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Logging eTool
Felling Trees:
Making the Cuts
The safe felling of a tree includes making three precise and strategic cuts.

Top Cut Bottom or Undercut
        1. Top Cut                2. Bottom or Undercut

Back Cut
3. Back Cut

Learn more about cutting the three major notches. The Open-faced, the Conventional, and the Humbolt notches are all covered in these three links which will loop back to this page.

The notch created by the top and bottom cuts in the picture above is called an "Open-face Notch." You can compare this notch with the Humbolt and Conventional Notches. Special techniques are used for difficult trees.

Highlights of Manual Felling Techniques:
  • An undercut must be made in each tree being felled. The undercut must be of a size so the tree will not split and will fall in the intended direction. [29 CFR 1910.266(h)(2)(v)]
  • A backcut must be made in each tree being felled. The backcut must leave sufficient hinge wood to hold the tree to the stump during most of its fall so that the hinge is able to guide the tree's fall in the intended direction. Except in Open Face felling, the backcut must be above the level of the horizontal facecut in order to provide an adequate platform to prevent kickback. [29 CFR 1910.266(h)(2)(vi) and (vii)]
  • The backcut may be at or below the horizontal facecut in tree pulling operations. [29 CFR 1910.266(h)(2)(vii)]
  • Domino felling is prohibited.



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