How to correctly cut a tree in the right direction

How to correctly cut a tree: instructions, recommendations. Penalty for a felled tree.

If during a spring survey you find old, rotten or potentially dangerous trees which need to be cut down as a matter of urgency, and you do not know how to go about it, here are our step by step instructions.

Folk wisdom says that to break. do not build, but in our case there are other rules: plant. do not cut! If even the most inexperienced gardener can cope with the planting of a young sapling at best, then not everyone is able to saw a mature tree. But with the help of this instruction manual you are sure to succeed!

Estimate the amount of work

First decide if you can actually cut down the tree yourself. After all, it is one thing to cut down a withered rowan tree, and quite another thing to cut down a sprawling apple tree that tends to fall on the roof of a shed.

If the tree is very big, has an irregular trunk and crown, or even worse, is damaged, it will not be easy to fell it in the precise spot you have planned. In this case, for safety reasons, it is better to ask for help from professionals.

A large tree, especially one close to power lines or buildings, is dangerous to cut down on your own!

Safety precautions when using a chainsaw

How to cut down a tree with a chainsaw without harming surrounding objects which are nearby? Try to plan the trajectory of the fall, first examining the area and the tree itself, which you are going to cut. If it is dry, large dead branches, knots may fall, so they can be cut beforehand, and here you need to be careful.

You should be able to leave the working area without hindrance. If there are other trees nearby try to work so the felled branches do not get caught in the branches, it can lead to accidents, and it is not easy to get them out later. You will then have to trim the cut tree and remove or remove it from the site. Choose a felling direction that makes it easier to saw and remove the tree afterwards.

Cleanup is an important step after felling. Choose a place to drop the tree where it will be convenient to cut it into pieces and then remove it from the property or load it onto a truck

How to work when felling a tree

There are several steps involved in making a cut. Make the first (top) cut at a quarter of the tree diameter, 45°, walking up to the tree from the fallen side. Then make the undercut from below. Made horizontally to the level where the two undercuts will connect. After making two undercuts you should have a 45° angle cut in the trunk. Do not saw all the way through the tree, otherwise you cannot guess which direction the trunk will fall.

Now the felling cut is used. Before you start work make sure there are no people, pets or objects in the area where the tree will fall that can cause damage. Felling notch must be made on the opposite side of the tree to the intended direction of fall, five centimeters from the felling notch below, parallel to the undercut.

Leave an undercut of 1/10 of the tree’s total diameter when making the felling cut. This is important, because it ensures the correct trajectory of the fall. If you do not make the felling cut, or if you make it smaller than the specified felling cut, the falling trajectory of the tree will become unpredictable.

Insert the saw slowly into the trunk. To prevent the bar from getting jammed in the trunk, insert the wedge into the main kerf before the tree starts to fall. The wedge should be made of plastic or wood. A metal wedge can damage the chain. Engine rpm when the saw is running. maximum.

As you work, watch closely where the trunk is going. This is to take action if you feel your fall is heading in the wrong direction.

Arrows indicate top, 2 bottom and 3 felling cuts. The unsawn part of the tree is a hinge that prevents it from falling in an unwanted direction

Two undercutting methods: the first method is a double right angle, more difficult but guaranteed to fall in the direction you planned, the second method is the most common method described above

When it starts to drop, quickly take the saw out of the cut, stop the engine and leave the area. Perform all actions quickly. delays could be dangerous.

Tip. It is more convenient to cut the tree in the direction of the curvature, the greatest development of limbs and branches, if the trunk is flattened. in the direction of the smaller diameter.

That’s all, we have considered how to correctly fell trees with a chainsaw. if you follow the above rules, you will be able to effortlessly fell the right tree. And the main thing here is to be attentive and concentrated. Before the first felling, you can practice on a small dry tree if you have one on your property, or look for one in a nearby plantation.

Assessment of the work front, pruning the crown

The main problem when felling trees is that it is impossible to foresee exactly how the weight of the crown is distributed. Accordingly, you can not accurately predict the trajectory of the fall, even if you correctly trim the trunk. To facilitate the work, it is recommended to carry out the work in spring or late autumn, when the crown is most sparse. The weather must be windless and dry and the tree must not be slippery after a recent rain.

