Advanced Training: Tree Worker Domain – Felling

Current Felling Classes – TBD 2023

An IAA Advanced Training logo

Course Description

Statistics have indicated that tree felling is “the single, most dangerous act” performed by an arborist. This course is designed to drastically reduce the chance of an incident occurring while felling a tree, with heightened safety and situational awareness. The six (6) step precision felling plan is explained and demonstrated in detail. A thorough tree risk assessment is demonstrated to detect any hazards and defects before the felling operation begins. We will explain and demonstrate the “Command and Response” system for Tree Care Operations. The use of non- metallic felling wedges is demonstrated to help prevent “sit-back” and steer the tree into the drop zone. The use of a tag line and using mechanical advantage to safely drop a backward leaning tree is demonstrated. Notch placement inside leaning trees is demonstrated to fell a tree in the designated drop zone. To help prevent “barber chairing”, the plunge (bore) cutting technique is explained and demonstrated on forward leaning trees. Each participant is given the opportunity to fell a tree in a designated “drop zone”, while explaining each step of the felling plan as it is happening. Chainsaw experience is a plus for this course.

Equipment Requirements

  • Head protection that meets the ANSI Z89 Standard
  • Eye protection that meets the ANSI Z87 Standard
  • Hearing protection that meets the ANSI Z133-2017 standard Cut-resistant leg protection that meets the ANSI Z133-2017 Standard Approved boots that cover the ankle
  • Gloves appropriate for Tree Care Operations

Provided Equipment

Gasoline powered chainsaws (18”, 24”, and 28”). Tag lines, felling wedges, axe for driving wedges, mechanical advantage kit w/anchoring system.

Day One

Meet on site. Go over a briefing of the day’s course with the group. Explain and demonstrate a thorough “Tree Risk Assessment” of the tree to be felled. Explain and demonstrate the “Command and Response” system. Explain and demonstrate the six (6) step precision felling plan while actually felling a tree. Demonstrate and actually use a 5 to 1 mechanical advantage system to pull over a backward leaning tree. Each participant will then fell a tree while explaining the 6-step felling plan to the group and be graded on the explanation and performance of their felling.


Upon the completion of the Felling course, each participant will gain the knowledge of, or able to perform the following tasks, with safety being the primary objective:

  • A thorough “Tree Risk Assessment”
  • The six (6) step precision felling plan (handout)
  • Tag line placement in the crown of the tree, prior to felling Using a 5 to 1 mechanical advantage system for pulling Cutting an open face notch
  • Plunge (bore) cutting a back cut
  • Use of felling wedges
  • Command and Response System