The purpose of this article is to give some basic points on felling a tree. It is not a substitute for professional instruction from a professional tree-feller. Tree felling is dangerous work and you should not attempt it until you feel confident that you are prepared and ready.
Getting ready starts with having the right equipment. What should you be wearing if you are felling a tree? Gloves, eye protection, helmet or hard hat, ear protection, chainsaw chaps or pants. Chainsaw pants are made of special material that is difficult to cut through and if penetrated buy a live chainsaw would likely jam it up before too much injury is inflicted. Chainsaw pants are better than chaps because they protect both sides of your legs.
The next point of timber felling prep is to study your area. Are there buildings, roads or power lines that may be in danger of being hit if your desired tree is to be brought down? If so, bring in a professional.
Next determine the direction of probable fall. The tree will aways fall in the direction that its weight is leaning. Remember, a crooked tree may change direction. You must prepare for this. Also, if the tree is dead or partly injured, it might break apart and not fall where you are expecting it to. Look for any soft spots or discolouration.
Make sure you have an area cleared away on either side of the tree where you can run to get away from a falling tree.
Prune the tree of any branches that could wack you as the tree is falling.
Use either an axe or a chainsaw to cut your tree. Because I personally have only brought down alder trees, I am quite happy to use an axe for the whole job. For larger trees one would have to use a chainsaw.
Make a small relief cut on the opposite side to where you want it to fall. Now start cutting out a pie slice on the side where you have planned for the tree to fall. Once you hear it cracking or you see it beginning to go, get away from the falling tree.
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