Tree Felling Safety

Aug 30, 2022 | The Tree Wisdom Blog

Safely felling a tree requires a combination of knowledge, skill, and adherence to established safety procedures. Whether it’s for landscaping, forestry, or hazard removal, following a systematic approach can help prevent accidents and injuries.

Assessment and Planning

Before we start the felling process, we assess the tree and its surroundings, identifying potential hazards such as nearby structures, power lines, and uneven terrain. We plan the felling direction based on the natural lean of the tree and the available space.

Safety Gear is Critical!

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is crucial. Hard hats, eye protection, hearing protection, gloves, and chainsaw-resistant leg protection. Proper attire minimizes the risk of injuries from falling debris and chainsaw accidents.

Clear the Area

Before we make any cuts, we clear the area around the tree. Remove obstacles, debris, and unnecessary equipment. We establish a safety zone, keeping bystanders, pets and other workers at a safe distance.  If felling the entire tree from the ground is a threat to nearby structures, we climb the tree and remove limbs and tree sections using block and tackle pulleys, slowly and safely lowering the limbs and sections to the ground.

Notching and Cutting

While every tree is different, we typical make a horizontal notch on the side of the tree facing the intended felling direction. This notch guides the tree’s fall. We next make a horizontal cut slightly above the bottom of the notch to create a backcut. The backcut is on the opposite side of the notch, leaving a small ledge (hinge) that guides the tree’s fall. Cutting the hinge on the back cut can create a very dangerous situation.

Post-Felling Assessment

After the tree has fallen, we conduct a post-felling assessment. We check for remaining hazards, and clear the area of branches and debris. Some of our customers ask us to leave the felled tree for their use as firewood. We can cut the tree into rounds for this purpose. We can also create mulch on site, or haul it off your property.

At Clean Cut Tree Care, we combine proper planning, equipment use, and situational awareness, and can safely fell trees that are beyond the skills of the average homeowner. If the process seems beyond your skill level, contact us to evaluate the situation. We’ll provide a free quote to safely fell the tree.