How To Cut Trees Properly
If you have a tree that is overgrown, diseased, dead or simply located in an inconvenient place, you might have to cut it down yourself. Doing so can be a great money-saving tactic, but attempting such a task is not without its risk. In order to make certain that you stay safe, you must engage in planning and preparation ahead of time. Prior to doing anything, review any applicable laws and ordinances in your area, as formal permits may be needed in order to cut.
There can be no doubt that tree cutting is often dangerous and that key safety measures must be taken. If you are not physically fit, or you are suffering from some sort of impairment or infirmity, do not attempt a cut. Never try to use a chainsaw unless you have been specifically trained to do so. Have the right gear for tree cutting, including a hard hat, long pants, and long sleeves, sturdy work boots, eye protection, and gloves to prevent serious harm.
Cutting trees properly means having your tools in top condition before you start. Collect everything you intend to use in advance and do any necessary maintenance tasks. For trees that measure under 10 inches in diameter, use smaller chainsaws. Medium saws are great for trees measuring up to 18 inches in diameter. If need be, oil and sharpen the blade, and if your saw is gas-powered, make sure it has sufficient fuel. Have no fewer than two felling wedges nearby, and have a sledgehammer or a strong mallet ready to drive these into your cuts. An ax is also important to have close at hand.
Inspection Of The Tree
Before making any cuts, conduct a thorough inspection of the tree. Take note of any rotten wood, loose branches, and check to see if the tree is tilting in either direction. Should you notice that the tree is rotting, growing at a specific angle, or is threatening power lines or structures, get in touch with a professional who can handle the job for you. If you plan to continue on your own, determine which is the best direction for the tree to come down once you make your cuts.
Preparing The Site
Always take care to get the cutting site ready before you begin. Ensure that pets and children are nowhere near the area of the tree. Tell all others to move away from the site as well. Choose two different paths through which you can escape the fall of the tree itself. Select one on either side, branching out at a 45-degree angle. Move anything that may obstruct your escape routes, and keep any tools at least 20 from the base of the tree and away from each escape route.
Techniques For Cutting
The three-cut method is a great way to cut trees safely and effectively. Do your initial cut, often called the undercut, on the area facing the intended direction of the fall. Make a horizontal incision into the tree, roughly a third of the distance through its trunk. Put your second cut approximately two or three inches under the initial cut. Take the cut upward to meet up with the first incision, and pull out the wedge of the tree that results. Continue with your third, or back cut, on the opposite side of the trunk. Move horizontally through the tree, roughly two inches higher than the first cut. Take the saw no more than 50% through the wood. Then take the saw away from the cut, power it off, and set it on the ground as the tree begins its fall. Escape the tumbling wood by using one of your pre-established escape routes.
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