How to Fell a Tree in the Direction You Want [ Within 14 Steps ]

Fell the tree in the direction you want
June 10, 2023


Tree felling is the purposeful removal of standing trees in a way that it falls in a specific desirable direction. It is the art of aiming at the right point, at the right angle, in the right direction. The limbing and Bucking process follow the felling of the tree. Limbing involves cutting the side branches of the felled tree, whereas bucking involves splitting the wood into appropriate lengths.

The tree felling is done with the diseased, old trees on the verge of falling or in the way of any infrastructure or roads. The tree dies, and thus spreading of the disease can be prevented. Otherwise, the whole area may be infected if that diseased tree is not dropped. Also, the natural falling of the old, weak trees may fall upon other healthy trees and disturb them. The whole orchard or the jungle could get affected by the falling of trees in the wrong direction. So, the primary purpose of learning about the felling of trees in the right direction is to promote the judicial removal of trees without any disturbance to others in the proper direction.

The principle of the felling of trees lies in the proper angle cut at the right point and right direction. The tree should be downed in a proper direction where there is no disturbance, and the limbing and bucking process can be carried out efficiently. Cutting it at the wrong angle may not only hinder other trees but may even cause injury to the cutter or the person cutting it. There is a dim chance of survival if you make a mistake in falling the tree in the wrong direction and happen to be under the dropped tree. So, you should immediately cut the trees leaning toward the roads or buildings, falling off of which may cause severe damage.

Tree felling is an artistic skill one needs to master. You can’t just cut at any angle and drop it down. Finding the correct angle, the correct point to aim, and the proper direction to drop is an art. You should make a slanting cut and a straight cut on both sides of the tree, and the major point to consider is the thickness of the hinge you need. The hinge is the gap between the front notch and the back cut. It is what drops the tree in the right direction and determines the force at which the tree falls. It controls the momentum of the tree. According to the rule of thumb, the hinge thickness should be 10% of the tree DBH(Diameter at breast height), and the length should be 80% of the tree DBH.

Now, you can tell why felling the tree in the right direction is essential to learn. In this article, we’ll be getting you acquainted with the steps of felling the tree in the proper direction and the things to consider while doing that. Let’s get started!

Steps of Felling Tree in Direction You Want

Let’s have a look at the steps involved in the felling of a tree in a desirable direction:

    • First, you should know the reason for felling the tree. When you know the reason, you can target the direction and make the notch accordingly.
    • After choosing the direction to drop down the tree, determine the notching point, and length on the tree to be left as a base.
    • You can cut slightly or wrap the tree with a wire at the decided cut point.
    • Choose which notch to make according to the tree size and the instruments you have. The cut should be made at the point straight to the targeted direction for dropping the tree.

There are different types of notches to make in the face cut. They may be the Humboldt, the Gapped face, the Conventional face cut, the Bore cut, the Sizwill, the Open-faced notch, etc. Here, we’ll be talking about the conventional face cut, which is easier and applied by most people.

    • Then we put a notch on the front part with a flat cut at the base and an angle cut of about 45 degrees above it.
    • Then you make a back cut, which should be above the front notch base. You’ll lose control if it’s below the notch bottom.
    • Leave a hinge of thickness according to the tree size. You should at least leave 10% of the tree diameter breast height.
    • After making the back cut, move to the escape route and observe the tree felling.

Note: If there are other healthy trees in the direction you think the tree may fall, you can use a rope to change the direction of the tree falling. What you have to do is tie and make a knot with rope on the upper branches of the tree and then join it to the other tree’s base in the direction you want the tree to fall. As the cut is made, the tension on the rope increases and the tree falls in the proper direction.

These are the simple steps you can follow during tree felling. Here are a few points to consider while doing this:

    • Before you make a back cut, make sure you have an escape route. The exit path should be completely clear. You can exit at a 45-degree angle to the falling direction.
    • Wear a helmet and other protective devices to avoid any kind of misfortune.
    • The flat wedge cut should be horizontal to the direction the tree is leaning. We’re not going to do any activities against gravity.
    • You should give a cut from the opposite side of the tree’s diameter that is way bigger than your saw blade.
    • The flat cut shouldn’t go further than the angle cut.
    • You may also need to put pressure on the tree through an axe.


Tree felling looks easier at the surface, but it takes a lot of patience and hand stability to fell a tree. You should be familiar with the use of a saw before using it. The improper handling may get the saw stuck inside in case of bigger trees. But it’s a fun process, to observe the tree, make a cut, and then drop it in the proper direction. As a beginner, You can’t go for other notches than conventional one. Making different notches and deciding the direction and hinge thickness is an art you can slowly master. So, be calm, work out for hand stability, and use the instruments properly to fall the tree in the right direction.

Filed Under: Axes