There are three main methods for felling trees. Always exercise caution when operating either manual or mechanical saws and felling large trees. Pay attention to the area, natural lean of the tree, and the shape and reach of the canopy before you make a cut. Plan your fall path carefully to protect other people and buildings in the surrounding area. For the optimum safety, and always when around buildings or bystanders, use guide ropes attached to the highest limbs of the tree to guide it down or to stop a rogue fall. Always wear protective gear when cutting trees. Wear safety goggles, gloves, long-sleeved shirts and leather chaps to protect your legs in case of a saw slip.
The face cut is one of the safest types of tree felling techniques because no second cut is required to change the trajectory. Begin the face cut with the proposed cut facing the direction you want the tree to fall. Use the chainsaw to make a straight cut at the base of the section you want to cut. Move the saw straight back toward the opposite side of the tree. Stop halfway through. Move the chainsaw up two or three times the width of the tree above the entry cut and saw down at an angle toward the rear of the back cut. Knock the wedge of wood out and the tree will lean into the cut.
The hinge cut is the most traditional style of tree felling. This type of tree cutting is relatively safe. The biggest hazard this cut creates is when the back breaks before the hinge is finished. The tree snaps off and may whip in the wrong direction. Begin with a traditional face cut. Use a chainsaw to slice a front notch in the tree facing the direction you wish the tree to fall. Cut a 45-degree angle in the tree. Once the face cut is complete, move the chainsaw behind the tree and make a flat incision toward the joint of the face cut. Take care to stay clear of the tree, and never stand in front of or behind it at any time.
Another popular cut, the bore cut, sometimes called the inverted hinge, is much more effective, but slightly more dangerous than the face or hinge cuts. The bore cuts cleaner. There is less chance of that middle split of wood that happens when the hinge cut breaks too soon. Make your face cut as you would for a normal hinge cut. Stand at the side of the tree and use the leading corner of the chainsaw to drill a hole through the side of the tree directly behind the hinge and through to the other side. Once the saw is completely through, begin the path back toward the rear for the inverted hinge. Caution when using the bore cut is imperative. The tree is more likely to kick back at the person felling it. Leave a small section of connecting wood on the backside of the tree when using the bore cut. The remaining piece stops the fall until you have time to observe the path and make sure it will fall correctly.