Tree Felling Techniques: A Step-by-Step Guide to Doing it Right

Tree felling is a skill that requires precision, safety, and an understanding of the natural world. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the art of tree felling, ensuring that you have the knowledge and techniques needed to execute this task correctly. Our aim is to provide you with a comprehensive resource that can outrank existing articles and serve as a trusted guide for tree felling.

Step 1: Safety First

Proper Attire

Before you start, ensure you’re wearing the right gear: a hard hat, safety goggles, hearing protection, and chainsaw chaps. These items are crucial for personal safety.

Site Inspection

Examine the area around the tree for potential hazards such as other trees, overhead wires, or uneven terrain. Plan your escape route and make sure it’s clear.

Step 2: Choose the Right Equipment

Chainsaw Selection

Select a chainsaw appropriate for the tree’s size. A chainsaw with enough power and a sharp chain is essential for clean cuts.

Additional Tools

Gather tools like wedges, an axe, a measuring tape, and a felling lever. These will aid in control and safety.

Step 3: Plan the Felling Direction

Assess Lean

Determine the tree’s natural lean. This is the direction it will naturally fall if left unaltered.

Escape Route

Position yourself on the opposite side of the tree from the desired fall direction. This is your escape route.

Hinge Wood Calculation

To ensure accuracy, calculate the size of the hinge wood—the portion of the tree that will guide the fall. It’s typically one-tenth of the tree’s diameter.

Step 4: Make the Felling Cut

First Cut

Make a horizontal notch, also known as the “notch cut,” on the side of the tree facing the desired fall direction. This cut should be about one-third of the way through the tree and in the shape of a “v.”

Second Cut

Create the “bore cut” by making a horizontal cut slightly above the notch, parallel to the ground. This cut should meet the notch cut to create a notch.

Hinge Wood

As you make the bore cut, you’ll notice the formation of the hinge wood. This is crucial for controlling the fall of the tree.

Step 5: Complete the Felling

Back Cut

Position yourself on the opposite side of the tree and make a horizontal “back cut” slightly above the level of the bottom of the notch. This cut should be parallel to the bore cut and meet it.

Felling Wedges

Use wedges to control the fall of the tree if it starts leaning in an unintended direction. Insert them into the back cut to guide the tree’s descent.

Step 6: The Tree Falls

Retreat Safely

Once the tree begins to fall, retreat along your predetermined escape route. Keep an eye on the falling tree to ensure it goes in the intended direction.

Step 7: Limbing and Bucking

Remove Branches

After the tree is down, remove branches systematically using your chainsaw.


Cut the tree into manageable sections, also known as “bucking.” Be cautious and maintain safety practices during this process.

Step 8: Site Cleanup

Clear Debris

Remove branches and debris from the felling site to prevent tripping hazards and to keep the area clean.


This step-by-step guide provides you with the essential techniques for safe and effective tree felling. Following these instructions diligently will not only help you outrank other articles but, more importantly, ensure that you can carry out tree felling correctly and responsibly. Remember, safety is paramount, and always adhere to local regulations and guidelines when engaging in tree felling activities

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