When I first came around permies in 2015, I'd probably only cut down 4-5 trees in my life. Now, 8 years later, I find myself managing a 100-acre woodlot. I have learned a lot, dropped a lot of trees, and had very few close calls, thankfully.
But there is still wisdom on Permies that I had yet to discover until writing this post!
Cutting down trees can be a path to an early grave - but with proper care and preparation, it needn't be so harrowing. This is an important thing! So I'm dedicating this thread to the topic of safely cutting down trees. Let's start at the beginning. To cut or not to cut, that is the question:
You usually don't need special tools to safely drop a tree, but sometimes they can help. I've used ropes, pulleys, straps, winches, and tractors - but never the timbertool. Lots of opinions out there, but it seems like if you know the basics of tree-cutting, it can be helpful.
I watched a vid once where the 1st step after starting the saw and allowing it to warm-up is to use it to clear all around the base of the tree and make your escape route, instead of going right in to the felling cut - this way you will have a clear path to retreat to with no trip hazards once the tree starts going over. Also less likely to have any surprise flying debris from the falling tree hitting and snapping apart nearby smaller trees/bushes.
Mike Haasl wrote:Here is an excellent video on a number of notch cutting techniques. Most of us only need to know a couple of these...
If you watch the video on YouTube you may see that one of the skilled arborists sharing his knowledge was just killed a month ago, in an unexpected way while working. You can also find a GoFundMe page to help his wife and two young daughters: Jed James Walters.
Yeah I actually saw that. It speaks to the point of this thread because that guy was demonstrably one of the best tree guys out there and he got it unexpectedly even after doing everything right. That one might be the most hard hitting death of someone I never met that I have ever experienced. The guy was not only the best tree cutter I found on Youtube but he was also an old school skater for World? So crazy. Super sad too. Jed was a stud.