The Basics of Logging

The Basics of Logging

There is a right way to cut a tree. Popular to contrary belief, it doesn’t involve attacking the tree with a chainsaw. It is a calculated process that requires precision and some knowledge. There could be many reasons for cutting a tree down, but most cases follow one standard procedure. It makes it easier and efficient. This way makes sure that the wood you get is not damaged and maximize most of all the safety of you and your crew.

The first step would be having the right gear and safety equipment in place. Most lumberjack safety kits have standard-issue gloves, safety goggles, and a helmet. You could use a body suit if you are worried about splinters. As for the cutting gear, most people prefer a chainsaw but an axe can be used if you prefer a more traditional approach.

Basics of logging

Once your safety gear and chainsaw are in place, you need to identify a place to make the notch. A notch is a small triangular piece of wood that goes slightly less than a quarter of the way into the width of the bark. Identify this place and mark it. The notch has to be on the side which the tree will fall in.

Once the place where the notch has to be made is identified, make the top cut first and meet it with the bottom cut. Ensure the cuts meet. Once the notch is out of the tree, your first step is done.

After this, make sure you have a place to stand. Give plenty of space for the tree to fall. Most beginners tend to think the tree is much shorter than it actually is. Give good yardage and mark the spot. Then when you think you are prepared, make the felling cut.

The felling cut is a single thin cut that goes all the through the diameter of the tree. Use a sharp chainsaw and start cutting from the opposite direction of the notch you made earlier. Use a plastic wedge when you need to take a break as big trees take a while for even the toughest lumberjack. Leave the wedge in place and continue progressing through the tree. Make sure your chainsaw can handle it and proceed with utmost caution . Remember to stand on the side opposite the wedge at all times.

As the cut almost reaches the notch, stop sawing. Make sure the cut is parallel to the notch you placed earlier. The straighter the cut, the easier the tree is to fell. At some point, you will feel the tree starting to creak and move. Judge this, be alert and keep an eye on the swaying while standing on the side opposite the notch.

Once the tree starts leaving in the direction it is going to fall in start backing away. Watch the tree as it keeps giving you signals as to how the fall is going to be and if any adjustment is needed. Most trees snap and send splinter flying in all directions so make sure your safety gear is on.

The fall will gradually gain momentum, but by then you should be a good distance away from the tree. Once the tree falls, give it some time to stop rustling and the dust to clear. Then approach the tree and start cutting it into pieces to save the wood, the fresher the wood, the easier to chop up. Start with the branches, remove them to get a nice solid piece of bark. The tree is now felled and can be used for wood.


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