If you need to remove a tree you will require a licence from the Forestry Commission to carry out this specialist tree surgery activity. It is actually an offence to fell trees without a licence if an exception does not apply, and the individual or anyone involved can be prosecuted for doing so.
Tree felling is normally only carried out in a woodland or forestry location, or where public safety needs to be guaranteed. It can be a very dangerous task and result in serious injury or death if not carried out by a professional Tree Surgeon.
This is commonly performed with a chainsaw, because the rotating chain enables the professional to control the cut, and remove the tree efficiently. Although seemingly it looks like a simple task, it can require a lot of planning to ascertain how the tree will fall. Ideally the tree must fall and not come into contact with anything else, so as to understand exactly where the tree will land. A good plan is developed and a number of factors should be taken into consideration, such as the slope of the ground, the lean of the tree, and importantly the height of the tree to ascertain the reach.
There are a variety of techniques that can be adopted by the Tree Surgeon, and all trees may not be cut in the same direction. Different types of notches may need to be used, which in turn determine how a tree should be cut. These decisions come down to the professional experience of the Tree Surgeon.
If there is no clear path for the tree to fall, the professional Tree Surgeon will need to ascertain and carefully conclude the best line for the tree to fall, so as not to create another potentially dangerous situation, and allow for easy and safe removal of debris. A tree falls with a great deal of force, which can potentially involve uncontrolled movement of various types of debris. Flying tree limbs are typical when felling a tree.
As probably one of the most dangerous practices in tree surgery, protective gear should be worn by all those in the vicinity, typically hard hat, eye protection and steel toe cap boots.