Felling trees is a dangerous job. It’s really not as simple as taking a chainsaw to the base of a tree and letting rip. Tree felling requires serious planning if we are to avoid damaging nearby property or injuring people. So, how are trees taken down? This depends on where the tree is and how big it is. The plan to remove a tree will incorporate lots of different aspects in the plan – nearby buildings and roads, utility lines and landscaping. Arborists also use a Landscape Gardeners Sydney whole kit of special equipment like ropes and rigging to help them with their job. Here are some of the considerations arborists make when assessing a tree to be felled:

  • The tree’s width, height and lean
  • The intended direction of its fall (dependent on tree type, utility lines, buildings, landscape etc.)
  • Fall zone clearance

Techniques for Taking Down Different Types of Tree

Just as each tree is unique, so is the way it is removed. Different types of trees often require different tree felling techniques. A deciduous tree, for example, will have a wider tree canopy than a coniferous tree so the tree removal approach is often different.  

Straight Felling

When removing trees, we often refer to ‘straight felling’. This means removing a tree as a single unit. This is only possible when the environment allows i.e. when there is enough space for the tree to be felled without causing any damage to property or landscaping nearby. When trees are removed using straight felling, arborists will control the tree’s removal by using guide ropes and wedges so that the tree falls in a way that is both safe and expected.

Sectional Felling

When a tree can’t be removed by straight felling (if, for example, there isn’t a lot of space surrounding it), then a technique called sectional felling is used. This means that the tree is removed in sections so that there is no damage to surrounding obstacles like utility lines, roads, buildings or landscaping.

When doing a sectional felling, there are many different techniques and methods used. As always, these are adapted for each unique tree, which makes expert knowledge and experience essential.

Tree felling with sectional dismantling means that a skilled climber will often need to climb up the tree to secure an anchor point. The climber will then abseil down the tree to work on the lowest limb first, working his or her way up the tree. Sometimes, rigging equipment is also needed.

Tree Rigging

This is the art of sectional felling using blocks, pulleys and ropes to aid in the dismantling of trees or parts of trees. Rigging equipment incorporates a whole host of various equipment and often needs extensive knowledge of equipment, rope types and strengths, wood properties and physics. As with all tree work, communication is also essential between workers when on site.