How to fell a tree with wedges

How to Fell a Tree with Wedges [10 Essential Steps]

When felling a tree with wedges, first prepare for the job. If you are using a chainsaw to cut down the tree, make sure the chainsaw is in good operating condition. Also, make sure you are wearing protective gear for tree felling. Then, plan the direction of the tree’s fall and clear the area. Establish at least 2 escape routes in case the tree falls in an unexpected direction.

Once you’ve covered these basics, notch your tree on the side that you want to fall toward the ground. Then, begin your felling cut from the opposite side, toward the notch. When you have cut deep enough that a wedge can be driven into the felling cut without interfering with your chainsaw, drive in your first wedge. Continue cutting and driving in wedges as you go. Make sure you do not cut all the way through to the notch or the tree may fall dangerously. The felling cut and the wedges will be enough to make your tree fall in the desired direction.

Table of Contents

How Do You Angle a Tree to Fall in a Specific Direction?

Felling wedges are the best tool for angling a tree to direct its fall. However, extreme care should be taken when felling leaning trees. Felling trees both with and against their natural lean can be dangerous. Consult our guide to cutting down a leaning tree before you begin.

  • Felling wedges are the best tool for directing the fall of trees when you are tree cutting.
  • Take special precautions and follow precise steps when felling leaning trees.
  • It is advisable to always use felling wedges, even when you are cutting down a straight tree.

A felling wedge is useful for more than correcting tree lean during felling. Even if your tree is straight, other factors may make its falling path unpredictable. By using felling wedges correctly, you can ensure that your tree falls safely every time.

How Much Does a Felling Wedge Move a Tree?

How much a felling wedge moves a tree depends on the tree’s height and diameter. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a 1-inch (2.5 cm) wedge driven into a tree can drastically shift the position of that tree’s top branches. Here’s an example:

  • The example tree is 70 feet tall (21 meters).
  • The diameter of the tree is 12 inches (30 cm).
  • A 1-inch wedge driven into the tree will move the top branches 70 inches (178 cm) in the direction the wedge is pointed.

Moving the upper branches of a tree a full 70 inches in the direction you want it to fall can drastically shift the center of gravity. It can also overcome substantial tree lean. Keep in mind, thicker trees will not be as affected by wedges as thinner trees. Large trees will need multiple wedges in order to tilt the tree.

What are the Best Tree Felling Wedges?

The best wedges for tree cutting are made of hard plastic with spikes on one side of the wedge. These spikes should always face the ground when driving in your wedge. They will grip onto the wood and prevent the wedge from slipping back out.

  • Our favorite felling wedges are these made in the USA wedges.
  • Choose wedges with spikes on one side to keep the wedge from backing out.
  • Use high quality wedges to avoid broken or split wedges.

Always use strong, well-reviewed wedges. Cheap tree wedges can easily split or break, which can lodge them in the felling cut you’re making. This will add complications to the tree cutting process and make the job more dangerous. When in doubt, always go with a higher-quality wedge.

Cold Creek Loggers Made in USA Orange Spiked Tree Wedges for Tree Cutting Falling, Bucking, Felling Wedges Chainsaw Loggers Supplies, 3-5.5" and 3-8" Wedges Plus Free Storage Bag

Buy Now

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

10 Steps to Fell a Tree with Wedges

When you are ready to begin felling a large tree, it’s important to have felling wedges on hand. Although tools like breaking bars can be useful for cutting down small trees, nothing beats a wedge for taking down a tree with a thick tree trunk. Here’s how to use felling wedges:

Wear the Right Protective Gear

Whenever you are cutting down trees, it’s essential to wear the right clothing and protective gear. Make sure you are wearing the following before you begin:

  • Pants.
  • A long-sleeved shirt.
  • Heavy gloves.
  • Boots with reinforced toes.
  • Eye protection, such as a face shield or safety goggles.
  • Earplugs or other hearing protection.
  • A hard hat.

