How to cut a tree quickly without a chainsaw

How to work with a hand saw

The saw has to be steered, otherwise it will start to “wander”. This should be taken literally. Wood is a living material, and its behavior is unpredictable. Hard annual rings, knots, cracks, high humidity and high resin can seriously complicate sawing.

For this reason there is no universal tool that can take account of all the vagaries of wood, but there are many different special saws. The shape and order in which the teeth alternate are determined not by the material from which the saw blade is made, but by its intended use. Some tools can only cut in a straight line, others work better in a circular sawing pattern.

When sawing, only the saw moves, the workpiece must be secured in place. That’s why you need a stable support. For example, the workbench or the sawhorse. The workpiece is secured with a clamp or is held by hand, and particularly large workpieces are additionally secured with the knee.

Sawing begins and ends with repeated light pulling of the saw in the opposite direction, that is, a “trace” is laid. At the end of cutting, it is necessary to hold firmly the remainder of the saw to prevent it from breaking off with the piece of main wood.

Sawing is one of the most common processes in wood processing. A clean, even cut. no problem if you have the right tool and know how to use it.

In the photo (from top to bottom): big and small hacksaws; backing saw; narrow-blade saw. Next to left is a fret saw.

What chainsaws are available?

Before you start working, it’s worth understanding the principle of the chainsaw, as well as the types and types.

The chainsaw is a versatile tool for woodworking. It is used to cut down trees and limbs, trim branches, cut construction materials, and for creative work as well. However, working with a chainsaw requires certain knowledge and skills, otherwise there is a risk to health or even life.

Before you buy a saw, you need to carefully study the offerings on the market. It is worth choosing the type of tool to begin with. There are 3 types, which differ in power, working time and cost:

  • Domestic chainsaws. These include tools with up to 1.5 thousand watts and up to 2.04 liters. с. The length of the tire is 30-45 cm. The continuous work time of such models is about 30-40 minutes, the weight is 2-6 kg. The tool is suitable for small jobs, such as mowing bushes or cutting small amounts of firewood.
  • Semi-professional, also called universal. These are saws with a power of 1.5-2.5 thousand watts and 2.04-3.4 liters. с. They can work up to 5 hours a day, although overloading them is not recommended. The bar length is the same as the domestic models. from 38 to 45 cm. Such a saw will be needed when building a house, barn, bathhouse or other structure, in large logging.
  • Professional. The design of this chainsaw is similar to past models, but they differ in features. Their power is 2.5-5 thousand watts and 3.4-6.8 liters. с. They can work for up to 16 hours a day, and work continuously for up to 8 hours. The width of the bar can be up to 100 cm. They are best for time-consuming and labor-intensive work. Professional models are not suitable for everyday use: they are large and heavy.

In addition, chainsaws are divided by weight and size, speed, chain pitch, fuel tank capacity and other characteristics. Some models have additional parameters, such as an anti-vibration system or automatic chain lubrication. This affects the cost of the tool.

The right way to cut a tree

To properly cut down trees with a chainsaw, you need:

  • choose the side in which the tree is to fall and the height at which it is to be cut;
  • cut down the branches (so that the branches do not injure the tree faller, it is necessary to pre-saw them so that from the height of human height and to the ground the trunk is bare);
  • Make the top saw in the trunk (made at a 45° angle to the ground, its depth should be equal to a quarter of the trunk diameter, no more);
  • make the bottom cut (made horizontally so that its end connects with the edge of the first cut, and a triangular wedge-shaped piece is detached from the tree);
  • Make a third, felling undercut (made on the opposite side from the other two undercuts, performed horizontally, parallel to the bottom undercut, 5 cm above it);

It is important! When making the third (felling) undercut when felling a tree, be sure to leave an undercut, the amount of which should be about 10% of the thickness of the trunk. To avoid the chainsaw getting jammed during the most important felling notch, you can use the wedge that was sawed off the tree earlier.

  • remove the working part of the saw from the saw cut and quickly move away to a safe distance from the tree being sawed (the lower part of the falling trunk can jump because of inertia to a height of one to one and a half meters).
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Cutting down branches

In order to cut a tree properly with a chainsaw, you need to remove any obstructing branches. To do this, you will have to use a stepladder. It must be positioned so that it is between the branch to be cut and the trunk of the tree. If the branches are big, you should place the helper with a rope on the branch to be cut at a distance of 1-1.5 meters from the trunk before you start cutting.

You should trim from the bottom to the top so that the branches fall down freely.

It is generally agreed that pre-trimming the lower part of the tree is mostly necessary to keep it in balance. For this reason it is not necessary to cut away twigs from the side where the fall is desirable.

Sawing down the tree. Procedure and steps in the process

When directly sawing, it is better to call an assistant, who will guide the tree, when that will fall. this work can be done by hand, but if the tree is thick, it is better to take a rope to gird.

First you need to make one scrap in the wood, it should be at a comfortable level for you where it is most comfortable to saw without particularly straining your back, arms, or whole body. Cut the cut both with a saw and a coarse-toothed hacksaw on the side where the tree is to fall.

