How to safely fell a tree

10 Safety Rules You Should Always Follow


Whether it’s blocking your view, is diseased or damaged, or is taking up space you’d rather use for something else, felling a tree is never a task to be undertaken lightly. This is one project that can have major consequences if not done properly, including damage to your home and surrounding property or serious injury to you or bystanders. Also, be aware that, in some areas, you’ll need a permit before cutting down a tree—even if it’s on your own property. Check local ordinances first, then consult these best (and worst) practices before getting started.

RELATED: 10 Trees that Spell Trouble for Your Yard

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cutting Down a Tree Safely

Unless the tree to be removed is small—less than 15 feet high—the safest option is likely to have a tree-removing company tackle the project. No matter who ends up cutting down the tree, the following do’s and don’ts will apply.

DO know your limits.

If you’ve never wielded a chainsaw, don’t have all the required safety gear, or face a very large tree, it’s best to leave the job to a professional. While felling a tree isn’t extremely complicated, it does require planning, focus, and caution, so don’t undertake the task on a day you aren’t feeling your best. And check the weather forecast: If it’s going to be raining or very windy, wait for milder conditions. If you opt to go the DIY route, it’s essential to recruit an assistant who can serve as a lookout during the cutting process.

DON’T neglect safety gear.

Even if the tree you’re felling isn’t exceptionally large, say, you’re cutting down a Christmas tree, don’t take the risk of foregoing safety gear. While chances are you won’t have any problems, safety should always be the top priority. You should wear:


  • Closed, sturdy shoes or boots
  • Pants and a long-sleeved shirt (For the best protection, opt for chainsaw-safe clothing. )
  • Logger or hard hat
  • Goggles that fully cover your eyes
  • Ear protection—plugs or earmuffs designed to reduce sound
  • Work gloves


DO choose the right equipment.

While you can safely chop down a very small tree or sapling with an ax, for most trees beyond that size, a chainsaw is the best tool. In general, a 16-to-18-inch bar is best for small to medium trees, and a 20- to-24-inch bar for larger trees or for cutting up an already felled large tree for firewood. Keep in mind that larger chainsaws weigh more, which can lead to arm and shoulder fatigue. Average weight ranges from about 10 to 15 pounds, but some of the beefiest chainsaws weigh in excess of 20 pounds.

Before firing up your chainsaw, you should be completely familiar with its use, and do a quick check to be sure the tool is in proper working order and is filled with fuel and oil. If you are felling a tree with a trunk that’s 18 inches or more in diameter, you’ll also want a couple of felling wedges. These wooden wedges are used to prevent the tree from pinching onto your chainsaw or leaning back towards you instead of falling away from you during the final cut.

DON’T cut the tree blindly.

Before cutting down a tree, you’ll need to take the time to analyze both the tree you’re cutting down and its surrounding area. Is the tree close to your home or another structure such as a fence, garage, or parking area? Are any utility lines nearby? Is the tree dead or diseased, or does it have broken or dead branches? Does the tree lean in a direction opposite where you want it to fall? Is the tree surrounded by other trees? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, call in a professional. It’s not worth the risk to try to fell a tree if dangerous conditions exist.


RELATED: The Dos and Don’ts of Sharpening a Chainsaw

DO clear the trunk of any low-hanging branches.

Low-hanging branches can complicate the felling process if they’re not removed. They act as obstacles around the tree’s perimeter and can keep the person cutting down the tree from standing in the best spot to make the cut. Additionally, a large, low limb can cause the tree to roll or shift to one side when the tree hits the ground.

The safest solution is to take the time to cut away the low-hanging branches with the chainsaw before cutting down the tree. The caveat here is to remove only the branches that grow at or below the height of your shoulder. Operating a chainsaw in an overhead position is particularly dangerous and should be avoided.

DON’T cut down a tree without a lookout.

Felling a large tree is a task too big for a single person who is often too close to the tree to tell if it’s falling as planned. The best way to ensure a safe fall is to have a reliable assistant known as a lookout. The lookout should stand a few feet behind the person who’s felling the tree. To keep the lookout a safe distance away, he should have a long stick or pole.

