How to Safely Cut Down a Big Tree – Traditional Cut VS Bore Cut

There's one more thing I wanted to talk About a lot of people will tell you To make an angled back cut on your Traditional cut And you never want to make an angled Back cut Hey it's Brock here from Rock Hill Farms I'm out here today to put together a Comprehensive guide on how to cut down a Tree we're going to start with the Basics for beginners and go up to a Couple of advanced skills and while I'm Talking about it I'm going to cut down This tree right here which is a little Bit of a challenging tree because it's On a hill the top is rotten and broken Off of it And it's got some lean to it and it's on Rough terrain so everything I talk about I'm going to do it as I go through Now I'm not a professional logger or Arborist So you might wonder if I'm not a Professional why am I making a how-to Video Well as I say I'm not a professional I Do cut down a lot of big trees and I Study tree felling and respect it as an Art I've watched pretty much every video That exists on how to cut down a tree I've went to professionals and loggers And asked them for tips and showed them What I do and and learn through that and

I've really for the last few years been Studying the art of tree felling and I've got this wooded acreage and a YouTube channel where I make daily Videos about the work I do and the Equipment that I run and through that I Make a lot of tree filling videos and I Get a lot of comments telling me things That I know to be wrong and I want to See if I can clear any of that up today As we go through so that's my story now Let's get to working on this tree so I've angled the camera up so that you Can see where half of this tree on the Top has broken off and Fallen this way And that leaves a hole and it rains into That hole and causes it to rot down the Trunk now that Top's been gone for quite A while I know but I don't know if that Rot has come down far enough to cause a Problem the first thing you have to do Before you cut a tree down is to learn Everything you can about the tree what Does it want to do because the lean and The weight distribution and the Surrounding area of that tree will tell You where it wants to go and your best Bet is to accommodate what it wants to Do and that will affect the style of cut You use I've walked around this tree Several times but the lean is towards me Towards this direction and a little bit That way but our branches are weight Overhead

Is all to this side so the tree wants to Land right where we are standing that Causes a little bit of a problem because There's a big amount of dirt in front of It I'm actually going to move some of That dirt because it would fall across That but it could cause it to kick in a Funny Direction this isn't something You're that's a normal part of tree Felling so I'm not going to spend any Time on that but I am going to clear Some of that dirt out so we have a clear Place for this to land if I didn't have The ability to do that I could angle This tree more to that direction but I'm Just going to let it do what it wants to Do Foreign This out so that I can drive a tractor Up into this part of the woods has been On my to-do list for a while so I was Glad to just knock that out as part of This job but now I need to do the normal Everyday part of felling a tree which is Removing all the loose material So that it's not a trip Hazard because No matter how much you know or what you Do cutting trees down is dangerous and If something goes wrong you need to have An Escape Route and the last thing you Want to do is trip over a rock or get Your foot caught on a branch or a Vine So I'll clean all that up and then we'll Get started oh before I start the saw

I've got my chainsaw chaps on I did a video proving that these chaps Will stop even a big saw and save your Leg so definitely worth it I've also got My hearing protection And face shield and a helmet Because I've had limbs fall on my head Before and it's not any fun so I'm nobody's mother but if if you're Asking me wear the gear Saw I'm using today is a 500i Foreign A couple more points on safety and then We'll start cutting into the trunk So If you're doing what I was just doing And you're going to make a so cut some Of this and then stop and walk or even You're working on this if you're walking Around with the chainsaw kick that brake On only takes one second to kick the Brake on Next thing you want to look at we've Analyzed the tree we know it wants to go Straight to where the camera's at Actually the next thing I want to do is Look above me and see if there are any Sketchy looking branches above my head That might fall as I'm vibrating the Heck out of this tree and maybe pounding In wedges anything like that if there's Anything that's going to fall and hit me And there's very little above me on this Side because all the branches are on

That side but it's a good idea as you're Cutting to be looking up and see if you Have any movement in those branches We've got a hole in the back of this Tree and it looks like there's some rot And that is in fact going to change the Way we cut this but it won't change the Face cut now if you've never cut down a Tree before I'd say watching this video Is a good place to start but I would not Watch this one video then go cut this Tree down I think you need to watch two Dozen videos and then you need to find Someone in your local area that will go Out there and watch you and assist you In cutting that tree down that's how you Learn and build your skill set over time But it's better if you can start with The tree that's in an open spot And maybe smaller diameter and just no More complications than necessary first Thing we're going to talk about is a Standard cut now people have a tendency To tell me if I use another cutting Method say this guy doesn't even know How to cut tree a tree down and then They'll list off the standard cut as if That is the only way to cut a tree down Which is Not true at all if you watch somebody Like boys in the woods which is a YouTube channel and a Facebook page Really viral Facebook page about cutting Trees down he has a dozen different

