How to cut down a dangerous tree in seven steps

ByAdmin

Feb 27, 2024
cut down trees

Decisions to cut down trees shouldn’t be taken lightly. Growing for hundreds of years and reaching impressive heights, many trees hold a special place in people’s hearts –  and felling them can be seen as an act of vandalism.

However, there are situations in which cutting down a tree might be the only option – especially when safety is concerned. 

So, what do you need to know if you want to fell a tree but don’t know where to start?

In this article, we’ll explain how to cut down a dangerous tree in seven steps.

  1. Get permission

You don’t need permission to cut down a tree that’s within your garden, uncles its subject to a Tree Preservation Order or it’s in a Conservation Area. You’ll need to get your landlord’s permission if you rent your home. 

If the tree is outside your garden, you may need a felling licence. It could be an offence to fell the tree without one, so you should seek advice from your local council or a government department such as the Forestry Commission

  1. Inspect the area

Measure the height of the tree, then inspect the area around it within a radius of the tree’s height. Are there any structures, power lines or other important objects that the tree could fall on and damage? You’ll need to either move them or make the tree fall so as to avoid them.

  1. Choose a direction

You need to cut the tree so it falls in the safest possible direction. When you’ve decided which direction this is, you should mark the direction on the tree so it’s easy to remember.  Make a 70-degree cut on the side of the tree facing this direction using a powerful and user-friendly cordless chainsaw. The cut should reach a depth of about a quarter of the tree’s diameter.

  1. Create the notch
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Next, make a second cut by turning the chainsaw horizontally. This cut is called the ‘notch’ and it should meet the first, removing a wedge from the trunk. The top of the notch should be the shallowest part of the cut, while the bottom of the notch should be the deepest. 

  1. Insert the wedge

Move to the opposite side of the tree and make a horizontal cut slightly above the first. Continue sawing until you have enough room to insert a wedge. This will keep the saw from binding. It could be something as simple as should point in the direction you want the tree to fall.

  1. Fell the tree

Now cut most of the way through the trunk, leaving about 10% of width as a hinge and being careful not to touch the wedge with the chainsaw blade. Move to a safe position when the tree begins to fall.

  1. Dispose of the tree

Remove the branches and cut the trunk into small pieces, then either dispose of them or keep them for firewood. You can also break down the stump using the chainsaw or using a specialist stump grinder. 

By Admin

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