Tree felling guide

If you’ve finished learning about chainsaw basic working principles, you can go to fell your first tree. To maximize the safety and efficiency of your work, you should plan all the felling process beforehand. First of all, never go to fell a tree alone! Anouther good idea is to take a mobile phone with you. It’ll let you to call someone in case of emergency.

Make a cutting plan. Find a safe retreat direction

Make a cutting plan. Find a safe escape direction. All the principles relating to the work associated with felling and bucking, also applicable to cutting large branches. Make sure that your posture is stable regardless of whether you are standing or you have to change the position of your feet. The log you want to cut should always be on your right.

For best control of the saw you should keep it as close as possible to the body.

Felling direction

Before felling a tree, examine it carefully. Make sure there are no dead twigs or branches that could fall on you. Explore the natural slope of the tree, the position of large branches and wind direction. This will help you to determine which way the tree will fall. Clear the working area around the tree. Before felling a tree, plan and clear a route to leave the work area. This route should be laid in the opposite direction to the planned direction of fall, a 45 ° angle to it.


Correctly chosen escape direction

When felling a tree, always try to choose a direction where there are no foreign objects or ground formations can interfere with subsequent pruning and bucking. Most important, nothing should hinder with your movements, and you need to have a stable position.
It is also important not to let a fallen tree stuck in the nearby trees. A tree, that stuck when felling, is extremely dangerous.

Pruning bottom branches, retreat after felling a tree

Cut all the branches at the bottom of the tree, which can interfere with your work. The safest way is to start from the highest branches, gradually moving down. Always use the trunk as a barrier between you and the moving chain. Never cut branches above shoulder level. Remove the underbrush around the tree; mark and clear a route of escape, taking into account any obstacle or obstacles (stones, branches, holes, etc.).

right Pruning

Try co cut a branch as close to the trunk as possible

Felling techniques

Tree felling consists of two basic actions: bird’s-mouth (or directional cut, face cut) and the main cut.

Start the tree falling from the upper notch at an angle approximately of 45° to the chosen felling direction. The depth of the notch should be about 1/4 the diameter of the trunk. After that, make another notch, from the same direction to a tree, but horizontal (to meet the first one). If you did everything correctly, you make a “bird’s-mouth” with the opening of 45°.

Then make a horizontal main cut. Main cut should be done on the opposite side of the tree, 1-2” above the bottom directional cut. Make sure the bottom cut is parallel with the main cut. Do not saw tree trunk completely leave a little gap between the cuts. This gap holds a tree and provides a predetermined direction of falling. If the barrel is cut completely, it’s impossible to predict the direction of the falling. Make sure there are no people (especially children) and animals in the area of the tree fall.


The trunk with all 3 cuts. Bird’s-mouth at the right and the main cut at the left

Before the tree starts to lose its balance and starts falling, insert a wedge into the cut. This will prevent the bar from jamming in the cut. Continue to cut until you get a required gap width.
Proper main cut should be placed parallel to the bottom horizontal directional cut, leaving a gap between them not less than 1/10 the diameter of the trunk.
A gap plays the role of the hinge joint and is needed to control the tree falling direction. If the gap is too small or you saw tree completely, and if the face cut and felling notch correctly positioned in relation to each other, you lose control over the tree.

Trunk with a wedje


A main notch with a wedge in it

Saw at the maximum speed of the engine, slowly sinking the saw into the trunk. Watch carefully for possible movement of the tree in the direction opposite to the planned direction of falling. When main cut is approaching the directional cut, the tree should start to fall by itself or with the help of felling wedge or a felling crowbar.

When the tree starts to fall, it quickly:

  1. pull the saw from cutting back;
  2. release the start button to turn off the saw;
  3. lower the saw;
  4. retreat from the work area on a pre-planned route.

WARNING! Watch out for falling branches. Watch your step when leaving the work area.

Limbing, bucking trunks (Video “Cut down а tree”)

Limbing – is the process of sawing a fallen tree branches. Find a solid footing. Spread your legs. Evenly distribute weight on both feet. Do not cut large branches that support trunk above the ground. Cut only one branch at a time. Often remove cut branches from the working zone. Cleanliness makes workplace safe.

Complex branches must be cut in several stages.
PLEASE NOTE! Most often kickback occurs when cutting branches and twigs. Watch out for kickback zone when performing these operations!
Start sawing where branches do not pinch the saw while cutting. To avoid pinching, start cutting from branches that hanging freely above. If your saw got stuck in a branches located in the state of tension at the bottom, turn it off and pull out carefully.


A worker bucking a log

Bucking of a log is a process of sawing it into pieces of a certain length.

Always stay on the left to the saw blade. If possible, raise log or part of a log above the ground. This can be done using twigs, logs, wedges, etc.

When sawing a log, maintain control of the process, reducing the pressure on the saw at the end of the cut. Remember that contact with the ground blunts moving chain. After you have cut a trunk, release the start button and turn off the saw, before moving to another location.

When working on a slope, prevent a log from rolling. Prop up a log using wooden stakes. Drive wooden stakes in front of the downward side of the log. Sawing logs, stand above the slope. Sawn piece of log may roll. Never attempt to cut two logs simultaneously. This may increase the risk of kickback. When you’re sawing logs, never hold it with hands or feet. Sawing a log, do not let anyone hold him. Before moving from one place to other, turn off the saw.

Advice that we offered to you are conventional.
Always be aware of safety when working with a saw.

And then the work will bring you nothing but good experiences. We hope this information will help you for the safe operation of such powerful and indispensable tool as a chainsaw.

How to cut a tree with a chainsaw

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