Removing a tree isn’t as simple as just cutting through the trunk. Well, okay, if your tree is stick tree then yes, you can simply cut through it or you can simply dig it up and move on with your day. This is more for those big trees that may have been damaged in a storm or that are blocking access to something or are a general nuisance being where they are.
The first step in felling that tree is to check the surrounding area. If there are nearby power lines or you are on a hill or a cliff it’s best to call in the professionals. If, however there is a clear area and you are on flat ground you are good to proceed. Know it will take time and know your tools before you begin and also find two escape routes, one on each side of the tree, you’ll need those later on.
Your first cut is the undercut. This is a guide for the tree to fall. It will be a V shaped notch in the side that you want the tree to fall on. It should be a 90 degree cut and up to one fourth the diameter of the trunk in size.
Your second cut is the backcut. This is made 2″ higher than the hinge part of the undercut and is done on the opposite side of the trunk (the side you want it not to fall on). The backcut releases the stress on the tree and allows it to fall easier for you.
Once the tree starts to fall, you’ll want to use those escape routes that were mentioned earlier and get the heck out of the way. When the tree is on the ground it is safe to return and get back to work.
Now it’s time to do some limbing. This means taking off the branches and you do this from the bottom up, with you being on the opposite side of the trunk from the branch you are cutting. If you are going to make the trunk into firewood, cut it into desired lengths and store it accordingly. The branches should then be cut to the required size according to your bylaw so they can be bundled then picked up and recycled on the proper day.
As for the stump, that’s best left to the professionals, as there is a lot of tree under the ground that we just can’t see.
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