When you are learning how to cut down a tree, its best to start with trees smaller than this one, but even after doing this for years, I still make mistakes. Thankfully, nothing bad happened this time. Watch the video to see. And then check out the safety gear that is a must have for chainsaw safety.
Here are the basics of how to cut down a tree:
- Use and wear safety gear. (list here)
- Plan the cut, study the tree.
- Plan your escape route.
- Use a sharp chainsaw chain, new is best.
- Wedge your back cut.
- Be very careful.
There are many posts on how to cut down a tree, here I’ll touch on some of the techniques I use.
If you don’t wear safety gear, you need your head examined.
Plan your exit from the tree 45 degrees from the back of the tree. Make sure you have a clear path, with no obstacles to trip on. Turn off your chainsaw after making your cuts and before you start your exit.
I use a 70 degree wedge cut that cuts the front 20% of the tree. The wedge faces the direction you want the tree to fall. Some will cut the bottom of the wedge flat level, I think the longer the tree stays hinged, the more control it has, so I cut the bottom part of the wedge lower.
The back cut is ideally about an inch above the center of the wedge cut. In this chainsaw video, that didn’t happen. Going forward I am going to chalk or spray paint the cut lines on the tree before I start. When you are actually cutting the tree, it can be hard to make sure the chainsaw stays level.
I use plastic tree felling wedges to keep the tree from pinching the saw or worse, falling back on itself. You can use wedges for several types of tree felling cuts. Be sure to use plastic wedges that are designed to be used with chainsaws, metal wedges will damage the chainsaw if you happen to touch saw to wedge while working the tree.
A sharp chainsaw chain is so important. Dull saws can hurt you and the saw, and hamper your tree felling. I will buy a new chain for a large tree.
If you have the least bit of hesitation, don’t do this. Hire a professional to cut down the tree. You can then go in and cut it up for firewood.