How to use a chainsaw Working with chainsaws, part 1
How-To's & Guides

Dealing with hang up

If you have estimated the tree incorrectly or failed to follow the felling process, this may result in hang-up with another tree.

Efforts to dislodge the tree can be risky. Never leave a trapped tree unmarked. Mark the area with highly visible marking tape if you must leave the area to get other tools or assistance.

Tools for hang up

  • Turning strap
  • Turning hook (often comes with the breaking bar)
  • Winch
  • Forwarders or tractors fitted with grapple loader or winch

Rolling the tree

Use the turning hook or turning strap if you think that the tree is not too stuck.

Work as follows:

  1. Assess which way the tree can be rolled down. Saw off the middle of the hinge so that two corners are saved. Next cut off one corner with repeated saw cuts diagonally from above. Leave the corner on the side that you intend to roll down the tree.
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Working with chainsaws part 1
  1. Take the turning hook (turning strap) and roll the tree away from you. Lift straight with a straight back and knees bent. If the tree is large or has hung really tightly, you can increase the rolling force by using the turning hook or turning strap with a longer piece from a thin tree. 


Working with chainsaws part 1

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.


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.


  1. Never fell another tree over an already trapped tree!
  2. Never try to cut down the tree that has been felled on!
  3. Never work within the danger zone of the hanging trapped trees!
Illustration Use Chainsaw step-down method