Avoid 3 Common Mistakes Homeowners Make When Handling Their Own Tree Felling

Handling your own tree felling can be more difficult than you might imagine, as chainsaws can be cumbersome and it's not uncommon for a tree to fall in just about any possible direction. If you are determined to handle your own tree felling rather than call the experts, note a few common mistakes many homeowners make so you can be sure to avoid these yourself.

1. Clear the area

Once you get to cutting your tree, you might be so involved with the saw and the tree itself that you forget to mind your surroundings. This can mean an increased risk of tripping over rocks, brush, and the like or accidentally cutting something else because you forgot you left the patio furniture near the tree. Before you even start cutting, take time to pull up shrubbery, rake the area, remove rocks and any other tripping hazards, take in patio furniture, pull the car far away from where you're working and the like. Put away the gas can for the saw and any other tools you don't need immediately so the area is completely clear.

2. Cut larger branches

It may be less work to simply cut the tree at the trunk, but it can also be safer and make the job easier if you cut larger branches first. The weight of these branches can contribute to your tree falling in a different direction than you assumed, and they can bring down power lines or damage outbuildings very easily. Taking some time to cut larger branches and especially those that cause an overhang can make tree felling safer overall.

3. Create a hinge

One common mistake homeowners make is to cut a tree straight across, assuming they can use ropes to pull it in the direction they want it to fall. This is rarely successful, which is why professionals cut a diagonal wedge into the tree trunk. This wedge forms a hinge on one side of the tree that allows the tree to fall in that direction. You don't want to create the wedge by cutting the angle all the way to the edge of the tree, but try cutting about halfway through the tree first and see if it falls. If not, cut a few more inches or centimeters across and keep doing this until the tree finally falls on this hinge.  

If you're wary of tackling this task on your own, don't hesitate to call a professional.