If you are looking to cut down a tree in your yard, then you should definitely make some preparations before you dive in. You'll want to make sure that you do everything safely and that you can cut the tree down easily and quickly. Here are some ideas to consider before you begin:
Pick the Right Tool
The first thing that you need to do is figure out which tool will be best for the job. Not every tree requires a chainsaw, but an ax might be a poor choice if you are dealing with a particularly thick tree.
An ax is going to require a lot more effort on your part, but it will also give you a greater degree of control. With an ax, precise cuts will be easier, since the tool will be entirely under your control.
Chainsaws are fast and strong, which means that the tree will be much easier to cut down, but you also need to be very careful when handling a chainsaw. You will need to wear protective gear and pay extremely close attention to the tool at all times.
Pick a Suitable Landing Location
Once you have a tool in mind, you will want to figure out exactly where the tree should fall. Many trees will naturally lean in a given direction, and it will be very easy to make a tree fall in the direction that it is leaning. However, you also want to consider the terrain around the tree. You want to drop the tree onto a flat surface, since that will minimize the chances of the tree bouncing in an unintended direction.
If the tree is leaning in a direction that is quite bumpy and uneven, then you might want to consider felling it onto the more suitable terrain. This may require more work on your part, but a little extra preparation is often preferable to the potential risks and damages of an unpredictable falling tree.
Use Proper Cutting Technique
When it comes to actually cutting the tree down, you will want to follow proper technique. If the trunk is thick enough for you to be worried about the damage that it could cause while falling, then it's also thick enough to utilize a wedge cut and a back cut.
The wedge cut is done first, and essentially dictates the direction that the tree will fall. As the name would suggest, a wedge cut is essentially the removal of a wedge from a tree trunk. If everything goes according to plan, then the tree will fall in the direction of the removed wedge.
In order to ensure that the tree falls in that direction, you will want to make the back cut, which is a deep cut into the opposite side of the tree. This cut will be at roughly the same height as the wedge cut, ultimately compromising the structure of the tree and forcing it to fall. It will want to fall in the direction of the wedge cut, since that will represent the area with the least support. Contact a company like Northern Virginia Tree Experts, Inc. for more information.