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Felling A Leaning Tree: How To Do It Safely?

Prune Fruit Trees

Felling a leaning tree is not an operation to be taken lightly. It can be very dangerous if it is not done properly. In particular, there can be a risk of splintering and tearing that should not be overlooked before proceeding. To successfully fell your trees, it is advisable to call in a professional or to strictly comply with the techniques in force. Find out more here!

The equipment and materials needed to fell a leaning tree

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Whether or not the tree is leaning, the safety measures remain the same. The difference is, of course, the danger to which the workers are exposed. The trunk of a leaning tree can burst before the felling line is completed. The risks are considerable: the destruction of homes, injuries, and in the most serious cases, death.

To avoid these accidents caused by possible splintering, it is wise to call in a pruning specialist. They have the necessary skills to carry out quality work without risk. In particular, he must be equipped with certain tools necessary for such an operation.

Individual protective equipment

It should be noted that such an operation requires the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as:

  • Sloves 
  • Safety helmet (with visor) 
  • Safety shoes 
  • Trousers and a cut-resistant jacket 

Earplugs should also be worn to withstand the noise of the machines.


In addition to these tools, this professional also needs a chainsaw and a felling wedge to cut the tree. The latter is particularly useful for controlling the trajectory of the fall. It is often made of plastic, wood or aluminum. It should be noted that it is used according to your needs.

In addition, it needs a felling lever. This makes it easier to tilt and fall the tree. A manual or electric winch will also be useful to keep the tree tilted once the felling line is completed. This practice will, above all prevent the tree trunk from bursting.

Steps to follow when felling a leaning tree

It is easier to fell a tree in its natural inclination. But sometimes, it is necessary to proceed differently because of the elements surrounding it. Here are the steps you should not neglect.

Step 1: Prepare your work area.

First of all, you need to prepare your working space. Clear the area around the tree. Make sure no one is near or in the area of impact of the fall. Also, clear the area behind you when you cut. This is your retreat route.

Step 2: Determine the direction of the fall of the tree

First, you need to check the direction of the fall. This step is very important in order to avoid accidents. It consists of defining and calculating the angle of the tree’s fall. To do this, you must take into account parameters such as the direction and intensity of the wind and the specific characteristics of the location. The characteristics of the tree should not be forgotten.

If you don’t want to make your tree fall at its natural inclination, you can use a winch, which can be electric or manual. You just need to place the winch cable at a fairly high height from the tree.

Step 3: Make the felling notch

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The next step is to make a felling cut at an angle of at least 45°. In addition, it should not exceed a quarter of the trunk diameter of the leaning tree. This operation is particularly useful for directing the fall of the tree. In particular, it should be followed by marking the shoulder and hinge.

To make it easier to straighten the tree, the wedges should be inserted as you draw the felling line. Finally, operate the winch when the line is complete. The tree can now fall. It should be pulled towards the winch gently.

These are the steps to follow in order to fall a leaning tree safely. Do not hesitate to contact a professional in case of accidents.

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