How to Cut a Leaning Tree in the Opposite Direction (5 Steps)

how to cut a leaning tree in the opposite direction

Felling trees is a job that every woodworker out there has to face. And there is no way that he can compromise with the quality of this job. Because a tree felled in a wrong way can be even thrown at garbage.

But there are situations where felling trees just become tougher than usual. And felling a tree in the opposite direction is one of those situations for sure. 

So, we’ve seen woodworkers asking this question- how to cut a leaning tree in the opposite direction in forums, communities and even social media groups. And we’ve, therefore, thought of bringing on a complete guide on this subject. 

Therefore, take a few minutes of break from whatever you are doing, and move forward and read the whole article on how do you fell a leaning tree in the opposite direction. In the end, we’re certain that you’ll get your required best way to fell a leaning tree. 

Why Does Such Lean Occur?

It’s not a part of the operation we are talking about, but it’s important to know why trees are likely to lean in any particular direction. 

Well, when a tree has branches that are grown unevenly, the weight of the branches tend the tree to lean in a particular direction. For many trees who are large, it’s quite an obvious situation. 

Eventually, if you have such a tree in your backyard or lawn, felling trees in the direction of it’s lean seems to be dangerous. And we have to take steps to make sure that it falls in the opposite direction of it’s lean. 

Note: This message also works fine when it comes to the process of how to cut down a small leaning tree.

What Tools Would You Need?

Felling trees is a job that can not be done with bare hands. You have two make different types of cuts on the subject tree and that would require axes. Apart from that, you’ll need a few more tools to work with. Therefore, here is the list of tools that you will need throughout the process-

5 Steps on How to Cut a Leaning Tree in the Opposite Direction

This is the core section of the article, which we all have been waiting for. Go through the steps one by one after you are done with managing all the aforementioned tools in hand. Let’s start the steps of cutting leaning trees- 

Step #1: Asses the Situation

Before putting on the axe and getting into the action, it’s important to assess the type and amount of work that is needed to be done in this situation. Start with figuring out the center of gravity. In case it has leaning branches over your house or so, this assessment will be quite complex.

Once you have figured out the offset center of gravity, be sure that if you cut it from the root, it will fall towards that particular direction. 

Now, mark the offset center of the gravity of the tree, and also clear up the area underneath. Once done, move towards the next step on felling a back leaning tree.

Step #2: Determine the Back Lean

At this stage, we will do some mathematics to make sure that our operation on how to fell a leaning tree in the opposite direction goes well. 

Once we have determined the direction of fall and the offset center of the gravity, now it turns to calculate the amount of back lean that the tree is going to come up with. Specially, in case of felling a heavily leaning tree, these measurements are more important.

Now, what is the back lean? Well, it’s the distance from the point that we have marked on the ground in order to apex the undercut. Let’s say that the apex point is the frontal side of a hinge and also the pivot point of the tree. 

Once done, make sure to do these three tasks before felling a tree with side lean- 

  1. Stay away from the tree and its direction of falling. 
  2. Use a rope or an axe as a plumb. In this manner, we will be able to sight up the top of the tree at an angle of 90 degrees
  3. Make an assumption of the location of the ground. 

Now, take a measuring tape and measure the diameter of the stump. This is a measurement that will indicate the distance between the frontal hinge and the back edge of the tree. This will also give you a hand in measuring the number of tree segments once cut. 

Once done, move towards the next steps on felling a leaning tree. 

Step #3: Make the Undercut

Now, take the axe that suits with the tree we’re dealing with, and make the undercut. This will be at the side of the direction of the fall. That means it will be towards the opposite direction of the lean. 

At this step, you should make two cuts. The first cut will be at an angle of 90 degrees (perpendicular) to the tree trunk. And the second cut will be above the first cut. 

While making this cut, make sure that you are not cutting more than a 1/3rd portion of the tree thickness. Also, make sure that the second cut is connecting to the inner portion of the first cut. 

The purpose of making both these cuts is to create a wedge-shaped piece towards the direction of the lean of the tree. This will make the job of how to drop a leaning tree easier.

Step #4: Make the Back Cut

Now, we’ll step up to make the back cut on the tree. This is one of the important leaning tree felling techniques in case you are going for a no-wedge approach. 

The back cut should be at least an inch above the face cut notch. And once the back cut is made, make sure you have a sharp eye on the tree as well. Because this is the moment when the tree will start felling. 

Step #5: Make Sure That You Are Safe

By the end of step 4, the tree should start felling. As soon as that starts, you should make sure that you are in a safe position. Because these kinds of trees are quite heavy and large in size. So, an accidental fall of it on any human will lead to severe accidents. 

Bottom Line

So, that’s the list of steps that we need to go through in order to learn how to fell a leaning tree opposite direction. While going through the steps, make sure that you’re completely aware of the weather condition.

Also, if you have multiple trees to deal with the same manner, go with the smaller trees in the first place. Also, be 100% aware of the mass of the tree, as it’s going to give you an idea about the lean force. 

Once the tree is done the cutting, uproot the tree stump. On that concern, we’re hoping to go give you a complete idea in another post.

Good Luck and Stay connected!

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