What Is Tree Felling?
Tree felling is the process of downing individual trees, a method used in logging operations. It is the action of cutting down a tree to prevent the spread of disease and improve safety in the area around the tree. If done incorrectly, tree felling can be risky and dangerous. This type of work requires proper skills, experience, and the correct tools. It is best carried out by a licensed feller or a professional arborist who can plan the job carefully while creating a hazard-free working environment.
5 Steps To Successful Tree Felling
When it comes to felling trees, it is critical to follow a solid felling plan. Most loggers and professional chainsaw operators use this five-step felling plan that is widely used worldwide. It incorporates advanced cutting methods and is guaranteed to help you achieve successful results.
1. Identify Height And Hazards
Find the most favourable direction to fell the tree and use a reliable method to determine its height relative to the direction of its fall. Watch out for tree defects, decay, or any other conditions of the tree that could influence the felling plan. Also, assess the felling site and check for obstacles such as overhead electric lines, structures, sidewalks, and outdoor furniture or equipment that could be damaged by the impact of the tree hitting the ground. If possible, move the obstacles away from the tree. If they are immovable, avoid getting them in the way of your work. Additionally, check the weather and wind conditions. The wind’s strength and direction influence the direction of the fall. Completely stop operations in high winds.
2. Determine The Lean Of The Tree
Determining the lean of the tree is vital for a safe tree felling. This helps determine whether or not the hinge will hold and if you need to remove some weight from the bad side. Moreover, it helps determine the “good” and “bad” sides of the tree for making the final cut. Here is an easy way to do it:
Place your index fingers and thumbs together to create a circle. Then, peer through the circle and take a step backward until you have the tree’s canopy within the circle. Next, run an imaginary line from your fingers and thumbs to the ground and check how far the line is from the base of the tree. Measure lean in two different locations. First, measure the lean where you intend to drop the tree. Then, move 90 degrees perpendicular to that for the second lean. If the tree has about 3 feet or less of side lean, the notch can be adjusted. But, if it has more than 3 feet of side lean, the tree will not fall where you want it to, and you will need to make a new felling plan.
3. Establish An Escape Route
Prepare your escape route before you begin the felling operation. It should be away from the tree’s base and at a 45-degree angle opposite the felling direction. Try to retreat on the good side of the tree or in the next safest direction. And, before you begin making any felling cuts, make sure to clear your escape path of any obstacles or hazards.
4. Face Notch And Hinge Plan
The face notch and hinge are important in ensuring safe and accurate tree felling results. Find the best place for your notch and plan its size and depth. Then, find the desired thickness and length of the hinge. The length of the directional notch should be at least 80 per cent of the diameter of the tree, and the hinge thickness should be no more than 10 per cent of its diameter.
5. Apply Back Cut Technique
Not giving the back cut enough attention often leads to felling accidents. The lean of the tree will determine which kind of back cut you will use: the straight-forward back cut or the bore cut. Its lean degree will also determine how many wedges and pull rope will be needed. Moreover, it will be the basis of how much power is required to pull the tree over the hinge. If the tree is too thin, there may not be enough wood for a notch, hinge, bore cut, and holding strap. The best technique to apply will be the straight-forward back cut. Remember to finish the felling cut on the good side of the tree, then immediately use your escape route when the tree begins to fall.
These 5 steps to a successful tree felling should be a great guide for anyone interested in learning all about cutting down large trees. However, do not attempt to do this huge and dangerous task on your own. Without the proper experience and the correct tools, even the best intentions could lead to dreadful consequences. Seek help only from trusted experts. You can rest easy knowing that your tree will be cut down with precision by certified professionals, following safety procedures and using advanced tree felling techniques.