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Video:Tips for Felling a Tree Using a Chainsaw

with Jamie Quinn

Cutting down a tree with a chainsaw could lead to some serious damage if you don't take the proper precautions. In this how-to video from About.com, learn important tips for felling a tree safely with a chainsaw.See Transcript

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Transcript:Tips for Felling a Tree Using a Chainsaw

Hi, I'm Jamie Quinn for About.com and today I'm going to show you a few tips for felling a tree with a chainsaw.

Safety and Training for Felling a Tree

Felling a tree is one of the most dangerous operations performed when using a chainsaw, so before doing it, you should get the proper training and knowledge from someone with more experience. Before you get started, make sure that you have the proper equipment and protective gear. You will need gloves, a hard hat with face protection or safety glasses. You will also need ear protection, which may or may not be attached to you hard hat. Make sure that your chainsaw is in good working order, that the gas tank is full, that the brake is functioning properly and check to see if the chain is sharp and adjusted properly. And don't forget your protective boots.

Clear the Path for the Falling Tree

Make sure you have a clear path in which to drop your tree and clear any unwanted debris from your escape path - this is where you will want to go when the tree begins to fall. You'll want to move away from the falling tree quickly and without obstruction.

Making a Western Cut and Felling the Tree

So now we'll begin to size-up the tree. Decide on the direction that you want the tree to fall, taking into consideration, the lean of the tree, diameter, heavy branches, entanglement of branches with another tree and possible decay.

The way the cut is made should determine the direction of the fall. The cut we are doing here is know as a Western standard cut or conventional cut. Start by making the the first cut on the side of the tree where you want the tree to fall. The first cut will be made horizontally, just below hip height and 1/3 of the way into the tree. The second cut will be made from an angle above the first cut, making a 60 to 70 degree angle cut. It is important to make sure that these two angles meet evenly and that you remove the piece of wood that you have just cut out.

Next, you will want to make a back cut. Make sure that other persons are out of dangers way before initiating the back cut, and yell timber when the tree starts to fall. The back cut is horizontally cut, directly at the back of the tree behind the two front cuts. It is approximately 2 inches above where the first two cuts meet - cut into the tree while keeping an eye not to cut all the way through. You'll want to leave some holding wood or hinge, about 1/10 of the tree's diameter.

Move quickly away to your preselected place and turn off your chain saw, always keeping one eye on the falling tree. Be alert and wait a few seconds before approaching the tree.

Thanks for watching and for more information on felling trees, visit us on the web at About.com.

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