When Should A Tree Be Cut Down?
Do you have a tree on your property that needs removing? Maybe the tree is too close to your property or too close to your neighbour's property. Perhaps the tree is dying and could become a hazard. Or you're concerned for the safety of your family and neighbours. If you're considering removing a tree, whatever the reason may be, this guide will help you through the process.
It is always recommendable to ask professional advice about tree removal. A trained Arborist might save the tree if needed and will best know how to remove it.
Tree Removal: Pros And Cons.
Safety: A hazardous tree can cause a LOT of damage, even death! Or, if you think back to the massive bushfires, a large canopy of trees close to your property could be a problem.
Space: You make extra space in your garden! Trees can take up a lot of room. Depending on your garden, it might be taking up a lot of valuable space needed for other projects.
Value: Removing trees from your property can devalue it. A study conducted in 2017 by AECOM stated that a "10 per cent increase in the leaf canopy of street trees could increase the value of properties by an average of $50,000" in the Sydney area.
Beauty: Fewer trees can make your garden look less attractive. The aesthetic value of a tree can make your garden look more mature, as long as it's looked after, of course.
Shade: The shade produced by trees can reduce your energy bill by up to 800$ a year!
Permanent: Once tree removal has taken place, there's no going back! Trees take years to grow; depending on the tree, it might take decades or even centuries to grow back.
Special Permissions For Tree Removal
You should always check to see if local laws protect the tree you wish to remove. If you cut down a tree or even prune a protected tree by law without receiving the proper approval, you can be fined up to $1.1 million by the Land and Environment court!
What permits you will need for tree removal depends on your state and local council. You can contact your local council for more information on tree preservation orders and local environment plans. Or you can contact a specialist tree cutting company, like Cutting Edge Tree Maintenance in Newcastle NSW, who will help you through the entire process.
Can Cutting A Tree Down Be Dangerous?
There are many reasons why cutting down a tree can be very dangerous. The tree can fall on someone or something. The tree can fall in an unexpected direction; it can be affected by the wind or become interlocked with surrounding trees. Using power tools without the proper training can also be a dangerous task! If you feel you don't have the experience needed, don't hesitate to contact a trained specialist.
Now you know the pros, con, dangers and permissions needed, let's look at how you cut down a tree!
How To Cut Down A Tree:
Before you start to cut down your tree:
You MUST use all the necessary safety equipment! Eye protection, ear protection, work gloves, steel-toe cap boots. Cutting down a tree can be a dangerous task! Using the proper safety equipment might save your life!
Plan your escape route! Make sure you have a clear path to get out of the way of a falling tree!
You will need the right tools. In this guide, we will talk about how to cut down a tree using power tools, specifically, a chainsaw, plus a tree-felling wedge and a hammer, all of which makes the job a lot easier. Of course, it can be done with hand tools, e.g. with a saw or an axe, but this is considerably more difficult! Remember, good tools are half the work!
Inspect the area! Ensure there is nothing that the falling tree could harm; power lines, structures, fences, pets, etc.
The tree will naturally fall in the direction it is leaning to; you must clear this area and a 45º angle on either side of where you expect the tree to fall.
Don't forget to consider the height of the tree and how far the tree will fall!
Next, once you know that you and everyone around you are safe, you can move on to the next step:
First of all, you need to cut a notch into the tree.
Make the initial cut at a 70-degree angle.
The second cut should be horizontal, meeting the bottom of the first cut.
The notch needs to reach about a quarter of the way through the tree.
The notch should also be facing in the direction you wish the tree to fall.
On the opposite side of the tree, you need to make the third cut, horizontally, slightly higher than the second cut of the notch.
Do not cut all the way through the trunk.
It's best to leave about 10 per cent of the width to work as a hinge as the tree falls.
Depending on the width of the tree, you will need the tree-felling wedge. This will stop the weight of the tree from blocking the chain. The wedge can also be driven into the cut with a hammer to topple the tree.
Once the tree begins to fall, get out of the way!
Congratulations, by now, you should have cut down your tree! But you will need to cut the tree into smaller pieces so that it can be removed from your property.
How to cut a tree into pieces for removal or firewood:
Removing the branches: This first step is called limbing—the act of removing all the branches from a tree. Be very careful when removing branches! Some branches will be under tension caused by the tree's weight, and others will be holding the tree in place. Removal of either type can be dangerous, as the branch can flick, or the whole tree can move.
Removing the tree trunk: Once the branches are removed, the tree trunk must be cut into manageable pieces; this is called bucking. Look where the trunk might compress, or drop when cut, pinching the saw blade. It is best to cut one-third of the way through the side where you think the trunk will compress and then finish the cut from the other side. This technique can also be used when part of the tree is being supported, and cutting away the support may cause compression. When needed, a wedge can be used to stop the trunk from compressing. Also, make sure that the blade never touches the floor, as it can dull the blade or even snap the chain.
How To Make It Fall In The Direction You Want?
If you have a tree leaning in a specific direction, and it's needed to fall in another, you'd best call a professional; this requires special tools and technical know-how. Many factors make this difficult and should never be done by an amateur.
If you feel like you would prefer to talk directly to a trained Arborist after reading all of this, call Cutting Edge Tree Maintenance in Newcastle, NSW today. They are known as Newcastle's #1 tree cutting, tree removal and maintenance company in the area. They offer free consultations and can provide other solutions if you'd prefer to keep that tree! So why not visit their site now for more information.
Cutting Edge Tree Maintenance
Address: 42 Wakal St, Charlestown NSW 2290, Australia
Phone: (02) 4003 4400