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6 Special Tree Wedging Cuts for Difficult Trees

Trees provide balance in the ecosystem. They give off oxygen for humans and animals, and they absorb carbon dioxide, which is a harmful component of greenhouse gases. Did you know that a single tree can provide a day’s supply of oxygen for four people? As they bring fresh air and help clear pollutants, many garden owners are investing in planting them. 

However, along with their benefits, there are safety precautions needed. Trees can become fall hazards when car accidents happen, or heavy winds and storms approach. So, removing them might save lives and properties.    

But it is not an easy job. Each year, more than 150 people encounter injuries while conducting tree work. That’s why arborists need proper techniques and equipment. To prevent accidents, Trees Down Under is here to present six special tree wedging cuts for difficult trees.  

  1. Hinge Cutting With a Wedge

Standard tree felling procedure involves making a notch and a back cut. Their ends meet near a hinge, which results in a falling tree in the notch direction. However in hinge cutting aided by a wedge, fellers tip them over with a back cut only, and the trunk remains attached to the stump. 

Most foresters use this technique to create habitat and food for deers. The tree can live for years if they leave a requisite amount of wood meat, which is a perfect place for deers to settle. 

  1. Wedging Trees With a Back Lean

It is easier to fell a tree in its leaning direction. But if the position or surrounding does not allow it for safety reasons, then felling in the opposite direction is the right solution. With wedges and shims as tools to lift the trunk off the stump, one can fell a tree to an intended location. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Cut a notch out of the backside trunk of the tree where it leans forward.  
  • Cut discs about 1.2cm in thickness from hardwood branches for the shims.
  • Use two wedges side by side and hammer one to avoid a gap between it and the trunk of the tree.
  • Put a shim in the space until it is tight. 
  • Drive the shim in by pounding the wedge.
  • In case the wedge comes loose before the tree falls, add a bigger shim in until the tree drops.
  1. Quarter-Cut Back-Cut

Professional arborists or fellers use the quarter-cut back-cut technique in dealing with trees that have an exceedingly large diameter. It involves making the back cut in two movements. Here is a detailed step-by-step guide:

  • From the back of the tree, chop the first quarter cut towards the hinge wood.
  • After reaching the desired hinge wood width, slightly bore a saw to ensure an even hinge.
  • Complete the second quarter cut from the other side of the tree until reaching the desired hinge wood width.
  • Make sure that both cuts overlap.
  • Insert a wedge on the first quarter cut to keep it open while cutting the second one. 
  • Chop the final back cut, which is the safe side of the tree and away from the lean.
  1. Split Level Back Cut

For leaning back trees with small diameters, split level back cut is ideal. Its procedure is the same as quarter-cut back-cut except that the final cut angles below and overlaps the first cut slightly. 

Setting up the wedge in the first cut helps in positioning the felling direction. Meanwhile, sloping the second cut minimises the risk of hitting the wedge with a saw. Then, it makes an even back cut on both sides of the tree. 

  1. Heavy Forward Leaners

Heavy forward learners are trees that significantly angled more than usual. They are difficult to fell since barber chair – which vertically divides trees before they fall – would likely occur. To deal with this kind of tree, here are the steps to follow: 

  • Make a shallow notch that is about a third of the diameter.
  • Hold the saw bar horizontal to the plane of the notch and slightly above.
  • Create a hinge and sufficient holding wood with a bore cut. 
  • Make another bore cut on the other side of the tree.
  • Ensure that the two bore cuts meet, leaving a strap of holding wood.
  • Cut the back strap with a bore cut horizontally at 2.5cm to 5cm below.
  1. Tree Felling of Medium-Sized Trees

Medium-sized trees also need care in terms of tree felling. In the case where the saw penetrates through the tree, the conventional method is enough. But adding wedges ensures more precise and accurate results. Here is a step-by-step guide:

  • Cut a standard notch on the side where the tree would fall.
  • From the back of the tree, create a back cut up to the hinge wood.
  • When the saw penetrated the trunk enough, insert one or two wedges into the back cut.
  • Continue the back cut to drive the wedges in more.
  • After reaching the hinge wood, stop the saw and drive the wedge until the tree begins to fall.


Tree felling is not as easy as it sounds. It requires professional knowledge and tools for a safe and accident-free finish. Moreover, some difficult trees need more care than usual. With the presented six special tree wedging cuts, fellers should use them for a more efficient and secure tree felling procedure. 

Here at Trees Down Under, we understand the need for a safe and hassle-free tree removal. Our team of professional fellers and arborists trained special techniques in tree felling to give you top-rate and excellent services. 

So, if you encounter any tree and garden concerns, don’t hesitate to call us. At the earliest time possible, our friendly staff will be at your place, equipped with the right tools and machinery.   

We provide garden solutions to residential, commercial, and industrial establishments. Contact us at 0475 463 597, or send your enquiries via email.

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