The order in which you saw the tree will be approximately as follows:

  • First cut a piece of wood from above at a 45° angle to the ground, about a third of the thickness, but no more. Then saw it parallel to the ground;
  • After making the felling notch, pull the wood in the right direction. If the wood is thick, then it’s necessary to make a cut on the back side as well, a little under the base of the previous slice. It should be at a 45° angle to the corner of the first sector you cut;
  • Pull the wood again, taking your time. If the tree hasn’t started to fall, make another cut, deeper in the place where you made the first one, right on top of it;
  • Do not pull the tree while cutting in any way, because the falling trajectory is unpredictable. If the tree has already started to fall, you must quickly run away to the side.

After felling the tree you will only have to uproot the stump and roots. it is not an easy task either, but you can take special cutters which will make the task easier. The last step is the disposal of the cut tree: all of its parts should be either burned or taken away outside the area.

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How to cut down an unwanted tree on your own property without a fine

A unified document that would control the felling of trees on one’s own backyard, unfortunately, does not exist yet (as, by the way, there is no clear definition of “forest” and belonging to it the trees on someone’s property). The Forest Code, the CAO, the Law on Environmental Protection, and other normative acts mainly regulate the felling and cutting of forest plantations, as well as trees that adorn public areas. As for trees growing on private plots of citizens, everything is not so straightforward. In some cities and towns you can cut down trees of non-valuable species without a permit from the authorities. But most often it is still required.

For example, in Moscow Oblast, St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, as well as in some other regions, permission to cut a tree on your property is called a felling permit. In the Russian capital, you have to apply for this document from the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, for example, if you want to remove an emergency tree or crown the trees near your home to improve the light. In the northern capital the Committee on Public Works in St. Petersburg is responsible for this.

Together with a written application for a logging ticket, you need to provide some more documents to the relevant organization. They must include a plan of your site and a certificate of survey of the planting territory. The latter, by the way, in itself is not a permit for felling trees. Note that, depending on the reason for which you are going to cut down a tree, the list of documents may vary, and its composition is better to clarify the place of presentation.

It is customary to cut down or cut down dead trees in the “season” of deadwood removal. from May to September.If you have difficulty knowing where to get permission to cut a tree on your property and what documents are needed, you should contact the administrative authority responsible for your area.

It is important to clarify whether the tree you intend to cut is not a valuable. The list of valuable species can vary, depending on the community in which you live. and, therefore, this information must be specified. For example, this list may include Karelian birch, cherry or cherry, pear, oak, common spruce, white maple, linden, alder, walnut, common pine, gray poplar, apple, ash, and many others. The sawing down of plants with valuable species of wood can lead to a heavy fine, and the destruction of several such trees can even lead to criminal liability.

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Removal of greenery on protected lands

According to the federal law “On specially protected natural territories”, there are territories where special legislation concerning the protection of green areas applies.

For example, not only is damage to vegetation often not allowed on the lands of nature reserves, but outsiders are not even allowed to be there. National parks are more permissive and allow the citizens to harvest timber for their own needs. This law also applies to parks and resorts and other places considered equal to them. Only criminal responsibility is provided for violation of the regime of specially protected natural territories. It should also be noted that in imposing penalties, the court may also provide for a fairly large confiscation of property involved in the violation of the law. In particular, it can be not only tools, but also vehicles.

I would like to add a few words about penalties. Chapter 26 of the Criminal Code, specifically articles 260 to 262, make offenses against vegetation punishable by criminal penalties. Here both high fines and correctional labor, in some cases, imprisonment is also provided. I would like to mention the toughening of responsibility for violation of the law by a group of persons by prior conspiracy. This amendment is the most frequently applied, because it is the most common way of punishing conspiracy. к. woodcutting and even simple sawing of a tree by one person is almost impossible. Administrative penalties are provided for in Art. 8.28 CAO. but only for misdemeanors. When cutting firewood and wood, or building or simply trimming trees, you should check your local tree preservation laws. Because of the size of our homeland, the differences in local regulations for different areas can be quite the opposite.

How to work safely and correctly

Always hold the chainsaw with both hands, gripping the handle firmly with all your fingers. It is better to place the tool closer to the body, this will provide a more comfortable body position. Keep your back straight and slightly bend your knees. When changing positions, stop the saw.

Use the chainsaw to make a notch, which will determine the fall side of the tree. Make an oblique cut (about 60 degrees), beginning with a 20 to 25% cut through the diameter of the tree. Then make two horizontal cuts, one joining the beveled one to form a triangle, the other just above the triangle. The undercut should be on the side where you plan to drop the trunk.

In case the saw bar is longer than the diameter of the tree, stand with your feet shoulder width apart and lean against the trunk. Don’t forget to check when you are sawing that the angle and direction of the saw is correct. After you make the cut, insert the felling blade and work with it until the wood begins to fall. This method is good for trunks with a diameter of 50 cm or less.

In large trees, you will most likely need to remove the branches at the bottom of the trunk. Better if you use the lower part of the guide bar from top to bottom.

Important! Never cut above the shoulder. If the tree has root knots, we recommend removing them as well.

