Cutting down trees is always a dangerous activity. Besides, the risks tend to be higher when you’re going to fell a big tree. After all, it’s heavier and harder to be completely cut down than an average tree. The objective remains the same, but the procedure needs to be adjusted. Thus, it’s essential that you know how to cut down a large tree with a chainsaw.
First of all, you need to ensure that you are legally allowed to cut down the tree. If you live in an area with strict regulations pertaining to the environment, you must get a permit first. In addition, you need to keep yourself safe.
You are going to use a chainsaw, and it can lead to fatal accidents if you make a mistake. Some of the essential protective gear you should have are chainsaw chaps, gloves, ear protection, and eye protection.
Aside from having permission and the right gear, you should look at the area surrounding the large tree. Check for objects that could be affected once you cut it down. You would not want to damage someone else's house, fence, tree, or hit the power lines and cause a power outage. If the tree has a chance of hitting the road, place warning signs around the area.
Likewise, remove any debris around the tree. Get rid of any branches and limbs. Once the tree falls down, you need to be able to safely move away without any obstacles.
For small projects, a bow saw will be a more suitable candidate than a chainsaw.
Apart from your protective gear and chainsaw, you would need to get other materials to successfully fell a large tree. The extra tools you need include the breaker bar and several felling wedges. The latter is usually needed for felling at least medium size trees. Before you complete a felling cut, the wedges are inserted. To completely knock these in, you have to use the breaker bar.
Together, the breaker bar and felling wedges will help the large tree land in the right direction. Furthermore, using these tools will stop the chainsaw blade from being stuck to the tree during the cutting operation.
Here’s a video showing the application of felling wedges:
Speaking of the right direction, you have to identify where you want the large tree to fall. As long as there are no objects lying in direction that can be damaged by the tree, you can choose that direction. No property and no individual will be harmed. If there are objects in this area, you should hire a professional to help you out.
Also, you have to remember that wind speed can change the direction of where the tree will fall. Ensure that there are no strong winds when you decide to cut it down. In addition, you have to assess whether it won’t be bothersome to others once the tree lands in the fall zone.
Now, look for a landmark that you can have as a guide for your chainsaw. By lining up the landmark with the angle of the directional notch, you can begin to make the proper cuts. Of course, the procedure needs a directional notch made from two sides due to the large diameter of the tree trunk.
First, you have to create a top cut into the tree trunk at 60 degrees angle. The cutting depth should range from 20 percent to 25 percent of the tree trunk diameter. Second, go to the other side and make another cut using the same sawing angle and depth. Ideally, you will end up with an even directional notch that faces the felling direction.
Since the diameter of the tree is far larger than the whole length of the chainsaw bar, you have to utilize the plunge cut. Put the bottom section of the chainsaw bar nose into the trunk. Take note that it should be where the hinge should be placed. Moreover, you must never let the upper section of the chainsaw bar nose near the tree.
Next, you must turn the chainsaw around until it lines up with the directional match you previously made. Begin to apply sufficient pressure into the three with your chainsaw bar. Be careful as you saw the three until you reach the center of the trunk. Once this happens, you have to put the felling wedges into the trunk. This will prevent your chainsaw from being pinched by the heavy tree trunk.
Read more: How to Measure Chainsaw Bar
If ever the chainsaw bar becomes stuck, do not attempt to pull it out without stopping the engine first. Also, use the breaker bar or the felling wedges to create enough space to safely pull out the bar. Continue sawing until your chainsaw bar becomes parallel with the directional notch.
Finally, you have to fell down the tree and go away from the area at an angle of 90 degrees. This will keep you save not just from the felling area but also from where the tree trunk becomes separated from the tree stump. You must be quick but also careful as you look at the tree.
Overall, cutting down a large tree can be down in a safe and quick manner as long as you follow the right procedure. Prepare your protective gear and any other tool that will ease the felling operations.
We hope that this guide helped you out. If you have any queries, feel free to give us a comment.
I'm Ann Katelyn, Creator and Chief Author of Sumo Gardener. Since I was a child I've always been fascinated with plants and gardens, and as an adult this has developed into my most loved hobby. I have dedicated most of my life to gardening and started Sumo Gardener as a way to express my knowledge about gardening with the hope of helping other people's gardens thrive.