Tree Felling Techniques

Arborists are professionals who deal with the maintenance of trees, plants and shrubs. If you are thinking of felling or even just chopping up a tree then it is highly recommended that you contract an arborist. Arborists that specialize in Tree Felling are more commonly known as tree surgeons so if you do want to hire one, look under Tree Surgery in your local tradesman directory. If you are determined to chop down a tree on your own, the research on technique is essential.

Safety First

But before you even begin you need to make sure you have the correct safety equipment. Tree maintenance is a heavy equipment job and accidents can easily happen so make sure you have the following equipment:

Head Gear

You need a hardhat and professional eye goggles and face masks as well as some ear protection too. As you being to cut down the tree, you will be applying tremendous vibrations to the tree and falling branches are heavy and can cause a head injury. Also, wood will chip when impacted by the chainsaw or axe and small chips or even fine dust can spray back into your face. Plus, tree felling equipment is very noisy and inadequate ear protection can cause permanent ear damage.


When felling a tree, make sure you are wearing some heavy work boots, possibly steel toe-capped and some thick overalls, preferable with some sort of reinforced padding in the legs. Again, taking a hot on the foot or legs by a piece of tree or a piece of equipment can be very painful, possibly even mutilating, this key equipment will reduce the risk of permanent injury.


If you watch a Tree surgery company at work you will notice that they spend a long time deciding where the tree is going to fall. If you have the space to let the tree fall completely then make sure you mark out the area and clear any obstacles in the fall zone. If you do not have the space, consider tying off sections of the tree and felling it piece by piece.

The First Cut

The first cut you make is the notch cut, this is a wedge shaped cut that you make in the tree, fairly low down, and this wedge should be cut on the side of the tree which corresponds to the direction it is going to fall. Once complete, the wedge should be about a third the diameter of the tree, this cut creates a weight imbalance and encourages the tree to fall in that direction.

The Back Cut

Now that you have an angled cut in the tree, begin to cut on the opposite side of the tree, the aim is to cut away most of the base until you are left with a thick slice of trunk, which looks like a hinge, this hinge should give, with a little pressure, and allow to tree to fall through your notch and safely to the ground.