illustration for felling a tree with a chain saw
Illustration: Gregory Nemec
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Technique: Getting from Forest to Fireplace

Cutting down trees for firewood requires a game plan. Here's yours:

1. Cut diagonally down into the trunk at a 70-degree angle to the ground
until you're one-third of the way through it and a few inches above grade.
2. Make a horizontal cut to complete a notch, then knock the wedge out of the trunk.
3. Make the hinge cut: Slice toward the notch's point or slightly higher from the opposite side, leaving an even strip of meat ¾ to 2 inches wide. Shout "Timber!" Now cut off the limbs.
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