The key to successful tree removal with use of a chainsaw is planning and preparation. You want to ensure that both the tree and the area around it are all completely cleared and prepared and ready before you even think of breaking out the chainsaw!
If this is your first time using a chainsaw, try to have an experienced user with you to assist if possible, and always make sure you have been granted any permits and/or obtained any permission you might require. Always (always!) think Safety First. Thoroughly inspect the area the tree is located, and the area around it. Map out all obstructions around the tree, such as barns, power lines, outbuildings, houses, other trees or cars which may be damaged by falling limbs or flying debris.
Pay particular attention to nearby trees. The tree you are planning to cut may not be in danger of dropping anything onto property – but what if a falling limb knocks over a neighboring tree, will that fall on anything? Next, clear the area immediately around the tree of any obstructions like dead leaves, large stones, fallen branches, etc. For one thing, you want a nice clear and stable ground when you are operating a chainsaw – you don’t want to stumble whilst holding one!
Next work to remove small branches and buttresses from lower parts of the trunk, using a pulling chain. Cut with the blade coming downwards, at an angle that places the trunk between yourself and the chainsaws blade.
NEVER reach upward to cut limbs that are growing above your shoulders – it’s never a good idea to be waving a chainsaw around above your head! Finally, it’s time to bring down the tree! The most important consideration is judging the direction that the tree will fall. For this you will need to cut a directional notch, which will, more than any other factor, decide the angle of the fall.
After deciding on the direction of fall make a top cut into the truck at a 60 degree angle and to a depth of around a quarter of the way through the trunk. Join this cut with a horizontal undercut. You should now have a notch carved out of the tree in the direction you want it to fall.
Pause now to check – then double check – that no people, adults or children are anywhere near the tree-felling zone. If they are, move them away now.
Move to the other side of the tree and cut a horizontal felling cut. This cut should be place a few inches higher than the directional notch.
Stop cutting a few inches before you reach the depth of the notch so that you make hinge. Place a felling wedge into this cut and use the wedge to set the tree falling.
As it begins to fall, move away quickly and calmly and do not take you eyes off the tree until it safely on the ground.
Felling a tree with a chainsaw may seem intimidating, especially the first time. However, by carefully planning and preparing the tree and area it can be easily achieved.