Felling Trees » Identifying the Appropriate Felling Direction

This planning step is very important because it determines the location and type of cuts to be made as well as prevents damage to the tree and harm to yourself. (Note: For the interactive diagram below to function JavaScript must be enabled in your browser.)

Factors to Consider
Clear Fall Path

Along with a clear landing, this is the most important factor in deciding what direction to fell a tree. Visualize the fall path in all directions and identify those directions that are free of other trees. Finding a clear path will eliminate lodged treesthrowback, and damage to the tree being felled as well as the other trees.

Clear Landing

Avoid felling a tree onto stumps, large rocks, or uneven ground. This will prevent cracking and other damage to the tree.

Lean of Tree

It is generally easier and safer to fell a tree in the direction that it is already leaning. This makes for a cleaner fall and eliminates the need to use wedges, allowing gravity to do the work.

Ease of Removal

When possible, fell the tree so the butt faces the skid road. Also, fell the tree consistent with the felling pattern of other trees. This also makes for efficient limbing and removal.

Slope of Ground

Fell in a direction that will minimize the chance that the tree will roll or slide.

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Felling image map