• Pick your escape route (or routes in case the intended route is blocked). Clear the immediate area around the tree and make sure there are no obstructions in your planned path of retreat. Clear the path of safe retreat approximately 135° from the planned line of fall.

Step 1: Proper Cutting Stance and Grip

  • Balance your weight with both feet on solid ground.
  • Keep left arm with elbow locked in a “straight arm” position to withstand any kickback force.
  • Keep your body to the left of the chain line.
  • Keep your thumb on underside of handlebar.

Step 2: Work Area Precautions

  • Cut only wood or materials made from wood; no sheet metal, no plastics, no masonry, no non-wood building materials.
  • During felling operations, the safe distance should be a least twice the height of the largest trees in the felling area.
  • Do not fell trees near electrical wires or build­ings. Leave this operation for professionals.
  • Cut only when visibility and light are adequate for you to see clearly.

Step 3: Felling Preparations

When felling a tree, it is important that you heed the following warnings to prevent possible serious injury.

  • Do not cut down trees having an extreme lean or large trees with rotten limbs, loose bark, or hollow trunks. Have these trees pushed or dragged down with heavy equipment, then cut them up.
  • Check the tree for damaged or dead branches that could fall and hit you during felling.
  • Periodically glance at the top of the tree during the backcut to assure the tree is going to fall in the desired direction.
  • If the tree starts to fall in the wrong direction, or if the saw gets caught or hung up during the fall, leave the saw and save yourself!

Step 5: Cutting PROCEDURE

  • Cut a notch about 1/3 the diameter of the trunk in the side of the tree. Make the notch cuts so they intersect at a right angle to the line of fall. This notch should be cleaned out to leave a straight line. To keep the weight of the wood off the saw, always make the lower cut of the notch before the upper cut.

Step 6: Set Wedge for directional

  • On large diameter trees, stop the back cut before it is deep enough for the tree to either fall or settle back on the stump. Then insert soft wooden or plastic wedges into the cut so they do not touch the chain. Drive wedges in, little by little, to help jack the tree over.
  • NOTE: When bucking or felling with a wedge, it may be necessary to remove the SAFE-T-TIP® anti-kickback device to allow the bar to be drawn through the cut. After you complete the cut, reinstall the tip immediately.

Step 7: Never Cut through the notch

  • Warning: Never cut through to the notch when making a back cut. The hinge controls the fall of the tree, this is the section of wood between the notch and backcut.

Step 8: Retreat along the cleared path

  • As tree starts to fall, stop the chain saw and put it down immediately. Retreat along the cleared path, but watch the action in case something falls your way.