DIY Guide to Felling a Tree: Tips & Techniques
Tree felling or cutting should generally be left for experts to handle. However, if the tree is small and short in size, then it may not be a big task to handle all by yourself. Whether it is a huge tree or a small one, you need to think safety first and at all times. You also need to be knowledgeable and precise on how to effectively and efficiently cut down the tree. Here are tips that come real handy when thinking of cutting a tree:
Tree Cutting Equipment
Before you begin, get all the tools and gear needed. At least, the following are basic pieces of equipment for tree felling
- Protective gear – accidents usually occur while feeling trees, to reduce the risk of such accidents, protective like leg coverings, a thick hat, toe boots made of steel, goggles and hard gloves should be worn
- First Aid box – make provision for first aid treatment just in case anything goes wrong
- Chainsaw – ensure your chainsaw is in good working condition, with a sharp chain and adequate oil and gas
Carefully study the tree
The whole process of getting that tree down will be a lot easier if you critically observe and study it. Take a close look at the tree and answer these questions before you begin:
- What direction does it lean?
- Does the tree have broken or dead branches or limbs?
- Is there any safe place where it can land without damaging anything?
- Are branches from a nearby tree likely to obstruct it when falling?
Try to figure out the best escape route when cutting, this is to make you have a ‘Plan B’ just in case it didn’t go as planned. The best safety measure to take when the tree you are cutting doesn’t fall the way you intended it should fall is to quickly take cover behind another tree around.
Steps for Felling Trees
For both safety and efficiency, these steps will be very handy for cutting down your trees
- Sound it out – Hit on the tree with your axe, if it gives a hollow sound, it signifies it’s dying or dead. But if it gives a solid sound, it’s a live wood which makes it more tasking. Do this at different spots on the tree. You could be lucky to find a spot that would make the job easier.
- Study where it will most likely fall: Is there a tendency that the tree will fall in a particular direction? It’s easier and safer to select a spot where you know the tree will normally land. Try selecting a levelled spot, else the tree could bounce or roll which could be very dangerous.
- Make a Horizontal Cut – make a cut on the tree above your hip level, and the cut should not go beyond one-third into the tree. Take note that the tree will fall to the direction of this horizontal cut.
- Make a wedge cut – This cut would be like a slice of orange. You can make this cut from the top or the base, but ensure you put a stick on the other side of the horizontal cut, so there is a straight wedge cut.
- Make a back cut – this is the cut that decides how strong your holding wood is, and your holding wood is what determines the way the tree falls. Ensure this wood piece is very thick. Decide where you like the back cut to end and put a mark there. To achieve an excellent result, it should not be less than i.5 inches over the horizontal cut. Use a wedge as you cut to prevent the tree from falling on your chainsaw.
- Get set – As you finish with the back cut, you should be alert with a strong holding wood, else the tree starts falling. So keep supporting the tree with more wedges, and at this point you should be set to run.
- Run – When the tree starts dropping, get off completely through your earlier conceived escape route. Ensure you are facing the direction of the tree and not the backing it, as this could help you avert danger
Tree Cutting Cost Guide
Most times it is best to consult a professional company to handle tree cutting. But before you conclude on this, you should make inquiries about the cost. The prices vary, which is dependent on some factors. It could cost you as little as $125, you could also spend as high as $1500 or even more. Get our pricing guide and know how much it would cost you to get down your tree(s)
Except it is highly necessary, it is commonly recommended that the roots of a tree should remain. However there are some specific situations where cutting the tree root may be necessary:
- If the said tree is getting overgrown for the yard where it is located or;
- If the tree’s roots are growing hazardously close to your building’s foundation.
There’s no way you can be sure not to cause damages to the tree by cutting off its roots. If you are cutting the roots, then you should as well remove the entire tree. These are steps for cutting roots of a tree as safely as its possible:
Techniques & Tips For Felling trees
Because of the risks involved in cutting down a tree, it is advisable that you consult professionals to handle this job for you whenever you have to. However, if you couldn’t hire professionals, and you think you would be fine getting the trees down all by yourself, then apply these techniques to make this go swiftly and successful.
Before you begin, ensure you are permitted to do this on your own. In so many areas, laymen are not allowed to do this. If you go against the laws that govern your jurisdiction, you could be made to pay a fine. Don’t forget that even the so-called professionals are greatly endangered when they fell trees. Hence simply get the services of those who are experts in this field, because the risk supersedes the gains in this.