If you are working in a wooded area, it’s also essential to wear a brightly colored shirt or vest. This will allow other workers to spot and identify you from a distance.

Gather Your Tools

Before you begin felling a tree, make sure you have all your tools and supplies on hand. The following are necessary before you begin cutting:

  • At least one assistant.
  • Chainsaw.
  • Axe.
  • Felling wedges.
  • Sledgehammer.
  • Chainsaw fuel.
  • Bar and chain oil.

Make sure your chainsaw is ready for the task. Check the sharpness of the chain and replace it if necessary. Ensure that the chain is properly tightened, that your chainsaw is fueled, and that the bar and chain oil reservoir is filled. An improperly serviced chainsaw is prone to dangerous breakages.

Determine Where You Want the Tree to Fall

Now that you’re ready, observe the tree itself. Find a path for it to fall that will not cause it to fall on buildings, equipment, vehicles, or other trees. If this is not possible, the tree will have to be removed in sections, working from the top down. It is best to hire a professional arborist to remove trees that cannot be safely felled.

  • Observe the area to find a clear path where the tree can fall.
  • Do not choose a path that will cause the tree to fall on other trees—tree hangups are extremely dangerous.
  • Move all people, pets, tools, and vehicles out of the intended felling path.

Move any tools, vehicles, equipment, and other objects out of the area before you begin felling. This is essential to prevent the tree from unexpectedly falling onto something valuable. It also makes the area clear of obstructions, which simplifies the next step in the felling process.

Establish Multiple Escape Routes

Observe the area and remember the planned path where the tree will fall. Establish at least 2 escape routes that you can take to clear the area in the event the tree begins to fall unexpectedly. A single escape route may be obstructed if the tree falls in the wrong direction. So, plan for the worst. This way, you’ll prevent injury to yourself and any assistants working with you.

Make a Notch in Your Tree

Begin cutting by making the perfect notch in your tree. When notching a tree, remember these essentials:

  • The notch must always be made on the side of the tree that will fall toward the ground.
  • Start the notch between ankle height and waist height.
  • Begin with a flat cut one-fourth of the way through the tree.
  • Make your second cut higher up the trunk. Cut down at a 45-degree angle so that the two cuts meet.
  • Remove the triangular section of wood.
  • If necessary, use your axe to deepen the notch so that the two cuts meet precisely.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that a properly felled tree will fall toward the notch. So, make your first cut with this in mind.

Start Your Felling Cut

Begin your felling cut on the side of the tree opposite the notch. It helps to think of this as cutting toward the notch from behind. Follow these steps to begin a felling cut:

  • Think of the notched side of the tree as the “front side” of the tree.
  • Start your felling cut from the “back side” of the tree, opposite of the notch.
  • Begin your felling cut 2–3 inches (5–7.5 cm) higher than the bottom of the notch.
  • Make your felling cut straight toward the notch. The chainsaw should be sideways, with the bar parallel to the ground.
  • Cut slowly.
  • Do not cut all the way through to the notch.
  • Stop once your chainsaw bar is deep enough that you can insert a wedge behind it without hitting the chainsaw bar.
  • Do not remove the chainsaw from the felling cut.
  • Leave the chainsaw running
  • Use your chain brake to lock the chain and prevent injury.

It may seem strange to leave a running chainsaw sideways in the felling cut, but this is the best way to ensure you can continue to cut after inserting your felling wedges. Always use a chainsaw with a chain brake for this job. Older models without chain brakes are not safe for use when felling large trees.

Hammer in Your First Wedge

With the chainsaw running and still inserted in the felling cut, you’re ready to drive in your first wedge. Here’s how to do it:

  • Make sure the wedge is oriented so the spikes on the wedge are facing toward the ground.
  • Position the wedge so it is facing in the direction you want the tree to fall.
  • Do not drive the wedge in at an angle—the wedge will cause the tree to lean in whichever direction it’s pointing.
  • Use your sledgehammer to drive the wedge into the cut.
  • Check to make sure the wedge does not make contact with the chainsaw chain or bar.
  • If possible, drive the wedge in until it is almost flush with the tree trunk.

