Cutting down a tree sometimes is a sad thing. I still remember when my family decides to chop down the big old poplar we used to play around when we were kids. However, when uprooted or collapse in natural disasters, the big guys may pose some threats to our loving house and family.
Therefore, we should learn how to cut it down safely when the tree is more dangerous than beneficial. Prepare yourself so we can start!
Equip Yourself with a Proper Safety Gear
Cutting trees down is more dangerous than it may seem. Remember, you are working with an object of hundreds of kilograms, and a running chainsaw. One mistake can cause you injuries or even more severe consequences.
An appropriate safety gear includes:
– A logger’s helmet. You will need it to prevent your head from hitting falling branches. They may look small when you see from afar, but a direct hit may send you into a coma.
– Earmuffs and protecting goggles to protect your eyes and ears
– Kevlar chaps for chainsaw usage. So in case you happen to drop the machine on your leg, it will be stopped instantly
Grab Some Felling Wedges
Without the useful tools, you will find your chained pinched while cutting.
Estimate the Felling Zones
You cannot get the right height of the tree just with eyes. However, you can estimate the approximate measurement by the simple trick.
Hold an ax right straight from your chest at an arm’s length. Close one eye, and step back when you see the treetop is even with the ax top and the root with the tool’s bottom. Where you are standing will be where the treetop lays when it falls. Spare some extra space from the spot, and you can call it the safety felling zones.
Besides, you should also create two more alternative routes in the non-falling zones in case some unexpected situations happen. Each one should be 45 degrees apart.
Cut the First Notch
Make the cutting done with a chainsaw. However, the machine is often not used frequently, so if the blade is dull, you should seek a high-quality chainsaw sharpener.
The first cut should be big enough, so it goes further than half of the tree’s diameter. You should make the notch from the direction to which you want the tree to fall. In most cases, the tree will fall right to where you want to if you do the step right.
Even though the first cut is nearly fool-proof, you should mind your hand not to let it go too far. Otherwise, the tree may fall to wrong directions or, the worst, on your body.
Make the Felling Notch
Go to the opposite side of the big groove, and make the ultimate cut. When the chain gets close, the tree will start leaning to the planned direction.
If you want to be more careful, you should tie a rope to the top of the tree.
Cutting the Log into Firewood
Turning the tree into something useful is a way to respect the nature after you have cut it down. You can make a bench from it, but in the article, we can only show you how to make firewood from the log
Separate the Log
Firstly, use the chainsaw to remove all the branches from your log. Secure the trunk so it will not move when the machine is running. You should estimate to cut it into 16-inch length, which is suitable for most woodstoves or traditional fireplace.
Then, make some shallow cut into the log, each 16 inches apart to mark where the chain will go down.
Don’t try to cut the log by only one move, because your chain may hit rocks or dirt under the wood. Cut three quarters through the trunk first, then roll it over and get the job done. If your chain hit things by accident and become dull, you should find a high-quality chainsaw sharpener.
Splitting into Firewood
The right tool for the task is a good splitting maul. It looks somehow like an ax or a sledgehammer. The tool comes in a wide range of size, but you should choose one that is suitable for your physical features. A too large maul will hinder your movements and cause you a backache.
Put the tip of the maul on top of the log and stand securely with your feet spreading shoulders’-width. Raise the tool over your head, and slam it down onto the wood at the center. After that, you may consider splitting the log halves into quarters or leave them as the whole.
Cutting down a tree is a hard and dangerous task, but when you know what you are doing, it will be less threatening. The tips are getting yourself prepared and having the right tools.
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