Types Of Tree Felling Cuts [3 Of The Best Notches]

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Last year was the first full year I cut all my own firewood. I had some, but not much, experience cutting down trees using a chainsaw. The fact of the matter was, I had to do a lot of research on safely cutting down bigger trees. I learned how to make notches in the lower part of a tree. The truth is, I figure I’m not the only who is newer to cutting down trees and I thought I’d share some of the types of tree felling cuts I learned and use.

Types Of Tree Felling Cuts

There are 3 different type of notches I use to cut down trees. I’ll share with you what they are and explain how to make them on the base of a tree.

Humboldt Notch

The Humboldt notch is made by cutting a straight line on the side you want the tree to fall and it’s followed by an upward cut towards the straight cut you made. The knockdown cut will be on the back side of the notch. It’s a straight cut that’s a little bit above your first straight cut (at least an inch) that’s on the other side.

Open-faced Notch

The open-faced notch is basically cutting a V into the tree. Your top cut should be at a 70-degree angle and your upward cut should be at 20-degrees. Your knockdown cut should be a straight towards the middle of the notch. Of the three notches, this one is the safest.

Conventional Notch

The conventional notch is made by making your top cut at a 70-degree angle and your bottom cut will be straight. The knockdown cut will be a straight cut towards the notch. Start your knockdown cut about an inch above your straight cut that you made the notch with.


There you have it, my 3 favorite tree notch types. All 3 are safe but the open-faced is probably the safest. With that cut, you have more control over where the tree falls.

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