It’s no secret, we can’t live without trees. They clean the air, provide privacy, produce shade and habitats and food for wildlife and decrease noise pollution. To top it off, they look gorgeous!
But, sometimes trees that are infected, damaged or dead need to be removed because they pose a safety hazard. If you don’t have experience in tree removal or tree felling services, it is advisable to use a professional to minimize any safety risks. Below are some of the best tips for making the tree fall where you want it to.
Use Felling Wedges
Felling wedges will prevent your saw from getting trapped during a cut by carrying the weight of the tree.
Use the Ax Handle Trick to Determine the Felling Zone
Hold your axe while stretching your arm in front of you, close your right eye, and move away from the tree until the axe bottom is even with the base and the top of the axe is in line with the treetop. Your feet should be around where the treetop will fall. Allow for extra falling space since it’s just an estimate.
Clear the Cutting Area
Clear any brush around the tree trunk as well as your escape routes. Allow for around 45 degrees for both routes in opposite directions.
The last thing you need is to trip over branches while trying to navigate your way around a falling tree.
Make a Proper Notch
Cut the notch on the “fall” side of the trunk. The spot where the bar touches the bark will be the centre of the notch. Make the depth of the notch one-fifth of the tree trunk’s diameter at a comfortable working height with the top at a 60-degree angle and the bottom cut at a 30-degree angle from the centre. Make the top cut first.
Make the Felling Cut
For a cutting guide, score a line joining the apex of the notch on both sides. The back cut should be even with the apex of the notch before you make the felling cut. The moment the tree starts to lean, pull out the saw and set the chain brake. Take one of your escape routes, but don’t take your eye off a falling tree.
Appoint a Lookout
It will be a lot safer to have a lookout standing a few feet behind you to warn you when the tree starts to fall. It might save your life.
Cut off Branches Starting at the Trunk
Start cutting branches at the lower end of the trunk and work your way to the top. Stand on the uphill side of the tree, facing the top of the tree and work from the left side of the trunk. This way you can safely rest the side of the saw on the trunk.
Cut the Trunk into Firewood
Make firewood by first cutting three-quarters of the way through the log. Then roll it over and finish the cuts.
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