How to Make a Tree Fall a Certain Way

how to make a tree fall a certain way

Are you planning to take out a problematic tree from your yard? Some people may think it’s as simple as making a few swift chops, but it’s actually a delicate process that involves strategic planning and accurate execution.

As Pinecrest’s reliable tree service, we at Nature’s Dream Landscape & Tree Service know how to make a tree fall a certain way so that it doesn’t cause bodily harm or structural damage. In this blog post, we break down the steps involved in a successful tree-felling operation.

Having the Appropriate Tools and Gear

Safety isn’t a throwaway concept when you fell a tree or are involved in cutting high tree branches. At a minimum, your ensemble should consist of:

  • A logger’s helmet
  • Safety glasses to keep the dust out
  • Kevlar chaps
  • Earmuffs and a face shield to cover your ears and eyes
  • A woodcutter’s axe and a chainsaw for cutting
  • Two felling wedges for a controlled fall

Predict the Felling Zone

Trees have a wider reach than what you can see with the naked eye. Before putting your plan into action, it’s important to know where and how far it will fall. You can make a good estimate with the “ax handle method.”

Hold an ax with your arm extended and one eye closed, then move forward or backward until the top of the axe is on the same level as the treetop and the bottom is even with the tree trunk base. The treetop should fall where you’re currently standing (but allow extra room for safety).

Make sure you have two obstruction-free escape routes on the tree’s “non-falling” side, about 45 degrees away from each other. The last thing you want is a random shrub or wall blocking the way while you make a mad dash.

Make the Notch

Notches are an essential element of how to make a tree fall a certain way — especially when they naturally lean away from your desired trajectory. A good rule of thumb is to make its depth a fifth of the trunk’s diameter. The top cut and bottom cut should also have a 60 and 30-degree angle (at the point where two cuts meet), respectively.

The Felling Cut

Score a line that connects the notch’s apex on both sides to give yourself a guide. The back cut should lie parallel and even with the apex.

If your tree has a diameter of over 18 inches, make the felling cut but stop as soon as you have enough space to pound a wedge. As trees start to fall, having a lookout waiting on the side of the tree is a great safety measure.

Seek Professional Assistance

Why risk injury and thousands of dollars in property damage? Let an experienced arborist do the heavy lifting instead. 

Our crew at Nature’s Dream Landscape & Tree Service knows how to make a tree fall a certain way and other complex tasks like:

Give us a call at 305-874-7374.

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