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The Top Cut

  The top cut is the first of two cuts that result in an open faced notch. The notch is made on the side of the tree that faces the direction you want it to fall.
 
The Correct Cut
 
1. Starting Point
Important -- begin at any height as long as you allow enough room for the undercut.
 
  Diagram of Top Cut With Starting Point, Angle of Attack, and Ending Point Diagram of Cross-section
2. Angle of Attack
Important -- cut downward at an angle of 70 degrees.
 
3. Ending Point
Stop when the cut reaches to 1/3 of the trunk's diameter or when the cut reaches 80% of the tree's diameter at breast height.

Common Incorrect Cuts
 
Arrow Common Incorrect Cut - The top cut is not steep enough, resulting in a notch of less than 45 degrees. Common Incorrect Cut - The bottom cut is not steep enough, resulting in a notch of less than 45 degrees.  
  Here the top cut is not steep
enough, resulting in a notch of less
than 45 degrees.
  Here the bottom cut is not steep enough, resulting in a notch of less than 45 degrees.
 
 
   
 
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