Anyone have tips for how to fell a tree with a straight cut rather than taking a notch out of it?

Anyone have tips for how to fell a tree with a straight cut rather than taking a notch out of it? I want to use this cedar for an artsy project and I'd like to maximize the amount of lower trunk I get. Towards that I'd also like to dig down around the base so I can cut it below ground line. The tree is dead and has some other trees around it that I could probably tie it to if needed. Separately, does it make sense to cut the top off maybe 12' from the base before making the bottom cut? I'm thinking that cutting off the top might allow me to spare some damage to the trunk, where if I fell the tree as a whole then it might be less controlled and the lower trunk is more likely to get damaged. Or maybe I should just wrap the lower trunk in cardboard to protect it? Anyways, all helpful or on-topic comments are appreciated.

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  1. 2 months ago

    What diameter is it?

  2. 2 months ago

    You want the bottom and the transition point to the roots?
    How much of the top do you want?
    What I would reccommend is reducing the height as far as possible and any excess side growth to lower total mass and angular effects.
    How you do this depends on how much you are willing to put into this project but if you want to extract the tree then building some form of support scaffold around it that will hold it in place as you extract the soil from around its root base and cut them, then use a winch or several winches to lower it to the ground.

    • 2 months ago

      >reduce hight
      >clear branches
      >cut more than you need(below the line), wedging would be fine in this case, but you MAY get away with straight cut if your chainsaw is long enough
      >cut to size after tree falls
      If you're worried about damage, either wrap in something heavy duty(cardboard is not, unless extra thick, wood planks would be better), clear surrounding area out, or tie up and lower slowly. Be VERY carefull if you decide on the last method, after good wedge, freefallling tree behaves somewhat predictibly, ropes alter falling movement so be EXTRA sure you know what you're doing.
      ALWAYS have a clear way out to safety, second person on site helps if things go breasts-up.

  3. 2 months ago

    Start cut hammer in a wedge. DUUUUUH

  4. 2 months ago

    I have fallen a few hundred trees.

    Use a rope high up on the tree to another nearby tree and keep twisting the roap until the tree Bends in the direction you want it to fall. Then use the straight at the bottom obviously..

    • 2 months ago

      Do you use a knot that unties when pulled on it? Or what exactly is going to happe? Will the rope snap or rip the other tree down too? Worst case it turns knto a widow maker in my imagination

      • 2 months ago

        The top line is like 8 feet? Get a crane and pull it upward while cutting at the bottom

        He just means apply some pressure in desired direction, not pull so hard that it snaps without cutting. It’s not uncommon but most people just use a long rope and a car to apply tension

  5. 2 months ago

    If the blue line in your picture is where you want to get usable wood then you still have plenty of wood below for your standard notch cut and felling cut on the backside. Just stay as low as you can with it.

  6. 2 months ago

    cut opposite the lean. the tree will come down the direction of gravity and wedge cutting can serve as either changing this direction or so the chainsaw doesn't get pinched. you will also want to FIRST back cut about 1/3 on the side you want it to fall because otherwise the last part will split and splinter ruining more of the trunk.

    if the tree is not leaning the way you need it to fall you can employ wedges or log splitter irons.

    last, don't fricking try to top the tree. that's something that professionals do to ensure it doesn't come down into a house, garage or other structure. it looks like you're in the middle of fricking nowhere so you can easily drop the tree intact and then lot it on the ground at your convenience. don't forget when you're logging that if it's going to sag where you cut your chainsaw will get pinched.

    also if you don't have a chainsaw I've taken down and logged a larger tree than that with nothing but a 1 battery chinese sawsall. the blades are more important than the saw and it took about 3 charges which means several hour breaks but 1 $50 chinese cordless sawsall and you can fell that sucker with the first battery charge.

  7. 2 months ago

    Thanks all, based on the feedback this is what I'm thinking:
    - dig down to expose more trunk
    - use loppers to cut off the branches up to the first 12' or so, just the wood I most want to protect
    - clear out a track for the tree to fall onto
    - lasso the tree as high up as I can and use a pully/come-along attached to another tree to get a favorable lean
    - chainsaw 1/3 of the way into the falling side to prevent splintering
    - hammer in wooden wedges if the tree pinches the saw
    - straight cut from the other side to meet the first cut and jump away, hoping I did enough to protect those first 12'

    I worry about the falling tree snapping when it lands since it's dead and maybe brittle, but cutting off the top of the tree to avoid this seems like more risk/bother than I want to take on.

    Anyways, I forgot to describe the plan in the OP but depending on what the wood looks like I want to make some furniture with it. Starting from the bottom up:
    - take a 3" slice from the very bottom, I think that could look good hung up on the wall if finished properly.
    - the next 2' of the bottom would be a stool or side table
    - the next 8' or so would be split vertically and used as a book shelf with the gnarled bottom part made to look like the shelf is growing out of the floor
    - then everything above that would be used for carving material, maybe shaving the exterior of the wood and carving figures with the pink heartwood

    • 2 months ago

      Depending on the species and the soil they're growing in trees can have very shallow roots.
      We had a load of dead standing trees maybe less than 6 inches across, you could just push them over, but some will be so brittle they just shatter.
      maybe find some smaller dead trees of the same species and try pushing them over or tie a rope to them and haul the over with a winch a pulley

      What diameter is the thing anywat?

    • 2 months ago

      Sounds like a lot of fricking around. Just cut the damn thing...

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