This publishing is not intended for the skilled user but rather because that the sometimes chain experienced operator. Stay all ideal safety devices when operating a saw. And also please remember, if friend get exhausted while performing any of these operations (felling, limbing or bucking), stop and also rest! her safety relies on it.

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Whether you are using a chain saw to cut firewood, trim tree or harvest large timber, you will certainly be performing three simple operations: felling, limbing and bucking. Felling entails cutting a standing tree and dropping it in the ar you desire it. Limbing is the removal of the branches from one of two people standing or downed trees. Bucking is the procedure of cutting a downed tree into ideal lengths.

For information on the selection, maintenance and also safe use of a chain saw, view MU rememberingsomer.com publications G1954, Selecting and Maintaining a Chain Saw, and G1959, operation a Chain witnessed Safely.

Felling a tree

Felling a tree deserve to literally make or break her day. Landing a tree whereby you want it facilitates the rest of her operations. Many people cutting firewood have actually dropped trees on their pickup trucks.

Examine the tree and also its surroundingsNote any kind of uneven circulation of branches in the tree crown, lean of the trunk and signs that rot or decay. Inexperienced tree cutters need to never effort to reduced trees that are decayed or rotted within or that room leaning or otherwise under tension. Together trees are at higher risk that snapping or separating while gift cut, i m sorry could cause serious or fatal injury to the cutter or bystanders.

If strength lines are in the vicinity that the tree, carry out not effort to dropped the tree unless you are absolutely particular that act so will certainly not interfere with them. If the tree need to be removed and also you suspect felling it will affect a strength line, call the power company. Lock will have the expertise and equipment to remove the tree safely.

Examine the tree for loose, dead limbs. Loosened limbs that fall onto the tree cutter space a common cause of significant injuries and fatalities. Remove loose limbs before felling, if possible. If that’s no possible, dropped the tree from a place where the limbs might not strike girlfriend if dislodged.

Note the position of adjacent trees. Be certain that the tree you room felling can loss all the way to the ground. A lodged tree is an extremely dangerous. Knowledgeable loggers are frequently killed by felled trees that hang up or snag in surrounding trees. A tree spring-back indigenous the load of a fallout’s tree deserve to whip a broken limb towards the cutter or bystanders through tremendous speed.

Plan 2 escape pathsPlan two escape routes (B) the contrary the plan direction of the autumn of the tree (A) and at around a 45 angle from each other (Figure 1). Remove all obstacles native the paths. Place all tools and also equipment a safe street away native the tree yet not top top the to escape paths. Choose a place to set the chain saw in case of emergency. Never run if holding a chain saw, operating or not. Rather, revolve off the chain observed and collection it down before making her escape.

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Figure 1. As soon as preparing to fell a tree, arrangement two to escape paths. Clean the courses of every obstacles prior to making your an initial cut.

Used with permission that STIHL Inc.

Make the cutClear a safe work area roughly the basic of the tree. Remove limbs, underbrush and other obstructions, being sure to save your escape routes clear.

Ensure all bystanders are a safe distance from the basic of the tree to it is in felled, at the very least 1-1/2 times the elevation of the tree, before the an initial cut is made.

For tree 6 inch in diameter or less, do one cut through the trunk. For larger diameter trees, the inexperienced chain saw operator must make two basic cuts: the undercut and also the back cut. Advanced cutting techniques, such as plunge cutting, should only be excellent by experienced, expert loggers.

UndercutThe undercut serves together the guiding or aiming slot for the tree. Usually it is a V-shaped notch inserted on the next of the tree in the direction of falling (Figure 2). Either a traditional undercut (Figure 2a) or a turning back undercut (Figure 2b) can be used. Frequently the very first cut is make parallel come the ground and also then the slanting reduced is made.

A modification undercut known as an open-faced undercut has become popular in many areas (Figure 2c). Presented by Scandinavian felling specialists, this reduced is less complicated to make, provides an excellent guidance and has additional safety features. Rather of finishing up through a 45-degree opening, the undercut gives a virtually 90-degree opening. As soon as the tree starts come fall, this modification undercut allows additional room for the tree to fall prior to the top and bottom of the undercut come together.

For trees that are basically straight, the depth that the undercut should be about one-fourth the the tree’s diameter.

Back cutFor all 3 undercuts, the ago cut is make on the opposite next of the tree, slightly above the hinge suggest of the undercut (Figure 2). The back cut release the stresses on the back of the tree, allowing the tree to fall. Never make the earlier cut lower than the undercut because that reverses the duties of the 2 cuts. Never cut through the undercut because that will reason you to shed all manage over the tree.

As the saw nears the undercut, leave a tiny amount of hardwood to offer as the “hinge” or “holding” timber (Figure 3). The tree actually pivots top top this hinge, and the width and also angle that the hinge can be supplied to guide the direction that the tree’s fall. Since of the angled hinge, the tree will start to loss on the narrow section of the hinge while the timber at the thicker ar of the hinge is quiet intact. The tree is thus pulled toward the special section. Making these cut is one art and requires practice.

Once the tree starts come fall, revolve off the saw and also move under your preferred escape path. Perform not stand at the base of the tree to admire your work. Fall trees have actually been recognized to bounce backward end the stump and injure an unwary operator.

A leaning tree presents unique problems. The an obstacle of these difficulties depends on the direction and also the level of the lean. Through a conventional back cut, a leaning tree will quite perhaps split and also fall prematurely. Fairly than hazard potential significant injury to you yourself by do the efforts to fell a leaning tree, top a expert arborist.

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Figure 2. Three types of undercuts. Keep in mind that in every case, the ago cut is contempt (1 come 2 inches) above the hinge suggest of the undercut.
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Figure 3. The direction a tree falls can be closely controlled with effectively made undercuts and ago cuts.

