Cutting Down a Leaning Tree: How the Professionals Do It

Cutting down a tree can be risky, and it becomes even riskier when the tree is leaning. Cutting down a leaning tree requires you to implement specific techniques and follow a certain order of operation to ensure the safety of your property and the people cutting down the tree. 

In this article, the experts in tree removal in Wilmington from Coastal Tree Trimmers explain how to cut down a leaning tree safely.

Leaning Tree Removal Techniques

There are two primary techniques of felling a leaning tree:

  • Cutting the tree with the lean: This technique uses specialized cuts to ensure the tree falls in the appropriate direction without any damage.
  • Cutting the tree against the lean: This technique involves inserting wedges into the tree while making small cuts to ensure the tree stands straight.  

Read on to learn more about felling a leaning treating using any of these two techniques. 

Getting a Leaning Tree to Fall Where You Want (Against the Lean)

Leaning trees typically fall in the direction of the lean when cut. In some situations, this may not be practical. The tree could be leaning toward other trees, fences, or your house, and you’ll need to control the direction it will fall when cut. 

Follow the steps below to ensure a leaning tree falls in the direction you want:

  • Remove branches from large trees before felling
  • Correct the lean using felling wedges
  • Contact Coastal Tree Trimmers for professional assistance if the lean is so heavy that you cannot correct it with wedges. 

Removing tree branches before you fell a large leaning tree helps reduce weight and leverage. It will then be easier to correct the tree’s lean with wedges, making it stand upright. 

If you cannot correct the lean with wedges, you may not fall the tree in the desired direction. In that case, it is advisable to leave the job to professionals. 

How to Fell a Leaning Tree with the Lean

While felling a tree in the lean direction is often easier, you still need to keep a few things in mind to accomplish the task safely. You will need a chainsaw, a ladder, and a rope to remove large branches. 

The first step is to create a notch on the leaning side of the tree. Ensure the notch is below knee height and no more than ⅕ of the tree’s width. 

The next step is to make the plunging cut or bore cut. This cut is instrumental in felling your leaning tree safely. Start your bore cut on the side right behind and just above the notch hinge. Move to the other side to complete the cut.

The cut will leave the notch hinge and a small wood strap connected to the tree stump. After creating the plunging cut, you need to make the felling cut. You accomplish this by cutting through the wood strap opposite the notch. 

This process should result in roughly 10% of the tree’s width still connected to the stump, and it should snap as your tree falls in the direction of the notch. 

Ensure nobody is within the area you expect the tree to fall in. If you follow all these steps correctly, the tree will come down without causing any damage.

Work with a Knowledgeable and Efficient Team Today

Cutting down a leaning tree can be dangerous, and it is always advisable to work with professionals. While there are many questions to ask before hiring tree trimmers and removers, you can trust Coastal Tree Trimmers to do an excellent job the first time. 

Contact our expert team today for all your tree removal, trimming, and general tree service needs in Southport, NC.

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