How To Do a Tree Removal in Portland

Tree Removal in Portland, Oregon

If you want to cut down a tree safely, what you need is the proper tree removal in Portland. Experts can have these services done for a cost, but if your tree is small, you may be able to pull off the job yourself. So we are sharing some of our expert tree-felling tips and techniques here for all the handy DIYers. But we’re still here to help if the task gets too big for you to handle safely.

Consider These Before Taking on Your Own Tree Removal

Here are a couple of questions you want to ask yourself before you attempt tree removal.

  1. Do you have the time to complete this task from start to finish?
  2. Will you have the necessary tools to complete this task from start to finish?
  3. Is your tree too big and requires professional equipment you don’t own and are not trained to use?
  4. Does the tree have a lot of branches?
  5. Does the tree have a lot of branches?
  6. Are you able to lean a ladder against the tree?
  7. Do you have main branches which can be removed methodically?
  8. Are there items below the tree that branches could fall on during the process?

After answering those questions, do you really think it is in your best interest and safety interest to remove your own tree? Or has it started to look like a job for professionals?

Preparing for a Tree Removal

Work Men Preparing for Tree Removal
  1. Examine the Tree Tree examination is to be done by a professional - a certified arborist. They have the expertise to assess your tree, its type, its length, width, its age, and its branches to determine the best way to get it out. Remember that your tree is not just the part that you can see above ground. There is more to your tree beneath the ground that you won’t know about. This is a huge factor in the removal of a tree. One other big factor to consider is the health of a tree. An arborist is the best person to decide the amount of effort that your tree removal task will require and the types of tools to be used. You don’t want to cut down a tree if it has dead branches, especially if the branches are still attached but broken. You also don't want to cut down a tree that is leaning in one direction or has more branches on one side. And, of course, you don't want to cut down a tree that is close to fences, buildings, or power lines. Just call the pros!
  2. Preparation Preparation for a tree removal task can be very tedious. An arborist will wear the appropriate gear and bring the necessary equipment. If you are trying to get this done on your own, you may find that the preparation alone can be tiring and expensive. Not only will you have to source tools and equipment, but you will also need to check them for safety and usability prior to starting the task. You want to be as prepared as possible to reduce the chances of running into any problems once you start the job.
  3. Cleaning/Clearing the Work Area Remove any personal property you have beneath the area where the tree will be cut or dropped. Once the area is properly cleared, you can begin preparing yourself for the task.
  4. Wear the Appropriate Safety Gear If at this point you are still convinced you are going to be doing this task on your own, you need to ensure you have the right safety gear for the job. This is especially true when you will be using a chainsaw. Do you have the right gear? Do you even know what the “right gear” means? Here are some items you may need:
    • Logger’s helmet
    • Earmuffs
    • Safety glasses
    • Kevlar chaps
    • Felling wedges

Estimate the Felling Zone

Now that you know what is involved, the steps to go through, and what safety gear and measures you need to take, what’s next? Getting your tree to fall in the direction you want it to is key. It is a guarantee that your tree is taller than you think it is. You want to know where it will fall to ensure that you have enough space and to ensure that it is safe. Again, we want to reiterate the importance of leaving this work to a professional. But we still are going to tell you about the “ax handle trick.” The ax handle trick requires you to hold an ax at arm’s length. With one eye closed, move toward the tree or back away from the tree until the top of your ax is even with the treetop and the bottom of the ax is even with the tree base. Wherever you are standing after doing this, is where you can expect your treetop to rest after falling. When using this estimate, you still want to ensure you have enough extra room just in case your estimate is off. Even when you are certain where your tree is going to fall, it still isn’t time to fell it. Sorry! Now you will have to clear your cutting zone. Cut away bush from around the tree trunk and clear two escape routes on the side of the tree where it is not estimated to fall. Each escape route should be 45 degrees from the other in opposite directions. You don't want to trip when you are walking away from a tree you are trying to fell.

Felling The Tree

Now let's get to actually taking that tree down. First, you want to know how to make a proper notch. Your notch should be one-fifth the depth of the tree trunk’s diameter. When making your felling notch you want it to be on the side the tree is expected to fall. When your tree starts to fall, the hinge you created will help to guide the tree into the direction you desire.

Planning the Notch

Work Men Preparing for Tree Removal

You will want to make a cut at the top, followed by a cut at the bottom. When you are making the second cut, adjust your hand so you can control the throttle of the saw with your thumb. You will want to extend the cuts from the top or bottom so that the wedge can drop free. Otherwise, the wedge will simply drop out of the notch.

Wedges for Larger Trees

When you have a tree that is larger than 18 inches in diameter, you can make your notch cut and go right into your felling cut. Keep cutting until you have reached far enough into the trunk to pound wedges behind the bar. Leave the 1st bar in the cut while the saw is still running. But ensure you lock the chain brake. Tap into the wedges and then finish your cut. The wedges will ensure the saw doesn't get pinched in the cut when the tree starts to lean back.

Making the Felling Cut

Mark a line to connect the apex of the notch on both sides. This will create a cutting guide for you. You want the cut at the back to be even and parallel with the notch's apex. Once that is done, you can now make the felling cut. When your tree starts to lean, you can pull the saw free. Remember to set the chain brake and walk away via one of your escape routes. Keep an eye on the tree at the same time, just in case it doesn’t react in the way you envisioned. You should never take your eye off the tree when it is falling. So maybe practice how you will get out through your escape routes before actually felling the tree so you know exactly how you need to position yourself to ensure the tree is always in your sights.

Have a Lookout in Place

It is always safer to fell a tree with a trustworthy assistant. They don't have to have the expertise to help you with the actual felling of the tree, but you will want an extra pair of eyes. Let them stand a couple of feet behind you so they can help you determine when the tree starts to fall. They can have a stick to tap you on your shoulder, or you can have them in your ear with an ear pod so you know when they are alerting you to move. Whenever you get that alert, move right away. You may not have enough time to assess the situation yourself, so it is better to move and then assess from a safe distance, going back in if you need to and if it is safe to do so.

Start Cutting Your Branches from the Trunk

After you have fallen a tree, you can start getting rid of the branches from the lower end of the trunk. You can continue in this fashion to work your way up to the top. This is the safest and most efficient way to use a chainsaw. When you are done cutting off the branches, you can then start sawing the trunk into firewood. Cut your long into 16-inch lengths. You can cut through ¾ of the way and then roll the log over and complete the cuts on the other side. Tree removal in Portland is a hard task, especially if you are removing a larger tree. Call the professionals and get a free estimate before you take on this task by yourself. Let us help you safely and efficiently remove your tree.