Tim's Tips Small Tree Felling


Loggers often assume that small trees are not worth the extra effort for directional felling. However, a small merchanable tree that falls the wrong way, or hangs up, can be very costly to pull down with a skidder.

Even small brushy trees that are cleared as part of housekeeping chores around the base of the tree or for an escape route can, if felled the wrong way, create additional production problems. For example, a small sapling which is being removed from the base of one tree can fall into the next tree requiring the logger to cut the tree a second time when doing housekeeping around that second tree. Therefore, extra seconds taken to directionally fell a small sapling can save time later.

Directionally Felling Saplings - It is difficult to put a regular notch in a small sapling as it is easy to cut right through the tree. Creating a tab by making a downward cut through the last few years of growth will make an acceptable notch. A back cut, leaving a hinge, will cause this tree to fall in the direction of the initial undercut. It is important for the logger to use the Sight Line on the saw to make sure this sapling falls in the intended direction.


Create a tab





Felling Small Merchanable Trees - Small merchanable trees with back lean can be easily felled using a wedge. The process is as follows:

1. Make an open face notch.

2. Bore through the center of the undercut straight through to the

back of the tree.

3. Widen the opening of the bore cut in the area where the hinge

will be formed.

4. Drive a wedge into the tree from the back side and snug the wedge.

5. Using the attack corner of the saw on the bad side, make a cut

about 1/2 inch below the wedge so that a hinge is formed.

Cut just past the wedge: care must be taken not to cut the

supporting wood under the wedge.

6. Repeat the process on the good side.

7. Drive the wedge through the tree. Remaining fiber should

split allowing the tree to fall in the intended direction.

2. Bore through the center

of the notch

1. Open-faced

4. Drive a wedge into tree from backside

6. Repeat process on good side

7. Drive the wedge through the tree