Felling across the lean

A tree that leans across the direction of felling wants to fall to the side of your line of sight. You should compensate for the side lean by aiming by the same distance in the opposite direction as the tree is leaning. For example: if the tree leans 1 m to the right, aim at least 1 m to the left. Insert the felling wedge at an oblique angle from the side of the lean allowing the felling force to shore up the tree.

When the tree is felled across the direction of the lean, there is a risk that the hinge will be torn open like a zipper and you lose control over the direction of felling. To counter this, you can, depending on the tree situation, choose to do one of the following:

  • Make the hinge a little longer than normal by making the directional notch slightly deeper.
  • Make the hinge slightly thicker on the pressure side of the tree
  • Use a wedge on the side of the lean for extra support. Insert the wedge to the side of the felling cut close to the hinge.
  • Avoid sawing off the root protrusions.
  • Always finish the felling cut on the side that leans away from you (the tension side of the tree).

If you are unsure, secure the tree with a rope and winch rigged at right angles to the direction of felling. Remember that the support rope must be able to run free at all times.

Images Working with chainsaws, part 2

Last edited

December 13, 2023

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