Chop a branch, not a limb – this is a thought that anyone who has used a chainsaw has had cross their mind. Chainsaw use is an invaluable tool to use on farms and large properties, but they also come with a huge risk factor involved in their use. Annually, there are over 30,000 chainsaw related injuries across the nation. That is a lot of chainsaw-wielding homeowners who just aren’t quite getting it right. A wonky chainsaw cut across a tree trunk can leave a very nasty scar – and not on the tree!
Trees need to be approached with a chainsaw in a certain way to be cut correctly. According to the Californian fire department, it’s important to firstly read the tree’s natural lean before cutting it. This technique to get the perfect tree cut is broken down into the five following steps. These are steps that anyone using a chainsaw at their home or property should follow attentively.
Measure the size
The tree’s natural lean can be determined by looking up and observing with the eye. Whatever way it leans to up high is the way it wants to naturally fall. You want to aim to use the natural lean to determine which way the tree will fall, whilst making sure it won’t fall on houses or other trees.
To have an accurate aim, make a cut in the tree about thigh-level, perpendicular to the natural lean of the tree. Try to make the cut about one-third of the tree’s diameter to get the best result.
Run the saw down at a 45 degree angle six to eight inches above the aiming cut you just created. Run the saw until the two cuts meet and then remove the resulting wedge shaped piece of wood.
Next, go to the opposite side of the tree and spot your chainsaw around two inches higher than the aiming cut. This should end up about waist high. Here you want to make a final flat cut. Before you meet the face cut, leave an even strip of wood connecting the tree to its stump to act as a hinge.
When the tree starts falling, that’s your cue to walk away at an angle away from the falling direction. You don’t want the top of the tree to fall on top of your head, after all!