Limbing a tree

When removing unwanted limbs native standing timber, the simple safety dominion is: never ever limb over your shoulders; that is, carry out not effort to cut off branches over the elevation of your shoulders. Cutting over your shoulders needs that you host the chain observed at or close to arm’s length, and also you lose control over the observed in this position. Ideal limbing techniques to reduce damage to the tree space covered in MU expansion publications G5160, Pruning woodland Trees, and also G6866, Pruning and also Care of the shade Trees.

When limbing a tree the is lie on the ground, various other safety rule apply. The very first thing you must do is evaluate the please tree. If the tree has become lodged or wedged in surrounding trees and has no fallen every the means to the ground, do not walk underneath the tree. That may fall without warning. Tree that are “hung” are particularly dangerous and also need come be gotten rid of by mechanical means. They have the right to be traction down with a cable and a tractor suitably fitted to protect against roll-over and also falling objects.

Besides checking whether the felled tree is hung, additionally consider the following questions as you inspection the area:

Do you see smaller sized trees that have been bend over and also trapped by the felled tree?Do you see branches hold the tree partially in the air?Is the tree top top level ground?If you have just felled the tree, room there dead branches or various other debris hanging above you that might still fall to the ground?

Dead branches and debris are called widowmakers for great reason. They have been well-known to fall several minutes after a tree has actually been felled and severely injure or kill witnessed operators. To it is in safe, wait a few minutes to permit any extr debris to loss to the ground. Use the moment to take a quick rest.

Once you have evaluated the obstacles and hazards and also are prepared to limb the tree, stand on the uphill side of the tree. Never stand top top the downhill side of a please log. If you reduced a branch the is hold the log in in place, the log could roll downhill and also trap you. Make sure you have great footing and also are stand in a well balanced position that permits you liberty of movement

Start at the bottom the the tree and work your way to the top, removing branches top top the opposite next of the tree indigenous you together you go. Anytime possible, always cut on the side of the log in opposite indigenous you. This locations the log between you and also the saw and also provides extr protection because that you.

Keep vision of the reminder of the saw to protect against kickback. Periodically put down the saw and also remove debris so you have clear vision and movement about the tree.

Try to reduced the four off as flush as feasible with the tribe of the log. Act this renders the log in much less complicated to role or move. If the limbs are in a place where do the washing up cuts room not instantly possible, psychic to remove the branch stubs later.

Depending top top the types and size of the tree you space limbing, few of the branches might be an extremely heavy. When heavy branches are eliminated from a log, the log may shift its position unexpectedly.

Smaller trees that are bent over and also trapped through the load of the fallen log are referred to as springpoles. Springpoles have a tremendous amount of stored energy and also present one of the best hazards the the limbing process. This power can be safely removed by using an ax or chain saw to cut the springpole at the apex of its bend. Figure 4 illustrates how to locate the apex that a springpole. Trapped branches can also be springpoles and also can be encountered in the very same way.

When cutting a tree right into firewood, you might want to start at the peak of the tree so that some of the branches are off the ground. The way, the hardwood drops come the ground and also the saw is kept away from the soil as much as possible. Again, this is a time when an excellent footing, great balance and ease of motion are specifically important.

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Figure 4. To find the apex of the bend, imagine straight lines (a and b) coming out of the bend springpole. This lines intersect at some point away indigenous the tree. Draw a 3rd line (c) the bisects the angle developed by present a and also b. Reduced where line c touch the top of the springpole.

Bucking a tree

The procedure of cutting a tree into usable lengths is called bucking. Bucking frequently occurs together a tree is gift limbed, together as as soon as the four of the crown room to be supplied as firewood. Once cutting firewood, make certain you recognize the needed length of wood before you leave home. Once cutting full-size products, such together sawlogs and veneer logs, you must cut logs much longer than the last product to leave a trim allowance. For an 8-foot log, a trim pin money of 4 to 6 inches is common. Plenty of bucking cuts are angled, and also the trim allowance enables the ends of the boards to be cut square in ~ the mill come the preferred board lengths.

When a tree is completely on level ground, the biggest problem during bucking is avoiding running the witnessed chain right into the earth. As soon as a tree is suspended at one end, the bucking operation becomes much more difficult. Number 5 shows various bucking techniques. In all cases, was standing on the uphill next of the log and keep a firm fixed on the saw through both hands. Also, keep a strong, also stance on the ground for this reason you can move quickly if the log starts to roll.

A sawbuck deserve to make bucking easier. That holds a log in still at a good working elevation so the you can safely cut the wood to length (Figure 6). Friend can discover plans for structure a sawbuck in your regional library or your chain experienced owner’s manual, or you deserve to purchase a sawbuck from a range of sources.

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Figure 5. Different bucking procedures use depending on exactly how the tree lies.
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Figure 6. A sawbuck is beneficial for safe cutting hardwood to length.

Electrically it is provided chain saws

Electrically powered chain saws call for some additional precautions. Use only a three-wire cord of the ideal size v three-pronged plugs and also a base three-wire outlet. A ground fault interrupter in the power supply heat will assist prevent fatal shocks.

The floor in the working area must be reasonably dry. Prevent working in locations where the foliage or ground is wet.

Lay the end the cord so that it will certainly not interfere with your work. Take treatment to place it where you won’t inadvertently reduced it v the saw or trip over it.

Make certain that the saw switch is in the off position prior to completing the electrical connection. Always unplug the saw before making adjustments and also when the saw is no being used.

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Original authors: David E. Baker, department of agricultural Engineering, and also Bruce E. Cutter, college of organic Resources.