Devise a plan about how your lookout will signal the person using the chainsaw if there’s trouble. One way you might communicate is this: If the lookout spots trouble—if, say, they see that a large branch overhead is starting to fall—the lookout might use the stick to tap the person cutting the tree on his or her shoulder. That tap signals that the task has suddenly become unsafe and tells the person who’s cutting to leave the chainsaw and move quickly away from the immediate area, using preplanned escape paths (see below).


DO aim the tree.

Once it starts to fall the tree is out of your control, so you must know which way you want it to tumble before you make the first cut. Keep in mind that the tree will tend to fall in the direction of any natural lean. This can be avoided, but it typically requires heavy equipment and is best left to the pros.

Sight-in the tree’s height and measure the yard to be sure there is enough space for the entire tree to safely hit the ground. Trees can be a lot taller and wider than they appear when looking up from underneath. Ideally, the landing spot should be reasonably level to prevent the tree from rolling or bouncing. You also want a fall path that’s clear of other trees; one falling tree can pull down several others on its way down, with potentially catastrophic results. Below, find out how to use a directional notch to aim the fall path of the tree.

DON’T forget your escape routes.

Once you’ve determined that the tree is safely within your capabilities to fell, and you’ve established a fall path and gathered your equipment, it’s time to clear the area. First, move any pets, people, or other objects out of the fall path. Now, plan and clear two escape routes on the non-fall side of the tree. You’ll use one of these to safely get away from the tree as it tumbles. Since a falling tree can be unpredictable, it’s good to have two escape routes in case the tree falls in a direction you weren’t expecting.

The escape routes should be at a roughly 45-degree angle to each other, at least 15 feet long, and aimed straight away from the falling tree. They should also be free of brush, rocks, or any other tripping hazards. Trim away any brush around the tree you’re about to cut down. While it may seem like a lot of work to establish escape paths, it’s the best way to mitigate the possibility of serious injury.



DO begin the felling with a notch.

Aiming your chainsaw straight through the middle of the trunk until it comes out the other side is likely to bring the tree down on you instead of away from you. Proper tree felling begins with a notch. Stand facing the tree so that where it will fall is on your right, and your escape routes are on your left. On the side of the tree facing the direction that the tree will fall, slice down into the trunk at a roughly 70-degree angle. Continue cutting on that angle until the chainsaw is around one-third of the way through the tree’s trunk. The bottom of this cut should be no more than two feet from the ground.

Now, cut horizontally into the tree at the bottom of your first cut. When the two cuts meet, you’ll have a notch cut into the trunk. This is explained in more detail below.

DON’T get careless.

The final cut is the felling cut, and this is where things often go wrong if you aren’t careful. Move to the opposite side of the tree from your notch. Saw into the tree at the same height as your notch, cutting just deep enough to insert your felling wedges. Do not remove your chainsaw from the cut: Leave it running, but lock the chain brake. Now use a mallet or hammer to pound in the felling wedges, positioning them behind your chainsaw blade. In some cases, you may not need the felling wedges if the tree begins to fall on its own.

Continue cutting into the tree on a horizontal line. The moment you feel the tree start to fall forward—right about when you’ve cut through all but 10 percent of the tree’s diameter—pull out your chainsaw, set the chain brake, and retreat down one of your escape routes until you’re at least 15 feet away from the falling tree. Do not turn your back on the tree as it falls; it should be within your sight the entire time.



The Anatomy of a Directional Notch

What is a directional notch?

A directional notch is made on the side of the tree facing the direction you want the tree to fall, and it consists of two separate cuts that remove a triangular portion of the tree trunk. One cut is horizontal to the ground, while the other is cut at a downward angle above the flat cut and meets the first cut. When cut properly, the two cuts meet about one-third the way into the tree trunk.

A directional notch forms a weak point in the bottom of the trunk that determines which way the tree will fall when the final cut (the felling cut) is made. When done correctly, the tree will fall in line with the notch.

Why should I use a directional notch?

