How to Fell a Tree Using a Chainsaw

by:Jiali     2020-04-19
Felling a tree with a chainsaw is not an activity to be taken lightly. It should be planned and organised and most of all safety issues need to be adhered to at all times. Let's start by making sure you have the right equipment and safety features. Safety first Whenever you are using any size of chainsaw you should ensure you are wearing the correct clothing. You need good sturdy boots to protect your feet from falling objects and the blade going awry; protective glasses that wrap around the face (small particles of sawdust can cause lasting damage to the eyes); ear protectors (the larger more powerful chainsaws which are needed to fell timber, are very noisy and when used constantly can cause damage to the ear drums); strong gloves to both protect your hands from falling materials and to give you a better grip on the chainsaw; a helmet is essential for protecting your head against falling debris and protective trousers or 'Chaps' prevent the chain saw from cutting into your legs. Ensure safety of others Ensure people in the vicinity are aware of what you are doing (make sure pets and animals are locked indoors or away from the task at hand) and create an area only you will be allowed into. Also beware of sheds houses valuable inanimate objects and power lines above your head. Determine where the tree will fall Before you begin any cutting it is essential you have a clear idea of where the tree is going to land once it is cut down. Clear uneven land free of other trees is ideal. Avoid the issue of it falling onto rocks or other tree stumps as this can end up damaging the tree. Try to visualise the tree falling at all points of the compass. What will be the safest and most preferred place for it to fall? Also take into consideration how the tree is leaning. Generally speaking it is easier and safer to fell a tree in the direction that it leans if possible. Once you have decided where you want the tree to fall it is helpful to place a marker in the ground exactly at the proposed point of contact. This will help you get your angle cut correct. Create an escape route It is imperative that you have worked out an escape route for yourself. You need to be able to retire safely away from the scene in the opposite direction to where the tree will fall. However is not advised as the end of the tree which has been cut may fly up and cause injury. It should be at 45 degrees to where the tree is standing. Check the route you are going to take is completely clear, and has no trip hazards. Create a hinge It is important that you are precise with your cuts here. The gun sights, or felling sights, on a chain saw help you create the right angle for the cut. The gun sight is a line painted (or sometimes moulded) onto the side of the chainsaw at 90 degrees or perpendicular to the guide bar. To create the correct angle, manoeuvre the machine so that the line points to where the tree will fall. The first thing you are going to do is create a 'hinge' and to do that you need to cut a face notch. The notch in itself will be an opening on the side of the tree in the direction it is going to fall - 70 degrees wide. In effect you are making a cut down into the tree at 70 degrees, and a cut up at 70 degrees to create a nice hole or hinge. The Bore cut Having made the hinge you now need to retire to the back of the tree (you will be facing the direction in which the tree is going to fall). You now need make a cut (called a bore cut) in line with the middle of the hinge. Making a bore cut is renowned for causing kickback. This is when the chain saw jumps back at the operator. If you are cutting solely on the top of the chainsaw the machine will shoot up towards your body and face; if you are cutting solely on the bottom of the chain it will pull you into the tree and if you are using the nose (or tip of the chain) will cause a rotational kickback. So the best place to start you cut is using the bottom of the tip. Saw from the back of the tree (this is your bore cut) to meet the middle of the hinge you have created at the front of the tree. When the cut you have made meets the hinge, gravity will push the tree forward and over. However you will also need a method to trigger that motion. The easiest method is to use a wedge. Once you have made your first bore cut place the wedge into the cut and push it further by using a hammer. Finish cutting towards the front of the tree and once again use a hammer to push the wedge home. Once you feel the tree is falling use your escape route and retire away from the scene. Do not stand and watch. However do not turn your back on the falling tree. Back away to a distance of about of twenty feet and place yourself behind a standing tree if you can. Congratulations you have cut down your first tree! But however often you are going through this process never get complacent or cut corners. At the need of the day safety and precision must be at the heart of your work.
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