Cutting a Leaning Tree: How Pros Do It

Are you thinking of cutting a leaning tree? In this post, Petrarca Landcare Inc., your experts in tree removal in Lakewood, explain how to fell trees that are starting to topple. 

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Removing Excess Branches

Unlike with normal pruning, you want to thin the branches in the direction the tree leans. This is especially important if that side’s heavier than the other, as it reduces the stress on the tree while you’re cutting.

Tie a Rope Around the Trunk

Tie a rope above the area you’ll be cutting and make sure that it’s longer than the tree is tall. The idea here is to have a backup in case the tree doesn’t topple. You can then tug the rope to encourage the tree to fall.

Cut the Notch

We’ll make a flat cut on the side the tree leans toward. Then, we’ll make a slanted cut, leaving about three-quarters of the tree trunk intact. By doing this, we direct the way the tree starts to fall by weakening that side of the trunk. 

Make the Felling Cut

Now, move to the opposite side of the tree and start cutting through to the notch on the other side. Stop so that you leave about a third of the trunk intact so that there’s more control over the tree falling. 

If you’re cutting a large tree, use a felling wedge to stop the trunk from trapping the chainsaw blade. You also want to even out the tree so that it’s straight. If you can’t do so, get out of the way and call the professionals. 

Finish Cutting

The final stage in cutting a leaning tree is sawing through the remaining trunk. Finally, knock out the wedges in the direction of the lean and get away from the tree as quickly as possible. Gravity should do the rest. 

Cutting Down a Tree That’s Leaning Toward a Structure 

In some cases, you might want to stop a tree from growing further to prevent these situations. We recommend against cutting down any large trees without professional assistance because there’s so much that can go wrong. This is doubly true when they might fall on your house or another structure. 

We follow much the same procedure as above, but this time, we notch the tree on the side we want it to fall. We carefully calculate all the angles as this will be contrary to what the tree wants to do.

Plan Carefully

Planning is the key to success. If you feel you can handle the job on your own, plan meticulously. Remove anything you can that the tree might crush when it comes down. Clear the people out of the house or structure, just in case. Finally, set up an escape route so that you can get away in time and make sure you have your insurer’s details on hand. 

Notch the Trunk

This time, you’ll cut the side opposite from the way the tree’s leaning. As before, you’ll move over to the other side and begin to cut through, placing the wedges as you go. This is especially important as these will correct the lean and support the weight of the tree. 

Once again, you’ll let gravity do the work and pull the tree over. If you planned correctly, it should fall away from the structure. 

Call the Pros 

Cutting a leaning tree can be fraught with danger. It’s better to learn simpler things, like how to save a tree with damaged bark. Petrarca Landcare Inc. has the equipment, experience, and expertise to bring down any tree safely and without causing property damage. 

Don’t risk expensive repairs to your home; call us at (330) 933-0562 to get the job done properly.

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