Without a directional notch to direct which way the tree will fall, guessing where it will land is a crapshoot. Using a directional notch is a time-honored way of cutting down a tree and getting it to land in a safe spot.

How to Cut a Directional Notch

Before beginning the cut, take all safety precautions we’ve outlined above and then follow these steps to cut a directional notch. For tree-felling newbies, it can help to wrap a chalk line horizontally around the lower part of the tree where you plan to cut in order to keep the cuts on track.

  1. Determine the best direction for the tree to fall and make a mark on the trunk facing that direction.
  2. Make the first notch cut starting a foot or so above the chalk line and cut downward at a 70-degree angle until reaching the chalk line. Aim for the first cut to end up about one-third way into the trunk.
  3. Make the second cut of the notch along the horizontal chalk line until it meets the bottom edge of the first cut.
  4. Remove the wedge by using a mallet or prying the wedge out. Now, you’re ready to make the felling cut.

How to Make the Felling Cut

Clear the area all around the tree and work out a plan of taps between you and your lookout, who should be standing a few feet behind you in order to assess the situation as it progresses.


  1. On the opposite side of the tree from the directional notch, begin cutting along the horizontal line indicated by the chalk line.
  2. As you near the notch, the tree will become unstable and may rock or lean slightly. This is normal.
  3. Keep the chainsaw blade horizontal and continue cutting. As the tree begins to fall, stop cutting, back up in the direction of a previously determined escape route, and keep your eyes on the tree until it lands.

Congratulations! If you’ve followed these guidelines, your tree should be safely on the ground, and you can begin reimagining your soon-to-be blank slate of a landscape. You may even have some wood that’s worth splitting for the fireplace.

Photo: istockphoto. com

FAQs About Felling a Tree

Dead, diseased, or overgrown trees have to be removed, and while the tree-cutting process isn’t complex, it is dangerous if you’re not sure what you’re doing. Even an experienced DIY will likely have some questions concerning the project.

Q. Can I cut down trees on my own land?

That all depends on the local ordinances in your community or county. In some cases, landowners are permitted to cut down trees. In others, a professional tree-cutting service must perform the work. Call your local building authority to ask about your community’s regulations.

Q. Who is responsible for dangerous trees?

The landowner of the property where the tree sits is responsible for any damage caused by the tree to the neighboring property. However, if the tree branches extend over a neighbor’s property, the neighbor can often legally cut off those branches. Again, double-check local ordinances for exact wording.

Q. How do you cut down a severely leaning tree?

It’s typically easiest to fell the tree in the direction of the lean—unless it’s leaning toward a home or other structure. In that case, the tree should be felled in the direction opposite of the lean. That may require the use of a crane, and it involves making cuts and inserting wedges to reverse the lean, and that’s usually best left to the pros.


Q. How much does it cost to cut down a large tree?

Having a tree professionally cut down ranges from about $400 to $1,200, with $750 being the average. The final cost depends on the size of the tree and whether anything is in the way of the fall, such as a roof or power lines.

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How to Cut Down a Tree Safely

Make it fall where you want it! Check out these expert tree felling techniques.

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Wear the Right Safety Gear

Safety isn't a throwaway word when it comes to felling trees and running chain saws. You must take it seriously. There are a few absolutely essential safety gear items you need to wear for any chain saw work, and especially when felling a tree: - A logger's helmet to protect you from falling branches, a major cause of logging injuries. - Earmuffs and a face screen to protect your ears and eyes. - Safety glasses to keep the dust out. - Kevlar chaps, which will stop a chain instantly should you happen to drop the bar against your leg.

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Buy Felling Wedges

Two plastic felling wedges will prevent your saw from getting pinched during a cut. You can find these at any outdoor power equipment store that carries chain saws.

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Estimate the Felling Zone: How to fell a tree in the direction you want

Trees are taller than you think and reach farther on the ground than you'd expect. When you're planning on felling a tree, you can estimate where a tree will fall by using the “ax handle trick. ” This is how to fell a tree in the direction you want: hold an ax handle at arm's length, close one eye, and back away from or move toward the tree until the top of the ax is even with the treetop and the bottom is even with the base. Your feet should be about where the treetop will rest after falling. It's just an estimate, though, so allow extra room if there's something the tree might fall on!

