You’ve just bought a fine piece of property. You’re building your dream house, or maybe you’ve already set up housekeeping and everything inside your home is ship-shape. The next thing you want to do is landscape your surrounding acreage in a pleasing way. If you have a lot of trees around your home, either on the back of the lot or around your front, back, and side yards, you may need to fell some trees. Landscapers do a good job, but doing it yourself is cheaper, and is a great way to get some fresh air and exercise. Take stock of what you have, and how much of the wooded area you want to clean out. Remember that the wood is valuable and can be sold or traded if the quality is good. It also helps to remember that keeping some trees on your lot is a great way to retain foliage, and sometimes also privacy and nutrients for the soil as leaves and branches fall each year. All of this will have an impact on both aesthetics and property value. Many people have determined that with the cost of an adjustable rate mortgage climbing every year, reinvesting in the property that they own is a great way to protect their financial future.
If there are any obstacles in the way, such as toys or playground equipment, cars or trucks, move them before getting started. Remove any dead or hanging branches using hedge trimmers. Take a good look at the way the tree is growing. It should be allowed to fall in the way that it naturally leans, ideally. Bear in mind that if the stump of the tree is rotted or hollowed out, the tree may fall in a way you do not anticipate, so great care should be taken that you or other people are not in the way of the tree when it is falling. As you cut into the tree, use your best judgment as to where it is liable to fall. It is recommended that you locate two escape routes for when the tree is falling, so that you and others can stay clear of its path as it falls. Take your time when cutting through the tree. Bigger, thicker trees require more time, and for these big trees, you will most likely need to use a chainsaw. If you’ve never used a chainsaw before, use extreme caution, or ask for help from someone who has experience using a chainsaw. Cut a ninety degree notch into the tree using a handsaw or similar tool. Make this cut into the tree on the side of the stump that you want the tree to fall. This is called an undercut. This cut should be as deep as about one fourth of the tree’s diameter. Smaller trees can be cut directly through with a saw or an axe, but with this method comes the danger that the tree will fall on itself, and you will have trouble removing it later. The next cut you need to make in preparation of felling the tree is called the back cut. It should be made on the opposite side of the undercut, and should be two inches higher than the undercut. This adds stability for when the tree is falling. Both of these cuts are greatly important in giving you control over where the tree falls. If you or a friend are using a chainsaw to perform these cuts, watch for an accumulation of sap in certain coniferous trees, as this can cause the chainsaw to bind up, which could be a danger to yourself and others. Cut through the back cut until you see the tree begin to fall. If you’re using a chainsaw, shut it off and move to a safe place that you have chosen beforehand. Standing at the base of the tree can be injurious or fatal because trees sometimes have a tendency to bounce on the stump and fall backwards. From this point on, remove limbs and branches carefully with hedge trimmers or a saw, working from the opposite side of the tree trunk. This will make removing the debris easier later on.