It is extremely important to ensure that the wedge does not interfere with the chainsaw. A felling wedge that makes contact with the chainsaw during cutting can damage both the wedge and your chainsaw. It’s better to drive the wedge in part way than to risk damaging your tools.

Continue Your Felling Cut

After the first wedge has been driven in, continue your felling cut toward the notch. However, it’s essential to leave a “hinge” of wood between the felling cut and the notch. This hinge should be 10% of the tree’s diameter. So, if your tree is 20 inches (50 cm) in diameter, leave a 2-inch (5 cm) hinge. Gradually cut to this point. It’s a good idea to stop every few inches to drive in another felling wedge.

Drive in Additional Wedges

As you cut deeper toward the notch, stop periodically to repeat the process for hammering in new wedges. Typically, you will begin by hammering in new wedges beside the first wedge. Just make sure they are all pointed in the same direction.

  • Continue your felling cut gradually.
  • Maintain a “hinge” between the felling cut and notch that is 10% of the tree trunk’s diameter.
  • Repeat the previous process to drive more wedges in behind your chainsaw bar.
  • For additional leverage, drive in wedges on top of one another.

To create more leverage, you can drive in a second wedge on top of your first wedge. By stacking wedges, you cause the tree to tilt much more drastically in the direction of the intended fall. Work slowly and carefully when employing this method. A second wedge is commonly enough to cause a tree to fall as long as the felling cut has been made to the correct depth.

Fell Your Tree

If you have made your felling cut as deep as it can safely be, remove your chainsaw from the felling cut. Then, drive in more wedges. This is typically where driving in a wedge on top of another wedge is useful. Stacking wedges often produces the leverage needed to fell a stubborn tree.

  • Continue your felling cut.
  • Do not cut through the hinge under any circumstances—this can cause the tree to fall in an unexpected direction regardless of the wedges and notch.
  • Have an assistant on hand to alert you when the tree begins falling.

Keep in mind, trees can fall at any time. Many trees begin falling before you have driven in all your wedges or completed your felling cut. It’s best practice to have an assistant stand behind you with a pole or broomstick. Your assistant should be watching the tree. Instruct them to tap you on the shoulder with the pole once the tree begins falling. This will alert you to step away if you are still cutting or hammering. Always clear away from a tree as soon as it begins falling. In some cases, falling trees can kick backward dangerously.

How Do You Use Wedges for Tree Falls?

In order to use wedges to control the direction a tree falls during cutting, follow these steps:

  • Wear protective clothing.
  • Gather your tools and enlist an assistant.
  • Determine a safe felling path for the tree.
  • Clear vehicles, tools, people, and animals out of the felling path.
  • Establish at least 2 escape routes to take in case the tree begins to fall in an unexpected direction.
  • Notch your tree on the side you wish to fall toward the ground.
  • Begin your felling cut from the opposite side of the tree, toward the notch.
  • Drive your first wedge into the felling cut behind the chainsaw.
  • Continue your felling cut, pausing to add more wedges.
  • Stop cutting when there is a hinge of wood between the felling cut and notch.
  • Drive in additional wedges until the tree falls.

Your safety is essential whenever you are felling a tree. Special cutting techniques may be required when cutting down a leaning tree. If you are not familiar with chainsaw operation, hire a professional arborist to safely cut down your tree.

How to use tree felling tools – Husqvarna Chainsaw Academy

The size of the tree determines which felling tools you need to use. For the smallest trees, you do not normally need the felling tools. Hand force is enough, possibly with a long pole. The felling wedge provides greater felling force than the different types of breaking bar. In extreme cases, you can use a rope and winch, which is the safest and most powerful way to fell a tree.

The foot breaking bar is suitable when thinning and for smaller trees. Insert the foot breaking bar before completing the felling cut. Stand and put all your weight on the lever arm. The foot breaking bar is generally telescopic and can be carried in a holster on your logging belt.