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Clear a Cutting Zone

Even when you're sure which way the tree is going to fall, you're still not ready to fell it. Cut away any brush around the trunk and clear two escape routes on the “non-falling” side of the tree. They should be about 45 degrees away from each other in opposite directions. The last thing you want is to trip while walking away from a falling tree.

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Size Up the Tree

Start by studying the tree. Don't cut it down if you see:

- Dead branches that are broken but attached, or that are actually broken off and supported by other branches. You're bound to knock a branch loose and have it fall on you.

- It is obviously leaning in one direction or heavily loaded with branches on one side. It will fall in the direction of the lean or load despite your best efforts.

- There are buildings, fences, power lines or other things you care about in the felling zone. If so, skip the felling and call a pro.

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Anatomy of a Proper Notch

When felling a tree, the rule of thumb is to make the depth of the notch one-fifth of the tree trunk's diameter. The goal is to make the angles as shown in the diagram (or as close as you can). The felling cut should meet the point of the notch. When the tree starts to fall, the hinge will help guide the tree to fall in the desired direction.

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Plan the Notch

You're going to be cutting a notch on the "fall" side of the trunk. Sight along the handle and adjust the saw until it's pointing toward your fall direction. The spot where the bar touches the bark will be the center of the notch. Before cutting, lay out the notch by marking with chalk or by scoring the bark with the chain saw. Make the notch at a comfortable working height. (You can always shorten the stump later.)

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Cut the Notch

Make the top cut first and then the bottom. When you're making the bottom cut, adjust your hand to control the throttle with your thumb. If you meet the top notch perfectly, the wedge will drop out of the notch. But most likely you'll have to extend the cuts from either the top or the bottom so the wedge can drop free.

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Use Wedges on Big Trees

If you're felling a tree that's more than 18 in. in diameter, go ahead and make your notch cut and begin the felling cut. Stop cutting as soon as you've penetrated far enough to pound wedges behind the bar. Leave the bar in the cut with the saw running, but lock the chain brake and tap in the wedges. Then finish the cut. Wedges will keep the saw from getting pinched in the cut if the tree leans back.

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Make the Felling Cut

Score a line connecting the apex of the notch on both sides for a cutting guide. The back cut should be parallel and even with the apex of the notch. Then make the felling cut. The instant the tree begins leaning, pull the saw free, set the chain brake and walk away along one of your escape routes, keeping an eye on the tree so you can react if it doesn't fall the way you planned. Never take your eye off a falling tree.

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A Lookout Might Save Your Life

When felling a tree, you'll be a lot safer if you have a trusted assistant standing a few feet behind you watching the top of the tree for falling branches and letting you know when the tree starts to fall. Have your assistant tap you on the shoulder with a stick to alert you when it's time to vacate the area. If it's early in the cut and you get the tap, leave the saw and walk away immediately. That means a branch is falling. Near the end of the cut, a tap means the tree is beginning its descent.

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Start Cutting Branches at the Trunk

After felling the tree, cut off branches starting at the lower end of the trunk and working to the top. Whenever possible, stand on the uphill side of the tree. Work from the left side of the trunk (as you face toward the top of the tree). This allows the safest and most efficient use of the chain saw because you can rest the side or bottom of the saw on the trunk and slice off the branches with a pivoting motion.

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Saw the Trunk into Firewood

Cut a log into 16-in. lengths for firewood by first sawing three-quarters of the way through the log. Then roll it over and complete the cuts.

Learn how to cut firewood multiple ways so you can use whichever tools you have available.

Originally Published: May 29, 2019

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

Where to go and how not to get fined.

8 ways to remove stumps

From manual uprooting to chemical burning.

How to prune fruit trees

Professional gardener's advice.

how to cut down a tree on a plot in parts?

