Tree Removal Techniques: Felling

By Hillary HeathRemovalComments are off

What is tree felling?

Tree felling is one of the easiest ways to cut down a tree but is also not commonly practiced in Metro-Atlanta. It is much more common in rural areas where trees have large amounts of space to fall without damaging property around it. It is common in the logging industry for tree removal.

Felling is when a notch is made at the base of the tree and the whole tree falls to the ground. This procedure is the quickest way to get a tree to the ground but if not done properly can go wrong and cause damage to people and property around it. Felling produces the most clean up, the whole tree once on the ground, must then be cut up and hauled away.

How is it done?

The person performing the tree work will use a chainsaw to create a notch in the tree facing the direction it should fall. If the tree has a significant lean, the notch will be made facing the same way the tree leans. If the notch is made incorrectly, it can affect how the tree falls.

Then a backcut is made on the opposite side of the tree. The backcut stops just before intersecting with the notch on the other side. This creates a hinge that helps the tree to fall. The person cutting the tree must then back away quickly, never taking his eyes off the tree.

What are the risks?

Felling is one of the most dangerous types of tree removal. The tree could fall in the wrong direction if proper cuts are not made; this could damage property or landscaping or possibly pose a threat to people working on the ground. If the area is not level or has other tree stumps or large rocks in the way the tree could roll or bounce.

Tree removal is dangerous work, skilled professionals minimize the risks involved with tree removal. The biggest risk of all is your personal safety if you are planning to fell a tree yourself. When you purchase your chainsaw you should also purchase protective equipment.  The American OSHA Regulation for professionals requires chainsaw operators on the ground to wear: head protection, eye and ear protection, protective chainsaw chaps, and protective footwear. If you are planning on performing your tree removal yourself, you should take these precautions and others.

What should I consider?

There are some things to consider when choosing whether or not to fell a tree.

Does it lean in one direction or another? This can help ensure the direction a tree will fall.

Are there dead or broken branches? These pose a risk of falling and causing harm to people working below.

Is there a clear area where it can safely fall without damaging anything? The tree needs to be able to fall on a clear, flat surface. It must also have enough room to fall without hitting property or landscaping.

Are branches from a nearby tree in the way? If the tree falls and catches on another trees branches it can change direction and fall onto property or people below.

Is my tree dead? Does it actually need removal? Make sure you consult with a Certified Arborist. A Certified Arborist has the training necessary to determine if your tree is dead, declining, hazardous, or not in need of removal at all.

Only an arborist can evaluate the safest and most cost effective way to remove your tree and reduce the risk involved with tree removal.

Give us a call today and one of our Certified Arborists will come out and inspect your trees for a professional tree removal! 404.261.5000