The breaking bar is available in different handle lengths providing you with varying amounts of felling force. Avoid breaking bars with a long handle for really thick trees and large backward leans, as this may require a lifting height that is greater than you can handle. Maximum lifting height: approximately 2 cm.

The impact bar is used in the same applications as the breaking bar. It can also be used as a striking tool when using felling wedges.

Felling wedges are best for medium to large trees as they provide a lot of lifting force. They are inserted before the felling cut is complete, and are knocked in with an axe or an impact breaking bar. Occasionally, several wedges are needed. It’s always good to use wedges made of a soft material, such as plastic or aluminium, should you happen to cut into the wedge, thus eliminating the risk of damaging the chain. Maximum lifting height: approximately 50-60 mm.

Using rope and a winch to help take down a tree increases safety and can speed up the process considerably. The rope and winch solution is beneficial, for example, when pulling down dead trees, or to extract half-fallen, stuck trees. It can also be used to determine the felling direction. The size of the tree determines the strength of the rope (or cable) you need for the job.

To keep all your vital gear close and secure, a good tool belt is the very best solution. The Husqvarna tool belt Flexi is a flexible and ergonomic belt with excellent weight distribution and pockets and fasteners for wedges, files lifting hook, combi tool, measuring tape and your small axe.

The sappie is an extremely useful tool to manually lift, transport, turn or stack logs, making the arrangement of wood piles easier. Just as with any other lifting tool, it’s important to make sure the blade’s pointed hook is sharp enough. If not, it’s easy to file. The sappie is available in different sizes, all depending on the size of the logs you’re working with and will extend your reach and spare you from lifting, saving you from unwanted back pain.

The most common logger tape is 50 feet/15m long, but it’s available in many other lengths. The tape should be equipped with a swivel snap for attaching it to a belt as well as a quick-release nail end that you attach to log ends, making it easy to move the needed distance, along the tree or log, to measure length or diameter correctly, then release the nail with an easy tug.

Needless to say, a combined petrol/oil can with filling protection that prevents unnecessary spills, is a given to avoid running out of fuel when working in the forest. By using alkylate petrol, such as Husqvarna XP® Power 2, you can lower the amount of harmful emissions from your chainsaw. If you use regular petrol, you should mix it with a high quality 2- stroke oil (XP®-oil is recommended). For chain lubrication, we recommend vegetable chain oils that are biodegradable.

Lifting hook and tongs

A lifting hook is used to lift and turn the logs. Lifting tongs are used to lift and move the smaller logs and pieces of firewood and pulpwood. It is very important that your tongs and hook are pointed and sharp to ensure good grip on the logs.


Using the lifting hook and tongs

Grinding the lifting hook and tongs

In order to ensure good grip on the logs, it’s important that your hook and tongs are pointed and sharp. Blunt hooks and tongs are inefficient and can be dangerous as you can easily slip and cause injuries.

Filing the lifting tongs

The tip should be sharpened in a chisel shape to easily release the tongs from the timber. File from the outside of the hook. However, make sure not to file to a point, as this might get stuck in the timber.

Filing the lifting hook

You file the hook from the sides and the inside of the hook. File towards the tip. This method retains the tip naturally.

Testing the lifting hook

Check the function of the tip by pulling it horizontally, with light pressure on the handle, along the grain on a wooden board or bark-free log. A properly sharpened tip attaches evenly to the wood and ploughs a slight groove.

Last edited

November 11, 2020

Comments on this topic?

Contact us

Bookmark & Share

tools, sequence of work, felling rules, safety precautions, work near houses

Quite often it becomes necessary to cut down a tree not only on your site without buildings, but also near a private house. In this case, only the correct technique will minimize the risk of damage to nearby buildings or vegetation.


  • 1 How to Cut or Chop a Tree with a Hand Tool
  • 2 How to Cut a Tree with a Chainsaw (Video)
  • 3 How to fell trees with a chainsaw: technology and safety measures
  • 4 Things to consider when felling trees near the house

How to Cut or Chop a Tree with a Hand Tool

Felling trees is also called felling. Such an event belongs to the category of rather labor-intensive work, and it is not as easy to fell down a tree standing alone quickly and in the right direction as it might seem at first glance.

