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How To Cut A Tree | Tree Felling Techniques | Advanced Tree Felling


Felling is the process of cutting down individual trees, an element of the task of logging. The person cutting the trees is a feller.


Hand felling

An axe, saw, or chainsaw is used to fell a tree, followed up by limbing and bucking in traditional applications. Involved in the modern commercial logging industry, felling is typically followed by limbing and skidding.

Cut-to-length logging a harvester performs the delimbing and bucking of the trees as well. When harvesting wood from a felled tree also the recommended methods should be followed in order to get more wood recovery. The suggested trend is to make deeper cuts and smaller openness when performing undercuts

How To Cut A Tree | Types of Cut


Under Cut

This is the guiding slot for the tree. Its a V-shaped notch placed on the side of the tree in the direction of the falling. There are two types of undercut:

  1. Standard Undercut
  2. Reverse Undercut

Back Cut

Back Cut/Felling Cut

This cut is made on the opposite side of the tree. Therefore is helpful in the process of felling by releasing the stress on the back of the tree.

The traditional method of felling trees uses a simple notch and back-cut technique. While this method can work effectively to fell a tree in many cases. More advanced techniques may prove better choices if the growth of a tree warrants their use. Foresters have the choice of a few technical tree-felling methods. These can help bring down a tree in a safer manner.

Bore Cut

Bore Cut/Punch Cut

The traditional method of making a back cut involves cutting into the tree from the back. With leaning or larger diameter trees, this can lead to the danger of a “Barber Chair” developing, where the tree splits vertically up the trunk. Bore cuts provide a way to greatly reduce this danger. Bore cuts use a chainsaw to drive a cut through the center of the trunk at right angles to the direction of fall. This leaves a section of trunk at the back intact to hold the tree upright. Cutting this on completion of the notch and back cut should release the tree to fall.

Felling Aids

Felling wedge

Wedges can help bring down a tree that remains standing after the completion of a standard notch and back-cut. Typical aids available include metal breaking bars, which slip into the back cut and use human power to leverage the tree in the direction of the notch to fell it. A wedge placed into the back cut can help to hold the tree in place and stop it sitting back on the cut. Driving the wedge into the cut with a sledgehammer can also help in safely bringing down the tree in the correct direction.

Back Pulling

Back Pulling/Tree with lean

This involves felling a tree against its natural lean. This can help to drop a tree away from a property location, overhead lines, or to position it more suitably for processing. Back pulling typically involves the use of a winch system to haul the tree against its natural lean. A direct pull setup has the winch set up at least two tree lengths behind the tree, although in more confined spaces a winch-and-block system may better help position the winch. Attaching the rope as high as possible up the tree, better controls the direction of fall.

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