The size of the bar is the key factor in choosing a chainsaw. The length of the bar and the power of the chain saw depend on the diameter of the tree.

A thin trunk (up to 35 cm in diameter) and a medium trunk (from 35 to 65 cm in diameter) can be easily cut with a chainsaw with a 40 cm long bar. For trunk diameters larger than 65 cm, you should use a more powerful chainsaw with a guide bar length of at least 45 cm.

Make a felling notch

Now it’s time to unclamp the saw. Make the felling cut just above the undercut, parallel to the ground. Saw almost all the way down the center of the tree, but not through the heartwood. This safety rule allows you to determine the falling path of the tree. The tree will hold upright because its core is intact, and you can fell it carefully. Otherwise it will fall wherever it wants to.

If you hear the wood crackle, immediately move to the opposite side of the tree‘s supposed fall!

At the end of the felling notch you can drive a wedge. cut from the guide undergrowth. into the gap. This will make the job easier.

Uprooting the tree

Sawing down wood does not always help solve the problem, because it leaves a stump. If you want to make room for further buildings, landscaping or other purposes, you must uproot the tree. For the work to go as quickly as possible and without unpleasant surprises, it should be done in stages and according to the plan.

A plan to remove large old plants must be drawn up according to law and under the supervision of experienced professionals. You only need a permit to cut down trees if the tree is outside of your property. For example, if there is a huge poplar growing right behind the fence, which is destroying the fence and your house behind it with its roots, then you need a permit to remove it. If the tree is on private property, you can do what you want with it. The planned cutting of trees in the city in this case is aimed specifically at preventing accidents due to the excessive size of trees. Then almost all large branches are removed from the plant, leaving only the trunk, and thin young branches sprout from it in spring.

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So a tree removal plan should take a lot of factors into account: tree species, age, size, soil characteristics, etc.д. All this helps to assess the degree of development of the root system of the plant and, as a consequence, the complexity of uprooting work.

The size of the tree

Any work on trees should start with an assessment of their appearance. There are specific rules which allow you to choose the right tool for uprooting the tree depending on its size. If it does not exceed 10 cm in diameter, you can get by with just a garden spade or pitchfork. But if it has a trunk diameter of 10-20 cm, a shovel will not be sufficient and you will need to dig a deeper hole.

In the case of very large trees with trunk diameters larger than 20 cm, you should take action according to the situation. If the tree is still healthy and strong, do not rush to saw and uproot it. it took the plant many years to reach this size. Consider replanting it in a more suitable location. Such a service is called transplanting large trees and is very popular. But if the tree is old, sick and dry you will need special equipment to uproot it: a chainsaw, a crane, a crushing machine, etc.д. In this case it is recommended to call in specialists.

Uprooting techniques

The method of uprooting the tree also depends on its size. If the plant is small and you can make do with a shovel, the essence of the work is to stick the shovel in a circle under the root, then press the foot into the ground and press the handle. If you hear the sound of tearing roots, this is a good sign. If there is no reaction and the tree does not give in, it is better not to apply too much pressure on the shovel, otherwise there is a risk of breaking it. Try it from the other side of the tree and at a different angle.

If you do break the shovel, or if all your attempts to pull the tree roots at different angles are unsuccessful, you will have to dig a hole. You can then see the roots and cut them up with a spade or axe. You can also use secateurs to cut the main and most powerful root. This is what keeps the tree from falling down, but in order to get to the central root the plant must be dug up on all sides. The trench should be about 2 to 3 times as wide as the trunk of the tree. If you need to remove all the roots, the width of the hole must be increased. If you come across a hard root while digging (and this is bound to happen), cut it off with a point or cut both sides with a secateurs.

It becomes more difficult to work with a large spade as it gets deeper. Replace it with a spade or remove the soil with your hands. Wear gardening gloves. If this method does not work either, or if there is too little space around to dig a trench, more drastic measures have to be taken.

Uproot difficult trees

To uproot a particularly large tree or plant with very deep and tenacious roots, you will need to use special equipment: a hammer, sledgehammer, chainsaw or any other tool that can split the stump (in the split form it is easier to remove).

It is necessary to cut the tree stump into 2 or 4 parts and then try to pick up and remove each of the parts separately. A wedge used as a lever is very effective in this regard. The longer the wedge, the more powerful effect it can have (the height of a human height is enough). Do not drive it too deep into the ground, so that the weight of the soil does not add to the weight and resistance of the roots.

If you still drove the wedge too deep and can’t get it back, if the fragments of the split stump do not give in and there are no positive developments in the work, don’t lose heart. There is another way, based on the fact that the root system of the hapless stump is already somewhat weakened and you can slip a rope under it. You have, for example, chopped off the central root but the plant is supported in the ground by its strong lateral branches.

To implement the plan you will need at least one helper. he will pull the stump to the opposite side, while you will cut its roots, thereby loosening the grip.

Chemical removal

This method can be resorted to if after all the efforts the stump did not succumb, or to remove the stump is not in a hurry and you do not want to make unnecessary efforts. Despite technological progress, this “grandfather’s” way is still relevant today.

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