First, set up a stepladder and cut all lower branches that are within reach. The stepladder should be placed with the trunk of the tree between the stepladder and the branch to be felled. The best position, even if you work without a step-ladder, is when you hold the chainsaw with both hands and sort of wrap your arms around the trunk.

You should always trim the crown in ascending order so that the branches fall freely and do not get tangled in the lower branches, which have not yet been cut. The rope, which the helper helps to control the fall, should be tied at 1-1,5 m from the trunk. Make sure you cut the branches so that there are 30-40 cm long limbs on which you can easily place the safety rope or lean on with your legs.

When the step-ladder height becomes insufficient, throw the foot sling over the most convenient bough or wrap it around the trunk at the desired height, and then rest your feet on the loops. Position yourself so that the sawing position is at chest level or slightly below. Hugging the tree with one hand, wrap the second sling (or better the chain) twice to insure the belt, connect the loops with the carabiner and tighten the coupling on it. A second good position is with your back to the trunk and with your feet on the branch to be cut, of course half a meter in front of you.

Before you start cutting, adjust the length and height of the slings for comfort and make sure you have enough room to maneuver. Then you can lift the chain saw off the ground with the cord tied to the handle, but make sure the attachment point is as far away from the tool’s controls as possible.

Which comes first: felling or pruning

Some trees don’t need pruning, and some trees can’t be felled otherwise. Especially if there are gas pipes or power lines near the crown. As we’ve already mentioned, the main purpose of pruning is to balance the tree, so you don’t have to prune the branches on the side where you plan to fell.

Equally important is the height of the tree. If you can’t clear an area of the right length under the tree, the trunk needs to be shortened. Naturally you have to trim all the lower branches beforehand and sometimes you might even have to trim back the branches on the blockage side. What can you do. sometimes the crowns are intertwined in a very bizarre way.

When working in gardens and green spaces neighboring trees often get in the way. If it is not a dead tree, you do not want to touch it. It is a good idea to prune branches one by one, starting with the branch farthest away from the trunk that you can safely reach. Even if small branch fragments get stuck in your own or a neighbor’s crown, the helper can easily yank them down and away.

We can say unequivocally that you should only start felling if:

  • The tree after being trimmed looks like it is going to fall exactly the way you want it to.
  • The height of the tree is 30-50% less than the length of the cleared area, similarly with the width of the crown.
  • Nearby there are other trees or stationary objects, for which you can attach pull ropes to guide the trunk when it falls.

Sawing the tree. Order and steps in the process

When directly cutting, it is better to call an assistant who will guide the tree when it will fall. this work can be done with your hands, but if the tree is thick, it is better to take a rope to grip.

First you need to make one scrap in the wood, it should be at a comfortable level for you, where it is most convenient to saw without particularly straining your back, arms or the whole body. Cut the cut both with a saw and a coarse-toothed hacksaw on the side where the wood is to fall.

The order of sawing the tree will be approximately as follows:

  • First, cut a piece of wood from above at a 45° angle to the ground, about a third of the thickness, but no more. Then cut it parallel to the ground;
  • After making the cut, pull the wood in the desired direction. If the tree is thick you also have to make a cut in the opposite direction, a little below the base of the previous slice. It should be at a 45° angle to the angle of the first sector you cut;
  • Pull the tree again, taking your time. If the tree has not started to fall, make another cut, deeper in the place where you made the first one, right on top of it;
  • The tree must not be pulled under any circumstances while you are cutting, because then the falling trajectory is unpredictable. If the tree has already started to tilt, you should quickly run away to the side.

After felling the tree you will only have to uproot the stump and roots. this is also not an easy task, but you can take special cutters that will make it easier for you. The last step is to dispose of the cut tree: all of its parts must either be burned or transported off-site.

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How to cut down a tree on your neighbor’s property without a fine

It is clear that to cut down the tree you do not want on your neighbor’s property without the permission of the neighbor, as a rule, is fraught with undesirable consequences. But what to do, if this tree has long thrown their branches and roots over your common fence, and you do not need it?

Here we should refer to other normative acts. In particular, to rules of a planning and building of territories of gardening (summer cottage) associations of citizens. And they say in black and white that the minimum distance from the trunks of tall trees (over 15 meters in height) to the border of the neighboring area (that is, to the common fence) must be at least 4 meters, medium-sized (10 to 15 meters in height). at least 2 meters.

