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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    Precision Felling Techniques and Working the Plan


    Whether felling a whole tree or a tree trunk, getting the job done safely in a controlled manner is imperative. For those of us working to remove trees in the urban environment, there are numerous hazards and obstacles we must avoid in order to be successful. Unfortunately, there are too many accidents (unplanned events) that occur when felling trees, causing injuries and damage to property. Using a felling plan and working through that plan will greatly reduce the number of unplanned events (accidents).
    In this presentation we will look at the history of cutting techniques used to fell trees. We will examine the functions of the face notch, back cut, and—most importantly—the hinge. We will explore how different types of cuts can be used in different situations to improve control and safety. The use of the 5-step felling plan will be introduced as a means of reducing accidents and improving results. Understanding different types of wood fiber and the function of the hinge are critical to the decision making process. We will also discuss the proper use of pull lines in a felling operation. This presentation will create a good foundation of knowledge for tree cutters in today’s urban setting.


    Rip Tompkins is an ISA Certified Arborist, Massachusetts Certified Arborist (MCA), and vice president of ArborMaster Training, Inc., Little Compton, Rhode Island. He also is an alternate member of the ANSI-Z133 Standards Committee, Past Chairman of the ITCC Committee, and the 1996 International Tree Climbing Championship World Champion. He currently serves as a member of the ITCC Rules Committee and special advisor on the ETCC (European Tree Climbing Championships) Operations Committee.

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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