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Jul 01

Tree Felling

We had a 40′ pine die over the winter, so we needed to remove it. I didn’t fancy paying a tree service, so I started reading up in tree felling theory and practice. I had a plan to cut it down:


I figured I would tie a rope up as high as I could get, tie that to a come along that is hitched to a pickup. I needed to be safely out of reach, too. So I used a pole saw to cut the lowest branches off, and then I sent the boy up in a climbing tree stand.


We used a Franciscan slip knot and I had 100′ of rope to play with. It turns out we could only get 17′ up the tree: just shy of halfway. Using the trusty Pythagorean theorem, I figured on the truck being 55′ away, about 5 yards from the tree top.

I then cut a wedge out of the front, and a felling cut in the back. The tree was about 14″ in diameter, and my trusty Echo CS310 has a 14″ blade, so we were good. At the end, I had a hinge of about 1.5″, and it just stayed there. The rope had a good amount of tension to help control the fall, but it wasn’t falling. I got a crow bar to help the process along, but the wood was soft , so it still needed more help. Fortunately I also had brought a BFA Hammer and my axe out. I started hammering the axe into the felling cut, and about when the axe blade was entirely in the tree, it slowly began to fall exactly where we had wanted it to!

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