This isn’t my saw but a photo of what my saw looked like–

Yes our first homestead experience began when we purchased a home on 15 acres. It was an old 1850″s Post and Beam structure. We soon found a wood cookstove and that was our source for heat as well as cooking on.   Cooking on an old stove is an art- maybe I’ll find a way to share more on that someday.
But now we are talking about trees. Dropping big trees.
During that time I was able to bring down a number of big white pines- 100′ tall and some 30″ + around. And I learned the way to check lean,  make my cuts to drop the tree away from the lean direction when possible and  successfully bring down a few big trees with a methodical approach.
What do you need to tackle  that kind of  work?
First a proper chainsaw. Don’t just get the  1st one presented or on sale at the box store.
Get proper counsel from someone who knows. I  purchased a Pioneer Farmsaw. At the time I was impressed with the almost 4.0 cubit inch engine and a 16″ bar. That’s it – pure saw. No chainbreak- I wasn’t against a safety item like that- I just learned to trust in my touch on the  throttle switch. I  taught myself to remove that finger at the least issue of  a possible safety concern. If I felt off balance, if the saw got stuck during a cut,if the log or tree started to move. Anything that was going to get my eye off the chain or my mind away from what I was doing and my finger was off the switch.  The on/off switch was also in a good spot. I could remove my finger and take down the power to the chain and with the next motion shut power off completely.
That saw served me well for 26 years.  Whether It was a tree of any sort to bring down , bucking a tree that was down or  spending hours cutting cordwood.  And it looked pretty good after all that  as well. As good as the one in the photo.
You will also need a peavy.  A peavy can help to roll a log,  lift it,  move one log off another– a great useful tool. Google peavey to see how it is used.
A wedge to help open a saw kerf if a chain ever got caught because a tree leans back .Yes that can happen– Learn the ins and outs of  making  a proper cuts and how to plan the trees fall.
I always had a come-along, some chain with hooks and a super strong rope. If a tree had a lean that was challenging and needed some convincing to fall where I planned for it to fall, I sometimes requires  climbing a ladder and tieing off to make a controlled pull to influence the fall. I’d usually  anchor to another well rooted tree nearby.
A small chainsaw file is imperative. A simple chase over each tooth  now and then can keep the saw thowing off chips, not sawdust.
These acquired skills came in handy when a Hurricane Gloria came up the east coast. It brought  a lot of rain and some moderate winds. We were inland in New Hampshire.
During the storm a neighbor came and said a tree seemed to be ready to fall on their home. Her husband was  daunted by the thought and not sure what to do.
I had to go out back on our property, grab my chains, rope, come-along and get down the road to  the neighbor’s home. My son helped me.- He was about eight at the time.
When we got there we found a  decent sized maple tree (50-60 feet) was rocking in the ground  due the the saturation the excess rain had caused. The lean the tree had was definity going down on the house if it did come down.  My neighbor was there and he had his chainsaw- I had to express to him we had no time to discuss things and that he needed to listen and follow my instructions. He agreed (which was not typically what he would do).
I tossed a rope up over a limb and around the trunk about 12-15 feet up. My son took that and fastened it to a chain wrapped around an anchor tree I had figured would work.
Then I told my friend  to cut a wedge right there — he looked at me-I said yes right there.
Then I told him to start a back cut  here- “what” he said- I told him to trust me and do it . “Just start the cut.” I said.  He did as instructed.
I asked my son to start pulling on the come-along and tighten up the ropes and chain.
Than I told my friend to continue his cut and pull his saw out and back away when I waved at him.
He did as instructed and my son made a few more clicks. My son was to continue to click away  when he saw my wave to the man with the saw.
That maple tree leaned back and dropped in the opposite direction of their house.


  1. Elton Thomas

    I tried to help out a family member by helping thin out her 8 acres in Redding CA. Busted my butt dropped enough for her to sell several cords of and she never even compensated me for the two saws I bought.

    Lesson learned…..

    Great site BTW

    1. Al (Post author)

      Thank you for visiting my site and the comments. Yes in the world
      we are in sometimes we don’t get compensated properly.
      I appreciate you sharing that.
      My best to you.


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