Tree felling is something that should generally only be attempted by the expert. However, if there is a tree in your backyard that is relatively short and small, you can handle the task yourself. Whether you are dealing with a massive tree or a tiny tree, there are precautions you need to take. Additionally, there are tips that can make the entire process quite easy. Some of the basics of cutting down a tree have been detailed below.
If you are going to cut down a tree safely, you will need to go about it methodically. Here are the steps that should be at your fingertips during the entire process.
When deciding to cut a tree, establish the main reasons why you have picked it. For instance, you may want a Christmas tree, or the tree may have become a hazard to you or your family. If you have already picked a tree, you will need to evaluate how feasible it is to chop it down.
If you are cutting down a tree for utility, ensure that it can serve that purpose well. Some trees are good for use as wood while others are great for use in construction. Additionally, ensure that you own the rights to the tree you pick. If that is not the case, ensure the landowner is okay with your decision.
Before cutting down the tree, you will need to measure its height. Besides that, you should check whether it is leaning in any direction. You will need to ensure that there is no chance of it falling on any property or person.
Additionally, you will need to decide what you intend to do with the tree after it falls. If you plan to move it, ensure it falls in a position where moving it will be easy. However, if you plan to leave it where it falls, you must be aware that it will rot slowly and may be used as a home for roaches, rats, and other pests.
Go around the tree and view it from various angles and distances. It will help you determine how likely it is that the tree could land on any property close to it. You should only proceed to cut it after you establish that it can safely fall away from your house.
You can use an axe, which works great for small trees or you can use a chainsaw. Chainsaws are more heavy duty, more expensive, and more dangerous. You will have to ensure that you understand how to handle these machines. Just one mistake could cost you a limb or your life.
When chopping down a tree, avoid standing in the path of the falling tree. Additionally, ensure there are no kids, pets, or neighbors who will walk in the direction of the falling tree. If a tree is large enough, it could crush someone to death. If the tree is to be felled in the woods, ensure that you know where everyone is before cutting it down.
The tree cutting process can be quite easy with a chainsaw. However, you will need to know how to use it carefully if you want to be safe. Here is a short video explaining the entire process.
When cutting down a tree with a chainsaw, you will need to keep safety and a good plan in mind. That means you will have to find a clear path in which the tree will fall. When using a chainsaw, you will also need to have the right safety equipment. Chainsaws can be quite damaging to the ears and eyes. Thus, those two areas need to remain protected if you are going to be using the chainsaw.
When using a chainsaw, you will need to make notches in the direction in which you want the tree to drop. This notch is made by creating a top and a bottom cut at the base of the tree. The notch should face in the direction in which you want the tree to fall. Most people who cut down trees prefer to use the Humbolt notch. If you are going to use this notch, ensure that you get it right.
If you decide to chop down a tree with an axe, ensure that you choose the right type of axe. The felling axe is the type that you will want to use. Felling axes can be further subdivided into wedge axes and rounding axes. The wedge axes are commonly used on softwoods while the rounding axes are used on hardwoods. A felling axe will have a handle that is about 31-36 inches long. Pick a size of a felling axe that you are most comfortable with; it should not be too light or too heavy.
When using an axe, you will need to determine the direction in which the tree will fall. You will then need to start making a notch in that direction. Ensure that you cut an angle. Remember that an axe is not a chainsaw. Thus, you cannot make your cuts straight. All cuts need to be made at an angle.
After making the notch about a third through the tree, go to the other side and begin making a cut. Create a wedge shape cut about a third of the way. Go to the first side and continue cutting the notch deep into the tree. The wood in between these two notches will create a hinge on which your tree will rest. You can now choose to shove your tree or move as far away as possible toward the side of the tree. If possible, ensure you steer clear of the area in which the tree may fall.
Small trees can be felled without having to worry too much, about where the tree will land. However, if you are cutting down a large tree, you will probably need to cut the top branches first. The reason for this is that the branches could affect the direction in which the tree falls. With a simple ladder and some prep steps, you can safely cut off all the top branches. After, it will just be a simple case of felling the tree trunk.
When cutting large tree branches, you will need to be very careful so as not to damage the bark of the tree or interfere with its ability to heal naturally. If you cut a tree right, you will find that it is no more difficult than cutting it in the wrong way. The main advantage is that you will not have to deal with trying to get rid of a dead tree later on.
When a tree is cut, it forms a special kind of tissue that covers the wound and prevents the entry of disease and decay. The scar will remain on the tree forever, acting as a seal so that the tree can continue to grow. If you are pruning your tree, you have to get it right to avoid accidentally killing your tree.
Tree felling is a risky business. You can lose an eye, your hearing, or even a finger without the right gear. Safety gear includes thing such as gloves, eyewear, eye protection, and a helmet.
During the process of felling a tree, it is quite easy for the saw to get pinched. In such a case, you may need wedges, an axe, and a rope to free your saw. Freeing the saw can be a dangerous operation that requires more than one person.
Before chopping down any tree, check its lean. The direction in which it leans should be the one you make your first notch. It is easier to get the tree to fall in that direction than trying to force it.
This effect happens when a tree refuses to lean forward but instead splits vertically. This effect can be quite dangerous to the person doing the cutting. Here is a good demonstration of this effect:
Even when you are sure the tree will fall in a certain direction, you should always clear at least two escape routes. That way, you will not be caught up in the thickets when things go horribly wrong.
In some jurisdictions, only trained professionals are allowed to cut trees. If the law catches up with you, you may end up paying a fine. Additionally, it might bring about problems with your insurance cover since that would be reckless endangerment of your life.
When you begin making the felling cut at the back, you must always have wedges with you. It is especially so for any tree that is bigger than 18 inches. The wedges should be tapped in gradually as you fell the tree. They are useful in helping to prevent the saw from being pinched.
For whatever reason you may need to cut down a tree, you will need to be aware of these common accidents. That way, you will know to watch out for them the next time you are cutting down a tree.
When using a chainsaw, you should never harm yourself or anyone working in that area. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
Chainsaw chaps are great for protecting your legs. Use them to avoid being hit by flying wood pieces.
Here is an infographic for using the chainsaw safely:
If you are planning on cutting down trees, you will have a wide array of tools from which to choose from. Here are some of the most common tools used in tree cutting:
Chainsaws can run on electricity or gas. They are amongst the most powerful tools for cutting down trees. Gas-powered saws are the best option if you are cutting down a large tree.
Before using a chainsaw, always make this two-minute check every time. It will help to avert any potential problems.
If you have lent out the chainsaw recently, take extra care when checking these points. They may not be taking the same care for your saw as you do.
A well-maintained saw is safer to use, and it will ensure the saw continues being used for longer. Here are some things you can do:
Cutting down a tree is dangerous work. It is usually the right choice to hire an expert to do the work for you. If you cannot find an expert to help you, ensure that you understand all the safety precautions you must take.