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Before we talk about how to cut down a tree in parts correctly, let's decide in which cases it is dangerous to fell the whole tree, at the root. According to the instruction " on labor protection for the feller and lumberjack ", the territory within a radius of 50 m from the tree is a danger zone. And all because when felling a tree from the root, even by an experienced feller, the sawn trunk can fall in any direction. For example, due to a sudden gust of wind or, albeit small, rot inside it.

The fibers weakened by rot in the "undersaw" - the part of the cut left untouched by the chainsaw - are torn before the healthy ones and change the trajectory of the fall of the tree, regardless of the feller's calculation. It happens that, falling entirely, one tree knocks down another, and the radius of the affected area is greater than the height of the felled tree. Felling a tree in parts reduces the likely risks to a minimum.

The arborist cut down the tree carefully.

Photo: Igor Molchanov

Accurate removal of trees in parts can be done in different ways. And the more options an arborist knows, the easier it is for him to adjust the technology to a specific situation. However, the most simple and common is the following method.

The arborist, using special equipment (harness, steel spurs on the legs (in professional jargon - “gaffs”), rope wraps, carabiners, descender and rope) climbs along the trunk. As he rises, he saws off branches and branches. Depending on the situation, the cut branches either freely fall down (if there is nothing under them), or gently descend on a rope. In the second case, a partner helps the arborist under the tree. And in general, it is safer to work together.

Basic arborist equipment: harness, gaffs (on the legs), harness (around the trunk), rope and a chainsaw.

Photo: Igor Molchanov.

The arborist can climb quite high up the trunk, depending on the strength of the tree. It is better to lower the sawn off crown on a rope. Otherwise, during the fall, the slightest breeze will carry it not at all where we would like.

The remaining post is sawn into logs from 30 - 40 centimeters to several meters long. The size depends on:

  • From the area of ​​free space under the tree.
  • From the specific gravity of the wood: the larger it is, the shorter the logs should be. This makes it easier to throw them accurately.

From a height of 18-20 m, an experienced arborist confidently enters the area under a tree measuring just a meter by meter. True, at the same time, the partner must remove the fallen logs to the side. Then the next ones will not fly off from the previous ones by ricochet. If you throw logs on a pillow of sawn branches, then not a single dent will remain on the ground, paving stones or lawn!

The finer the arborist upstairs has to cut, the slower the work speed. It happens that, when cutting down a very thick or heavy tree in parts, you have to cut off thin “pancakes” from it or saw logs along the fibers right on the trunk.

Nothing heavy can be thrown on the paving stones under the oak. The arborist had to cut along the fibers almost "on weight".

Photo: Ksenia Shuvalova.

The only option to safely cut down this poplar turned out to be “crumbling” it with “pancakes”.

Photo: Igor Molchanov.

Before starting work, the following factors should be assessed.

  • Tree condition. Dry or live? Are there any signs of an accident: tilt, rot, hollows, etc.? On the one hand, dry wood is lighter. On the other hand, the tree must be strong enough. It must withstand not only the weight of the arborist - an error compared to the weight of the tree - but also the dynamic loads that occur when lifting and sawing off at least the top of the head.
  • Barrel diameter. The thicker it is, the shorter the blocks will be.
  • Type of wood. For example, dense wood of oak or birch is much heavier than the same volume of pine or linden. And dry birch is more dangerous than dry pine. The birch bark does not pass water. The tree stands as if wrapped in polyethylene, and therefore the dried birch becomes rotten and brittle very quickly. By the way, for the same reason, in order to save birch for firewood, it is better to chop the “stumps” right away, at least in half.
  • Season. In winter, living trees shed water, wood becomes lighter. The ground below them freezes, and therefore can withstand a large load.

However, it is better to see once than to hear a hundred times! For example, after watching a two-minute video: “The profession is an arborist,” filmed about our work by Channel One for the Good Morning TV show.

Now you imagine the process of felling trees in parts. In no case do not try to cut a tree yourself, without having mastered the specialty of an industrial climber and feller! It is easier, safer and, ultimately, cheaper to turn to specialists. You can find prices for this service here.

Nuances of tree removal in the Moscow region

Remember - the work of an arborist is very dangerous, it requires skills, knowledge and experience.

Learn more