this tree. Limbs and health are more important.

How to uproot a stump

Of course, after cutting down a tree, you need to do something with the remaining stump. If the cut tree was small, then uprooting will not be a problem. But if the tree was old and the stump resembles a good coffee table, then you have to tinker with it.

The easiest way out is to fit the stump into the interior of your site or cottage. A good designer and a smart gardener can make a beautiful garden table, bench, or flower vase out of the remaining stump. However, such a table cannot be moved, and in most cases the stump is not located very well. Stump removal works can be divided into two groups: mechanical and chemical.

Chemical stump removal

  1. Potassium saltpeter. This method is long, but not laborious. Many holes are made in the stump, into which saltpeter is poured. The stump is covered with a film from the rain and they wait for many days until all the wood is saturated with saltpeter. After that, the stump is set on fire and it merrily and quickly burns to the ground, including all the roots (I strongly advise against doing such a procedure if your site is located on a peat bog).
  2. Roundup and other herbicides. A tree, even a sawn one, has underground a root system almost the same in area as a crown. And the sawn tree is trying to make up for the lack by a large amount of root shoots. If you do not need it, then the stump should be treated (several times) with a roundup. Be careful if the solution gets on the cultivated plant, it will die.

Mechanical stump removal

  1. Tractor with grubber. This is perhaps the fastest and easiest way to uproot. Find a tractor, show a stump, and in a few minutes enjoy the uprooted roots, the earth scattered around and the ruts from the tractor wheels (if your soil is soft). I do not recommend removing stumps in this way in spring and autumn in rainy weather. Otherwise, you can then also do uprooting the tractor.
  2. Hands. Take a shovel, a saw, more volunteers and begin to systematically dig in the stump and cut the roots. After that, you act with a good crowbar, like a lever and the stump flies out.

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