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I witnessed firsthand how a tree felling can go awry. The tree in question belonged to my neighbor, and her friend accidentally felled it right into my yard! What a mess. The tree crashed into the branches of a favorite oak tree of mine and broke a few planks out of the fence. I'd stop short of calling the botched felling a disaster because, thankfully, no one was hurt. That, in itself, was incredibly lucky since the guy wielding the chainsaw showed no awareness of basic safety precautions: he had no safety gloves, no safety boots and no helmet. In addition, someone's little girl frolicked all around the yard the entire time, blissfully unaware of the danger. I could go on but, well, you get the picture. My strongly-worded advice to them was: next time, hire an expert!

Think you're up to the task of felling a tree yourself? It takes a bit of forward planning to make sure you avoid the type of scenario I've just described. Start with a look at safety guidelines courtesy of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, aka OSHA. Using a chainsaw? Click here to read some good general use and safety tips for chainsaws. One top resource is ExpertVillage's Tools Needed to Fell a Tree. This feature is a bit of a goldmine for the DIY-tree-feller. It boasts 15 short videos of the host demonstrating proper tools and techniques for tree felling in safety. Each video is accompanied by a helpful written transcript so you can check back and make sure you're on track.

All-in-all, there's a ton of helpful info available on the Web. Having said that, tree felling is one DIY job you should pass over to the experts if you're at all unsure you can do the job safely. Trust me: your neighbors will love you for it!


  • nick

    The authoritative modern guide to pruning trees was written in the mid-70s if I recall correctly. It was a book that was aimed at the homeowner but revolutionized horticultural studies. It was the first time anyone had ever published recommendations based on the health of the tree rather than the æsthetics; i.e. it adamantly forbid cutting off limbs flush to the tree and the use of the black tar spray that supposedly protects the tree--in fact it actually seals in disease.
    [/rambling introduction]The point of my comment is thus: He recommended that, unless you are a professional, any pruning that requires either a ladder or a saw larger than a small one-handed pruning saw should be left to the experts.
    Trees are unpredictable, chain-saws are very powerful, and inexperienced users can end up causing great harm to themselves or others.

  • Diane Rixon

    This is a great comment. Thank you so much. Can you recall the title of that book you mentioned?

  • maggie

    felling? felled? These words are not in the dictionary. Oh wait maybe in the hillbilly version! falling! yes, fell! yes.

  • 3 Comments / 1 Pages

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