Storm cut

A storm cut is a special technique for cutting the roots of storm-felled trees. This method reduces the risk of jamming the guide bar or sawing into the ground.

Safety first! Always work from the safe side of the trunk.


Make a bore in the bottom half of the trunk.


Cut down until you have a 3 cm wide lip remaining.


Now cut upwards until you have a 3 cm wide lip remaining here, too.


Cut the upper lip by sawing from above, about 3 cm closer to the root. Be prepared when the tension in the trunk is released.

Stand on the safe side when cutting roots

Before making the storm-cut make sure you have assessed the tree and identified potential tension, especially side-ways tension. When the trunk is cut at the root, and the tree is under tension, it may move sideways at great force. Therefore, keep your retreat route behind you free! Stand with the uprooted tree on your left side and cut the trunk to your right, about 0.5 m up the trunk. You now have protection for your legs if the trunk kicks out sideways when it is cut through. Depending on the side under tension, you might need to make the storm-cut from the other side of the tree. When walking around an uprooted tree never walk in the uprooted zone.

If the entire tree must be processed with a chainsaw, it is best to start from the top whenever possible. This releases any tension before you get to the root. Cutting the root manually before machine harvesting must only be done when there is no risk of the uprooted tree turning over.

Images Working with chainsaws, part 2

Last edited

December 13, 2023

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