Step down method

The name comes from the way the cuts and splitting form a step shape. The method is based on removing the tree from the stump or the place where the tree is stuck with the butt end in the ground. The trunk should have a good sliding surface and fall off cleanly.

Follow these steps:

1. Lay branches and poles on the ground in front of the trunk to form a surface.
2. Cut into about half the diameter of the rear of the trunk. Continue cutting from the other side if the guide bar is shorter than the tree diameter. Taper the front of the trunk. (Arrow 1)
3. Insert a wedge to prevent the cut from pinching.
4. Saw the next cut from the front, parallel to the previous cut, but 3–5 cm below. Cut into about half the diameter of the trunk. (Arrow 2)
5. Knock in the wedge until the wood fibres split between the two cuts. The trunk usually slides off the stump at the same time.
6. Lever the tree with a 2–3 m long rod/pole in the direction of movement until the tree falls.
7. If the tree does not come loose redo the process from step 1.

Note: It is important that the two saw cuts are not made too high up on the trunk as it could “fold down” at the breaking point. Also be aware that the trunk could sever too early. Therefore never stand in the direction of movement and of course not under the trunk. If the tree is too tightly hung, you should use a tractor, winch or other machine.


Never fell another tree over an already trapped tree!


Never try to cut down the tree that has been felled on!


Never work within the danger zone of the hanging trapped trees!