Deciding to cut down a big tree is not an easy task. If it is located near a house, there are a ton of safety measures that you need to bear in mind. You have to clear out any obstacles that the tree might fall upon. Branches need to be trimmed in case it falls on the house. You have to ensure the yard is clear of people and pets before you start the process. Here are a few pointers to guide you in felling a large tree safely.
Safety Comes First
The first thing you need to think of is your safety gear. You’ll need to wear a hard hat or a logger’s helmet, in this case, to protect your head from any falling branches. Wearing protective gear for your ears is essential to mask the loud chainsaw noise. Of course, you’ll have to wear safety glasses or a face shield to avoid any flying splinters from hurting your eyes. Many people would forgo wearing protection for their hands and legs, but don’t neglect this part. Put on work gloves before you start and wear Kevlar chaps which will protect you if the chainsaw accidentally hits your leg or comes near it.
Pick the Right Equipment
You’ll need a high-quality chainsaw; this is directly related to the first point. It’s safer to use quality equipment to avoid any surprises. The professionals at Tree Removal Sacramento believe there’s an art in trimming trees, but first, you need the right tools. You’ll also need felling wedges that will help tilt your tree to the direction you choose. They also protect your saw during the cutting process. Loppers will help you cut smaller branches without hassle. Pruning saws may also come in handy when cutting single branches if you don’t want to use your chainsaw for that purpose. Consider cutting the lower branches first before you proceed, especially if you’re in a residential area.
Determine the Falling Area
If you’re felling a large tree, it’s impossible to determine its exact height. You still have to clear up enough space for the tree to fall. To do this, use your ax to estimate the size of the tree. Hold it in one hand and stretch your arm as much as you can; have one eye closed and walk backward as far as you can until the top of the ax meets the tree’s top and the bottom of the ax meets the tree’s base. The place you’re standing in is where the tree will fall. It’s better if you make more room for the tree to fall just in case.
Plan the Fall
First, you need to make a notch cut in the direction you want the tree to fall. Cut a height at which you’re comfortable to work. You want to cut at a 45-degree angle in the downward direction. The cut has to be deep enough to reach one-third of the tree’s trunk. You’ll then need to make a felling cut opposite to and under the notch cut but parallel to the base of the tree. Beware of the tree falling at any time while you make each cut and prepare to clear the area at once.
After the Fall
After you fell your tree, you need to take care of the stump, which is the base left on the ground. You can cut it completely to prevent the regrowth of the tree (rendering your efforts futile). Another thing you can do is to use a stump killer to let it decay on its own. The next step is to cut the tree itself into smaller manageable sections. Cut them into forearm-length chunks to make it easier for you to transfer or use them to light up a fire.
When to Hire a Professional
If the tree is diseased, it might be dangerous to cut it down on your own. If you feel the process is overwhelming at any point, you need to call the experts. There are numerous tree removal services you can use to get rid of your tree problem. Read customers’ reviews on companies online or ask for recommendations from people you trust before hiring the right one for you.
Finally, you should ask if you need a special permit in your area to go through with the process. It’s a good idea to have a friend to help you out and warn you if any branch is about to come down. Using a chainsaw is dangerous especially if you’re not a professional. Make sure you abide by all the safety precautions before you attempt to fell a tree.