Techniques that he uses now I'm not at His level I just have two or three but You need to know different ways to cut a Tree down if you're really getting into This so the most common way that if you Only know one way to cut a tree down it Will work 95 percent of the time you Cannot have any idea what you're doing And this will work most of the time but It only has to go wrong once to change Your life So Standard cut is you're going to make a Flat cut here and then an angle cut up That opens up a face Most people call that a face cut but There's different terms for it But what that does is you know this tree All the way around it's pushing down Onto the base at all times when you Remove that this part now has nowhere to Push and it wants to fall so you're Opening up a face to to give it a Direction to go and you want to aim that Face to where you want the tree to land Now there's sight marks you can look at On your saw as you're running it you Look down this line that's on my saw Anyway and if that line is pointing Where you want to fall you're in good Shape but another way to think about it Is If I want it to fall right here I want The center of my face cut to be right

Here so I'll go the same distance on Each side and then if you go stand at a Distance and you look at the tree the Center of that face cut should be Pointing right at you Now if you mess up your face cut Don't panic because you can change it You can reshape it if you don't go too Deep on the first cut As a matter of fact I'm not going to Intentionally mess this up but I almost Hope it's a little bit off or I don't Meet my Corners up perfectly so I can Show you how to fix it to make our first Cut some people feel strongly about if You should make this bottom cut first or The top cut first I've done it both ways I don't think it makes a lot of Difference If you have a Leaning Tree you're better Off making this cut first because on a Severe Leaning Tree that's trying to go It can actually pinch your bar on your Face cut which is rare but can happen so I'm going to take my saw I'm just going To visualize in my mind a face cut that Lands where I want it to over there and I'm going to put the bottom of the saw About where I want the bottom of the Face cut to go I'm going to angle in Until it looks like the tip of my bar is About even with this end of the bar And that'll give me two points that I Can then connect with the bottom cut the

Professionals are going to say I'm Talking too much and I'm overthinking it But if you're afraid of a tree You want to think about I think you Should be afraid because that fear is What makes you be careful if you become Overconfident because you've done a lot That's when you might not pay enough Attention to make a mistake so what I do Is I completely make my plan then I stop And I go back out and I look at it again And make sure that's where my weight's Going and that I'm not missing anything [Music] [Music] Foreign [Music] I did not make a perfect face cut this Is probably only twenty percent when I Said 30 percent And it's about maybe half to three Quarters of an inch lower on this side Than it is this side but that's okay now If I wanted to I could fix that And and re-cut this but I don't think It's worth it I don't think this is Going to hurt anything what I do think Is important and I would fix if I had Messed it up is that these Corners right Here meet each other If you have one cut that goes down this Far and the other one meets it here that Extra cut that doesn't meet in a corner Is called a Dutchman

And filling a tree in most cases is About setting up a hinge Right here that the tree pivots on as it Falls And if you go past this corner then that Can close and affect your leverage and It becomes dangerous to make the tree Fall at the wrong time and potentially Kick back at you I can't give a perfect Explanation but I've seen detailed Explanations of why you want these Corners to meet up I left just a little Bit of wood right here that's not doing Anything positive or negative so I'm Going to leave it there Now if I was doing a traditional cut I Would just start at the back and come Straight across and I want to make a cut That's that is about One to two inches higher than this spot Right here And ends Two to three inches further back now It's not actually two to three inches I'm using that number but what you Actually want is a hinge that's ten Percent of the thickness of your tree so Let's say this tree is 28 inches ten Percent I would want 2.8 inches of hinge Right here And just as a general rule if you cut in 30 percent of the depth of the tree with Your face cut then you leave a 10 Percent hinge

And you you ideally want your hinge to Be 80 of the width of the tree I could do that right now and just start At the back and cut through The reason I'm not going to is this tree For me is a tree that should have a bore Cut and how do I decide that When I look at a tree if that tree has Minimal lean Or I'm not sure which way the weight is Trying to go then I'm going to make a Traditional cut and I'm going to drive Wedges plastic wedges into the back of It and I've done that in a lot of videos Where I wedged a tree I'm not doing it Today but you would make a traditional Cut starting at the back that is level And ends right here Couple inches back a couple inches up And as you got to the end of that with This being a Leaning Tree When your hinge was no longer stronger Than the weight up at the top that's Pulling it over the tree falls And the reason I don't like doing that Type of cut Is with a traditional cut you're trying To You're making your cut and as you get Deeper and deeper at some point that Will hit that leverage point where it's Going to fall whether you want it to or Not and you won't know exactly when That's going to happen with practice and

