If you live in a house with a backyard full of trees, you probably have had at least one tree that has either died and needed to be cut down or one that already fell, so you had to call for services to remove it. Unfortunately, if you had a bad experience with professionals and their services, you probably will not want to call them again to deal with your problems in your backyard, and that is completely understandable.
But, you find yourself again in a situation where you need to cut down a tree that is in your way, so what do you do? Well, the cutting should be left to professionals, but if you believe that you can solve the problem yourself, there is no reason why you should not try to. Keep in mind, no matter how big or small the problem is, you will need to go through the proper steps to ensure that you, your family and your neighbors will stay safe during the entire process.
Here are some tips you need to know about removing a tree all by yourself.
Get the right gear
Naturally, you cannot cut anything with your hands or with the basic tools you have at home. You will need to purchase the right gear to deal with such a problem.
Naturally, the most important thing when it comes to tackling a problem such as this is to keep yourself safe. You need to protect yourself from cuts, falls, pointy branches and many other complications that may develop during the process of cutting down the tree.
Get yourself protective goggles, gloves, knee and elbow padding, head protection and most importantly, chainsaw proof pants (if you plan to use one).
The best way to cut anything is to use a chainsaw, no matter how thick or thin your target is. Whether you buy a brand new one or you use your old one make sure that you have enough gas, check if there is enough oil and if the chain is sharp enough. A dull chain is actually much more dangerous than a sharp one.
- First aid
IT is always smart to be prepared if something goes wrong. Whether you cut yourself or you experience a fall, you should always have a first aid kit ready no matter what.
- Other items you will need
You will definitely need a ladder to cut all the branches that are getting in your way. You will also need a rope to help the tree fall in the right direction, an ax to help you with situations where the chainsaw will have trouble and a wedge to prevent your chainsaw from getting pinched.
If you want to avoid paying hundreds of dollars to equip yourself with the right gear, we recommend that you consider hiring professionals to help you with the problem you face. According to abtrees.com.au, the risk of injury is considerably lower when experienced professionals deal with cutting down trees.
If this is your first time tackling such a big problem, it is probably smart that you first get insurance before you do anything. Even if you hurt yourself just a bit, it could mean a trip to the hospital and a few days off work. This can cost you money, so if you want to avoid losing money just because you wanted to get rid of a tree in your backyard, you should definitely get the right insurance.
Before you get into the cutting down process, you will first have to do a detailed examination. It is crucial that you analyze whether it is leaning in a certain direction. Depending on the angle of the lean, there is a good chance that it will fall in that certain direction, it will make no difference where you cut it.
You will also need to check whether there is enough distance in the direction you expect it to fall. If you do not have enough space in your backyard, you will probably have to shave the top off first and then focus on the whole tree.
Another important thing is that you set an escape route. It is very important that you have enough space and time to run away from the fall. Not only the fall might be unpredictable, but after it hits the ground a lot of pieces may spray in every direction which may be dangerous. So, clear up your escape route from any branches and other obstacles that you might trip on.
Cutting it down
The time has finally come. You have all the right equipment and the knowledge to deal with this problem that has been bugging you for months or maybe even years.
- Give it a few knocks
The first thing you need to do is to give it a few knocks. The sound of the knock can help you find out whether it is dead or alive. If the knock sounds a bit hollow, this is the place you will need to cut. The hollower it sounds, the easier it will be.
- Plan the fall
You already analyzed whether the tree is leaning one way or another, but you could still direct its fall. Make sure the place it will fall is flat enough so the trunk does not start rolling away toward your house or your neighbor’s house.
- The horizontal cut
Make sure you keep the horizontal cut as low as possible. Ensure that it is lower than your stomach. This cut should not be longer than one-third of the trunk.
- The wedge cut
This is what determines the direction of the fall and it should not be any longer than one-third of the trunk. Cut from top to the middle and then from bottom to the middle until you make a form that resembles a slice of orange.
- The final or back cut
This is the final cut which will reduce the stability of the tree and initiate the fall. This one should be on the opposite side and the same level as the wedge cut. After you pass the center of the trunk, the tree should start falling or you could force it with the pull of a rope.