How To Cut A Leaning Tree In The Opposite Direction

How To Cut A Leaning Tree In The Opposite Direction

If you are a woodworker, then felling trees is probably one of those jobs that you have to face irrespective.

There is no way that woodworker would compromise on the quality of the job, either. A tree that is felled in an incorrect way can even be thrown in the garbage. However, there are situations where felling trees can be tougher than usual. And one of these cases is when felling a tree in the opposite direction is required.

So the question remains, how can you cut a leaning tree in the opposite direction?

Well, the short answer is that it is not easy; however, it can be done with correct tools and some required knowledge of tips and tricks in the trade.

In the following guide, we’ll take a closer look at exactly how you can go about cutting a tree in the opposite direction and do it in the best possible way.

Although it’s not necessary to know exactly why a tree is leaning before you cut it down, it is interesting to know exactly why they choose to lean in a specific direction.

One of the most common reasons why trees lean in a second certain direction is because the weight of those branches will cause the tree to lean in a particular direction. So leaning trees are more often than not large, heavy trees or trees with long and heavy branches.

Ultimately, it seems quite dangerous to fell a tree that is leaning, especially if it’s in your backyard. However, by taking a few precautionary steps, you can ensure that it falls in the right direction.

If you are in doubt if you can do the steps below you can always ask the professional. If you are in Iowa, our dear friends back at LocalTreeExperts can help with finding tree removal experts in Des Moines area.


The tools you will need

The Tools You Will Need

No matter what tools you use, you need to keep them in perfect shape.

Unfortunately, felling trees cannot be done with your bare hands, even if you wanted to. Additionally, you will need to make two different types of cuts on the tree using an axe. However, you’ll need a few other tools to work with as well.

Two of the basic and most essential tools that will be needed is an axe for cutting the tree down and rope for pulling the leaning tree.

Step-by-step guide on how to cut a leaning tree in the opposite direction

Step 1

You need to start by assessing the situation.

Before getting into it, it’s a wise idea to actually assess the type of work required as well as the amount of work that will be needed in order to fell a leaning tree. So your first move is to figure out the center of gravity, and if the tree is leaning over your house, this assessment may be trickier than usual.

So what you need to do is figure out the offset center of gravity and ensure that if you cut it by the root, so it will fall in that specific direction.

The next step will be to mark the offset center of gravity and clear up the area underneath. After this, you are free to move on to the next step.

Step 2

This step will require a lot of mathematics. So after determining the direction of the fall and the offset center of gravity, it’s time to calculate the amount of back lean that she is going to give. These measurements are even more crucial when felling a heavily leaning tree.

If you’ve never heard of a back lean before, it’s basically the distance from the point that you have marked on the ground in order to apex the undercut. The apex point is the front side of the hinge and also the pivot point of the tree.

Once you’ve done the above, you should take the next steps:

You then want to measure the diameter of the stump with measuring tape. This measurement will determine the distance between the frontal hinge on the back edge of the tree. It will also help you when it comes to measuring the number of key segments once cut.

You’re are now ready to move onto step three.

Step 3 

Next, take an axe that is appropriate for the job and make the undercut. This cut should be made on the same side as the direction of the fall. So ultimately, it should be in the opposite direction of the lean.

You should make two cuts. The first cut should be at an angle of 90° to the tree and the second one should be about the first one.

Ensure that you’re not cutting more than a 1-inch portion of the thickness when you’re making these cuts. The second cut should also connect to the inner portion of the first cut.

The purpose of doing both these cuts is to create a wedge-shaped piece in the direction of the lean of the tree. Ultimately this makes the entire task easier.

Step 4

Next, you need to make the back cut in the tree. This is one of the most crucial steps in the process and especially if you going for a no-wedge approach.

The back cut should be at least an inch above the face cut notch. After making the back cut, keep a sharp eye on the tree because it can start falling from this point on.

Step 5

In the step, the first thing you want to do is ensure that you are somewhere safe.

The tree will start felling, so make sure that you are in a place of safety. This tree is also quite big and heavy, and if it accidentally falls on you, it can lead to a severe accident that possibly even death.

So these are basically the most crucial and fundamental steps that you need to take in order to fell a leaning tree in the opposite direction. Also, take note of the weather conditions and make sure that it’s ideal when choosing to perform this time.

In the event that you have multiple trees that need to be felled in the opposite direction, start with the smaller trees first and be 100% of the weight of the tree. This will ultimately give you an idea of the lean force. Once you’ve cut the tree down, remove the tree stump as well.


Felling a tree leaning in the opposite direction can tend to be challenging; however, it’s not impossible.

If you just remember to make a proper assessment of the situation and use common sense in the process, it will ultimately lead to successful felling.

1 thought on “How To Cut A Leaning Tree In The Opposite Direction”

  1. Did you talk about pulling with ropes? Or driving wedges to lift, or bend the tree in the right direction? Your article seems lacking the necessary info. My opinion

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