Safe and Effective Use of Chain Saws for Woodland Owners

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Steve Bowers and Raini Rippy
EC 1124 | Revised March 2023, Reviewed 2023


Outlines the basic principles and and safety issues of cutting down (felling) and cutting up (bucking ) trees. Covers clothing and equipment, timber-felling plans, evaluating tree-felling conditions and the target tree itself, and providing escape paths. Discusses tree-felling specifics such as sighting direction-of-fall, matching saw cuts, and making undercuts and back cuts. Describes problem trees, such as multiple stems, leaning trees, springpoles, and hangups. Explains proper bucking and limbing techniques. Includes figures and a checklist of steps to follow when felling a tree.

About the authors

Steve Bowers
Extension forestry and natural resources agent
Oregon State University, Lane and Douglas Counties
Raini Rippy
Extension forestry and natural resources instructor
Oregon State University, Douglas County

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