Sunday, April 25, 2010

Planning Your Falling Cuts

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One of my landowners needed a chainsaw lesson recently, and this stump turned out good enough to share with you. The first cut aims the tree, and this cut should end when the length is 80% or more of the tree's diameter at breast height. The tree will fall at a right angle to the front of the hinge, and there is a line on your saw's power unit for you to use as a sight.

The second cut should match up exactly to the first cut, and there should be 70 to 90 degrees between the two cuts so the hinge will not be broken until the tree rotates to the ground.

Cut number three is a bore cut to build the hinge. You can punch through parallel to the front face if you are good, but it is safer to angle back slightly so you don't accidentally blow out your hinge.

Press the dogs into the bark, lean around the tree so you can see the end of the bar, and carefully rotate the saw until the far end of the hinge is the same thickness as the near end.

After you have the hinge completed, cut toward the back of the tree, but stop before cutting the backstrap and have a look around for safety. This cut can be done in halves on larger trees. Cut out on the heavy side of the tree first to avoid having the tree sit down on your bar. If the tree is balanced, or has back lean or weight, you will need to pound in a wedge before you release the tree.

Cut number 6 can be done in various ways to fit the situation. For trees with forward weight I usually continue straight out the back and make my escape. A downward cut through the slab wood, or a root swell prevents your bar from being trapped if the tree sits down on the stump when you cut the back strap. If you are going to be wedging, make cut number 6 horizontally a couple inches below the stump level. This will leave a tab hanging down off the log which keeps your wedge from coming out sideways as you pound it in.

These steps do not constitute a complete falling plan, but this is the part that puts the tree on the ground.

More Info: Click 1, 2, 34.

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