- Technical felling is about getting wood on the ground where it was intended without breaking any manmade objects, or harming the crew.
- The key to getting the tree on the ground is the notch, piece of pie, chunk, or whatever else it may be called in your location.
- The face notch is what makes the tree go where the operator wishes. Traditionally and on many work sites today, a piece of pie of 45 degrees about a third of the way into the trunk is used. These dimensions were developed and learned by contemporary tree crews’ logger ancestors and the tools they had to work with: axes and crosscut saws.
- The bottom cut was done with the crosscut saw, and since they don’t cut well at an angle, the top would be done with an ax. An ax cuts best at 45 degrees, thus the angle of the top cut was 45 degrees. This traditional, or ‘45,’ can still be quite effective in some situations, but it does lack some degree of precision and control that’s available to operators in the age of chain saws.
- Two things about the 45 lessen its precision and control. One, with any notch once it’s closed, the hinge breaks and all control is lost. So, any tree that’s perpendicular to the ground, or straight up and down, is only in a controlled arc for about half of its fall.
- Secondly, the point of maximum “push back” in a tree’s fall is at about a 45-degree angle, right when the notch closes with this notch, thus there’s an alarming tendency for the butt of the tree to come backward at a high rate of speed towards the operator.
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