Felling trees in a forest or on a personal plot can be done both manually and with a chainsaw. Standard hand cutting technology involves the use of wedges, axes, felling blades and levers, as well as cable and rope.

Hand saw is the main working tool in this case. As practice shows, even with the right choice of felling direction, some deviations are inevitable, which depend on the individual characteristics of the plant and the surrounding natural factors.

Handmade technology:

  • work should always be started with a cut, the purpose of which is to ensure the required felling direction and maximum safety for all workers on the felling;
  • hemming of the stem part involves notching with an ax from the side where the tree is supposed to be felled;
  • the standard level of undercut depth can be from a third to a quarter of the total diameter of the stem;
  • if the plant is to be felled in the direction of a natural slope or in the direction of the wind, then the undercut should be smaller;
  • if the plant is to be felled against a natural slope or against the direction of the wind, then the undercut should be larger;
  • after the undercut is made, sawing is carried out, and the cut is performed using a bow or two-handed saw, rubbed with kerosene;
  • with a diameter of the stem part greater than the width of the saw blade, after deepening, a wedge is necessarily inserted into the cut, which will help to avoid clamps;
  • sawing must be stopped before the cut reaches 2-3 cm to the hem.

How to cut down a tree with a chainsaw (video)

After the sawyer has sawn the trunk, pushing is performed with a hand or a pole, with an emphasis at a height of 300-400 cm.

To knock down the trunk manually, certain rules must be observed:

  • The longer the blade of a hand saw, the more springy it is, which can make it difficult to cut through hardwoods, including ash, maple, and oak;
  • it is necessary to determine the length of the hacksaw blade in accordance with the rule that says that the length of the saw should be a couple of times the diameter of the trunk;
  • too short hacksaw teeth stick inside the wood, and uncomfortable work will cause rapid fatigue.

As a rule, the manual method is used to cut young and not too tall trees.

How to fell trees with a chainsaw: technology and safety measures

Cutting wood with a chainsaw is much faster and more convenient. In this way, a large and tall tree can be effectively felled. A felling scheme must first be developed and the working condition and serviceability of the chainsaw checked. Also all operating factors are assessed:

  • barrel arrangement;
  • determine in which direction the tree should be felled;
  • clearing the workspace;
  • removal of roots, branches and twigs located below the level of the feller's shoulder.

You need to cut the trunk in the right direction, so this parameter must be approached as carefully as possible.

Felling or felling are classified as high-risk activities, therefore it is very important to minimize any risks:

  • it is required to take care of special clothing, safety shoes, gloves and helmet in advance;
  • you need to check the serviceability of all the tools used and the convenience of its use at all stages of the work being done;
  • especially if this is not a single operation, but a long and large-scale one.
  • must necessarily take into account such an important factor as the wind, the direction of which can change the trajectory of the fall of the trunk

Before starting work, the area must be cleaned and thoroughly cleaned, removing excess growth and ensuring unimpeded progress around the trunk. During felling, you must not be distracted and look away from the plant being felled . In strong gusty winds, it is better not to work on the felling.

Cutting down a tree: choosing the right direction (video)

Felling trees in the right direction

Felling technology for large and young trees has some differences, but there are general rules that must be taken into account in the process of work:

  • make a cut half the diameter with a chainsaw on the side of the slope or on the side into which the sawn plant is to fall;
  • make an incision on the opposite side and fell the tree;
  • when felling large trees, a sloping top cut is made at an angle of sixty degrees with respect to the base of the fall side. The sawing of the stem part is carried out at 20-25% of the diameter;
  • at the next stage, a horizontal lower cut of the notch is made, converging with the upper cut, which will make it possible to obtain a side frame;
  • then the next horizontal cut is made above the first and always on the opposite side;
  • a wedge is inserted into the second cut and after finishing the cut, the tree must be felled with a spatula.