Do not hurry to quarrel with your neighbor: you may be able to negotiate with him amicably, explaining all the legal subtleties. If the neighbor does not agree, you have the right to send a registered letter to his address with a demand to eliminate the violation of established norms, and in case of refusal or ignoring. go to court, and in the statement of claim reasonably specify, what exactly you did not please the neighbor’s tree, but at the same time demand the burden of payment of court costs on the neighbor. Of course, the court will take such a decision only if you win the case.

The development and planting of the dacha site often affects the interests of the neighbors. Avoid quarrels and protect their rights will help to know the law.

But before you organize “around the fence” wars, assess the situation from your side. Well, what if you yourself have planted a small tree or shrubbery next to the common fence, which by law should not be closer than 1 m from it?

Keep in mind that asking for a permit to cut down a tree does not always mean you have to get one. And you don’t want to quarrel with your neighbors. So first you need to decide whether the reason you got into this paperwork and are willing to let your own or someone else’s tree under the chainsaw or axe is really that important. It may still be worth it to leave it as it is, if the impingement is not fundamentally detrimental?

What tools are needed for work?

Once it has been decided how to cut the tree, it is necessary to prepare all the proper tools. Every worker involved in the project should have them.

  • Work uniforms;
  • gloves
  • reinforced boots;
  • A helmet that is equipped with a protective shield;
  • headphones;
  • chainsaw;
  • Rope or string for pulling, cutting branches;
  • A plastic or wooden wedge.

Safety Precautions

Deciding how to cut down a tree in your yard is not enough, you must have all the safety rules for such work.

  • Never operate a chainsaw with one hand. Always hold it firmly with both hands. And, the thumb of the main hand should always be under the handle of the tool.
  • Do not cut wood with the tip of the cutter blade. It will cause severe vibration and increase the risk of serious injury.
  • Smoking while working with tools is strictly prohibited.
  • Do not leave the chain saw where there are animals or children around.

Decide when and how to cut the branches

First decide which branch of the fruit tree you are going to remove. Cut down branches on trees in late fall or early spring.

It is often necessary to cut big branches if they get in the way, e.g. overhanging the path, growing in the wrong direction. Also if they dry out or begin to shade young shoots.

A tree branch is considered large if it has a diameter of 5 cm or more at its base (at the junction with the trunk). Such a branch cannot be removed with loppers or pruners. You will definitely need a pruning saw or hacksaw. Sharpen the tool very sharply.

Cut down all small branches

First, trim off any small twigs and knots on the branch you plan to remove. This is to make sure that the branch does not catch other branches and damage them if it falls.

Then work on a large branch: saw from the bottom to the middle at a slight angle, as shown in the illustration. Let’s call it sawing A.

Fall the tree

When all the felling and undercutting is done it’s time to start felling the tree. We strongly recommend that two or three people do this (depending on the size of the tree).The person who has finished making the felling step aside and give the signal to helpers. Those on command pull the ropes and try to fell the tree into the marked area.

Of course if the tree does not give in, you can push it with your hands or deepen the felling cut.

If the tree is thin and you can handle it yourself, it is still advisable to use a rope for safety. To lever the tree into the ground, push it with a 3 to 4 m thick stick at the side of the felling notch.

Put it in order

Now it’s time to clean up after yourself. First, chop the tree for firewood.

Second, decide what you will do with the stump. The easiest option. turn it into a garden table, chair or flowerpot. If you do not want to leave the stump on the plot, it must be uprooted.

Make your job easier by doing the following. Make a few deep holes in the stump, “stuff” them with saltpeter, pour generously with water and cover the stump with cellophane, so that the rain does not wash the “stuffing” out of it. In 1-2 years the stump will turn into dust, and you can easily uproot it.

To speed up the process, some gardeners set the stumps on fire. But do it very carefully on windless days, away from outbuildings, gas mains and sinks.

We strongly recommend not felling trees without help

That’s all! Following these instructions, you can get rid of an old or withered tree on your property yourself. But if the plant is very big or close to power lines or buildings you are advised to call in professionals.