Experience you can get it down or you Can stop your cut where you want and Then wedge it over I hope all of this is making sense it's Crystal clear to me that On a Leaning Tree I want more control Over when it falls so what I'm going to Do is a bore cut That means I'm going to make my first Cut through the center of the tree And then I'm going to establish my hinge And then I'm going to cut backward until There's about this much tree left And that little bit of tree that is left Combines with the hinge to hold the tree In place and it will just sit there like That until you are ready to cut the Trigger and let it fall the reason that You want a bore cut Is for control of when the tree falls And if this was an extreme Leaning Tree That's when you run into a risk of Barber chair so if you're doing a Traditional cut and you're cutting Through this way When you get say you want a 2.8 inch Hinge and you get to four inches The weight of the overhead may make this Go ahead and fall And When it falls that hinge might be strong Enough to split the tree vertically And I've done it so traditional cut you Can be cutting along you get here and

All of a sudden you hear a crack and This part of the tree swings back and This part of the tree is intact the butt Can swing back and hit you and that's How a lot of Serious accidents and fatalities happen So The one way to avoid that is a bore cut And that's what we're going to do now I Just said that I'm going to bore cut This because it's safer and prevents the Barber chair But that's not the only reason I just Like doing it better I prefer this Method but It's not without its own danger because If you don't know how to do it a boar Cut making the boar cut can be dangerous But I've found it's actually really easy If you just know a couple basic things Number one do not ease into a cut a Slower moving chain is more likely to Grab and kick the saw back at you which Is a dangerous situation so you want to Get your chain right before you enter The tree you want to get your chain Running full speed And we are going to plunge the saw Straight into the tree like that but if You just walk up With get your saw spinning and then try To plunge straight in It's going to kick back and go crazy on You

So we want to come in straight this way What we're going to do Is start the saw this way and then Rotate it and plunge through I described my plan from that side But I actually want to make the cut this Side So I'm standing uphill from the tree my Saw is turned the right way to easy Easily push it out the back So let's start right here working [Music] [Applause] [Music] So I generally use a bar long enough That my board cut comes out this side This bar is not as long as the tree is Wide But rather than getting a longer bar Which I've got all bars I'm going to Work my cut back to here leave my Trigger and at some point the bar will Poke out this side then I can run my cut Back forward [Music] Foreign [Music] Got a nice trigger back here Have the exact hinge I described now I'm Gonna go Just above or just below My board cut and make The last cut on the trigger Foreign

[Music] You can judge a fall or buy a stump And this is a failing grade right here The trees down I don't think I ever put myself in Danger Now I can see a hollow spot in the trunk Right here and a lot of this looks Pretty Hollow So You know I it was a successful fill and I think I used the proper technique But what I failed at was execution Because You can learn every technique out there But the only way to get your cuts to Line up perfectly Is to cut a lot of trees I've probably used a bore cut to cut I don't know 25 of these type of trees Around this size range and a lot of Times my cuts land perfect I've got some Videos where this is all just right and This one wasn't but You have to be able to recognize What is acceptable and what isn't There's one more thing I wanted to talk About a lot of people will tell you To make an angled back cut on your Traditional cut And you never want to make an angled Back cut And that's the same reason that you want Your back cut to end higher than the

Bottom of your face cut Because let's say that tree gets hung in Another tree or doesn't do in any way Doesn't do what you think it will it's Going to as it starts to fall it can Kick back slide across the stump and out Towards you and so you want to avoid That there are situations where having You this back cut a little bit higher Stops that from kicking back towards you And it's the same thing with having an Angle on here puts puts leverage in a Way you don't want it to it's exactly Like I was saying about the Dutchman on Your face cut if you get leverage from An angled back cut pushing into your Hinge the wrong way it can actually make The tree fall backward at you people Think they're making their back cut at An angle Because that you're leaving this little Foot right here angled that's going to Keep the tree from falling back That's like saying that you're gonna put Uh a book up against the back of your Shoe to keep you from falling over Backward it's not how it works that Little thing provides no leverage from The top of the tree leaning and falling That way but it does push leverage into Your hinge and can cause your hinge to Break the wrong way I'm not an expert But I cut enough trees that I think I Have something to say and there's going

To be people who rip on me in the Comments and that's okay Because we're all trying to learn Together so I appreciate you taking time To watch this video I'll put links on The screen to more of our videos and I'll see you next time

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