Work is best done from November to mid-December, when there is not too much snow yet, but the ground is already quite frozen. The chainsaw must be held with both hands during operation.

How to prune a tree: sawing branches

Pruning is required in order , working from the bottom up, which will allow the pruned branches to fall freely to the ground without getting entangled in the lower branches that have not yet been cut.

Fall control rope must be tied 1. 5 meters from the trunk. The branches must be cut so that the remaining branches have a length of 30-40 cm, which will allow, if necessary, to put on a safety sling or use them as a support for the legs.

Cutting a fallen tree

A fallen plant must be sawn correctly. After felling, branches are cut. Cutting starts from distant branches. Smaller branches are cut from above, while large stubborn branches require a notch from above, after which cutting is performed from below, which will not allow the saw to be clamped.

Forks must be cut across to cut off all diverging parts with a single cut. Depending on the further use of wood, the trunk can be cut into absolutely arbitrary parts.

Things to consider when felling trees near a house

It is quite difficult to cut down vegetation, including large trees, growing around houses. Such an event involves a special technology. The following factors may indicate the need for felling:

  • the stem is inclined more than 45 degrees;
  • the plant has a tall and thin trunk;
  • cracks and hollows or rotten areas are present.

Buildings and structures located at a close distance, electrical communications and engineering networks often greatly limit the area of ​​work. In this case, most often preference is given to felling not entirely, but in parts, by hanging and lowering the already sawn elements. Such an option implies the mandatory involvement of special equipment or tying and lowering the cut off fragments with the help of nearby trees.

After sawing, a stump remains, which is most often removed by uprooting, which allows for high-quality leveling of the soil surface on the site. To reduce labor costs for such activities, it is recommended to fill up trees by cutting the roots. This hemming is not carried out directly, but at an angle to the direction of root growth. You need to dig out the roots with a shovel, after removing the bark from the upper part of the roots and pounding the soil, which will reduce the risk of the ax becoming dull during the cutting process.

Felling trees with an ax and a conventional saw has been used less and less lately, due to the presence of electric and chainsaws among the owners of suburban real estate. However, in particularly difficult cases, it is advisable to seek help from specialists who, using special equipment, perform such work very quickly and as efficiently as possible.

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

  • MAIN
  • BLOG

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.

Are you from ?

Professional arborists from the SpilKursk.PRO company will help you safely cut down a tree!


Sawing with hand tools
  1. Chainsaw operation
  2. Cutting the trunk and branches
  3. Stump removal
Professional tree removal
  1. Free felling cut
  2. Using the natural slope of the trunk
  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

The technology of manual removal of trees seems to be the simplest 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 : the chainsaw must be fully prepared before operation - 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.

Wood : 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, 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.

Saw in 3 stages - the basic basis of any tree sawing.

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. To block the reverse movement, a winch or chain hoist can be used.
  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 located 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

The 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 that will cut the stump into shavings with disc blades.

If it was not possible to overcome the stump, you do not 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, the 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.

Are you from ?

Professional arborists from the SpilKursk.PRO company will help you safely cut down a tree!


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-fell 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 variant - 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. Cuts all branches to the height of growth - before undercutting. 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, experts control the fall with wedges.

Guided cut with guy

The method of destruction is suitable for a tree that can be completely felled into a selected area using 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 actions 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 for cutting down a tree in pieces and dropping 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. An arborist on gaffs (“claws” worn on the legs with which the climber digs into a tree) and a shackle climbs a tree, “along the way” cutting down all large parts of branches to the very top, if conditions allow. Also he can "hang up" and lower.
  2. Before cutting down the top of the 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.

On a tree, a specialist works 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 properly 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.

Complete removal

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 structure 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 5 (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.

Fully hung cutting

The method is especially suitable for emergency specimens that have fallen on buildings or adjacent plantings. 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 entire 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.

Save article

Maxim Korovin


Learn more