Safe winch technique

A winch is used primarily in situations that demand extremely safe felling, such as adjacent buildings, overhead power lines, roads and confined spaces. A winch is also used to great advantage if the tree is difficult to assess in terms of lean, branch overhang, damage/decay, etc.

Equipment for safe and effective winching

  • Hand winch
  • Attaching rope/wire
  • Pulley
  • Straps
  • Ladder
  • Felling tongs with telescopic handle to attach the rope near the top of the tree

There are many different hand winches and winching techniques in use. Here is one safe winch technique:


Attach the rope high up on the trunk using, for example, felling tongs with telescopic handle.


Attach the pulley to a tree trunk located in the felling direction but far enough away to ensure you avoid the risk of hang-up.


Attach the winch to a tree a few metres behind the tree to be felled and to the side of the direction of felling. Pull the rope through the pulley and up to the winch. Tighten the rope a little with the winch before you begin sawing.


Make directional cuts and felling cuts as usual using felling wedges and a safe corner. Saw off the safe corner and stretch the rope with the winch until the tree falls.

Last edited

June 21, 2022

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