The Steps to Felling a Tree and Safety Measures in Place
Felling trees may seem to be an uncomplicated task for the average homeowner. Yet there are some precautions that should be undertaken to ensure that the job is done safely and with the right tools and safety equipment. The following information comes from TW Tree Stumps Removal who are reliable tree surgeons in Surrey near Guildford providing a wide range of tree services around the area.
Some tools are necessary to complete the task of a proper tree felling. Such tools would include a sharp and properly functioning chainsaw, a small sledge hammer, an axe or hatchet (for manual chopping), and a small and large wedge. Safety equipment would include a hardhat, steel-toed boots, protective eye goggles, ear protection (muffs or ear plugs) and an assistant with a fire extinguisher standing nearby, if applicable. Use a stepladder for the purpose of cutting away an extending tree branches that may become caught up in or entwined in other surrounding trees.
Determine the fall zone of the tree, a location where the downed tree will not come in contact with other ground structures such as car ports, sheds, fences or other small trees. If the tree is leaning in one direction, the fall zone will have to be in this area; if the area is unsafe, a professional quality tree service should be called in to complete the task. You should ensure that there is an escape route to either side of the tree that covers a clear 45-degree angle path or a free route directly behind the tree. There should be no spectators in the escape route paths—the routes should be completely cleared of all persons and objects.
Use the chainsaw to make a face cut, a straight line across the base of the tree on the side the tree will fall. The cut should be no more than 1/3 the depth of the tree diameter and should be made at hip height. To perform the wedge cut, start above the horizontal face cut and cut down in wedge fashion at an angle of about 60 degrees until you meet the face cut line. To undercut, position the chainsaw underneath the face cut and cut upwards at an approximate 30-degree angle until the wedge is removed. You will now have a roughly triangular piece of wood removed—all of it is on the fell side of the trunk. A singular top or bottom cut may be performed, but the double wedge cut will ensure a more complete lean and fall.
The back cut is made with the chain saw opposite the face cut. It is generally 1 to 2 inches higher than the face cut. You will run the chainsaw blade into the wood, but stop to allow enough wood to hold the tree in place—this is called “holding” wood and depends upon the diameter of the trunk. The holding wood should be even on both sides of the tree and thick enough to support the trees weight.
Use a wedge and hammer to open up the back cut seam, slowly pounding until you can gauge the lean of the tree. Make sure you are lined up with the fall zone area. If the small wedge is driven completely in and the tree is still intact, drive the larger wedge into the seam, opening it up more. As soon as the tree begins to crack and move, quickly use your escape route, keeping your eye on the falling tree. If the tree does not completely break free of the trunk after it has fallen, use the chainsaw to free it but keep your feet and toes clear.
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