If the tree, in falling, must pass between two other trees where there is danger of its "hanging," so cut your kerf that the tree in falling will strike the ground nearest the smallest of the trees, or nearest the one furthest away. Then, as the tree falls, and brushes the side of the smallest tree or the one furthest away, it will bounce away, thus giving the fallen tree an opportunity to bump its way down to the place on the ground selected for it, in place of hanging by its bough in the boughs of other trees.

Do not try to "fall" a tree between two others that are standing close together; it cannot be successfully done, for the tops of the three trees will become interlaced, and you will find it very difficult and hazardous work to attempt to free your fallen tree from its entanglement; probably it cannot be done without cutting one or both of the other trees down. The truth is, one must mix brains with every stroke of the axe or one will get into trouble.

Where possible select a tree that may be made to fall in an open space where the prostrate trunk can be easily handled. Cut your kerf on the side toward the landing place, let the notch go half-way or a trifle more through the trunk. Make the notch or kerf as wide as the radius, that is, half the diameter of the tree trunk (Fig. 344), otherwise you will have your axe pinched or wedged before you have the kerf done and will find it necessary to enlarge your notch or kerf. Score first at the top part of the proposed notch, then at the bottom, making as big chips as possible, and hew out the space between, cutting the top parts of the notch at an angle but the bottom part nearly horizontal. When this notch or kerf is cut to half or a little more than half of the diameter of the tree, cut another notch upon the opposite side of the tree at a point a few inches higher than the notch already cut; when this notch is cut far enough the tree will begin to tremble and crack to warn you to step to one side. Don't get behind the tree; it may kick and kill you; step to one side and watch the tree as it falls; there are many things that may deflect it in falling, and one's safety lies in being alert and watching it fall. Also keep your eye aloft to watch for limbs which may break off and come down with sufficient force to disable you; accidents of this kind frequently happen, but seldom or never happen where the axeman uses common sense or due caution.

The Best Time To Cut Or Prune Trees