How to fell a tree

Inspirations / Evergreen tips

24/01/2019

Estimated reading time 4 minutes

If you work in landscaping or forestry, you may often find yourself required to cut down a tree, which is no easy undertaking, unless you know which techniques to use and how to protect yourself.

The first thing to be aware of is that it is not a simple task, insofar as it requires adherence to very precise rules, as well as manoeuvrability and above all experience.

In this article we find out what you need to keep in mind and which tools are ideal for safe tree felling.

Felling: what to wear to protect yourself

Before undertaking any type of tree felling task, it is essential to wear appropriate clothing. So it is a good idea to protect yourself with some trousers or dungarees equipped with anti-cut padding, professional chain-resistant gloves offering a high level of protection, and also a professional helmet with visor.                                 

Essential tools for felling trees

After taking all the necessary precautions to ensure your safety and before proceeding to fell the tree, you must decide which direction you want it to fall. Once you have identified an appropriate area for the tree to land, you then need to completely clear it so as to avoid any kind of problem as the tree is falling.

After carrying out this important step, it is advisable to limb branches off the trunk up to a height of two metres. What does this job entail? Limbing simply involves removing branches that might be a hindrance to felling. This job can be done using a pruning saw, such as the Efco SRM18R model. If you need more power, try using a chainsaw, which can then be used to fell the tree itself.

Buying and using the correct chainsaw for these situations can add value to your work in terms of safety, effectiveness and ease of use. If you find yourself having to work on a tall tree, the ideal tool is a chainsaw that is both manoeuvrable and high-performance, so as avoid common problems such as running out of fuel or unstable handling.

There is a broad choice of chainsaws available and the ideal one depends on the type of tree that you want to fell. For more demanding and delicate tasks, it is definitely advisable to rely on chainsaw models designed for expert jobs. The professional chainsaw 162  is designed to fell and cut up large trees: thanks to this machine’s technical characteristics, you will be able to work in absolute safety and for extended periods without having to worry about anything. In the professional chainsaw range, you can also try the MT6500 model, which delivers guaranteed power and reliability.

Felling and final tips

After having carried out all the necessary preparations, you can start working on the tree trunk that you want to fell, by using the chainsaw to cut a triangular notch into the side where the trunk will fall. You then need to go to the opposite side and, again with the help of the chainsaw, make a "felling" cut, which will allow the tree to topple over.

Safety is always very important during these steps: use felling aids such as chocks and—even better—a length of rope to control the direction that the tree falls. Also, do not forget to get at least five metres away as soon as you hear the trunk give way. Above all, remember to switch off the chainsaw before placing it on the ground after use.

If you smoke, avoid doing so at this point: contact between the cigarette and the chainsaw fuel or the wood could expose you to needless risks! Pay close attention to atmospheric elements such as the wind: avoid felling in gusty weather, or when there is a risk of the wind suddenly picking up once you have already started the job. Finally, beware of roots protruding out of the ground when the tree falls, potentially causing damage to paved surfaces or creating a tripping hazard.
 

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