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I'm going to fell a 75' pine in my yard. Should I cut limbs before felling the tree even if they are balanced?

I've seen mixed advice. On one hand removing limbs makes the fell more predictable and lighter. On the other,limbs will help a felled tree stay in one place when it lands.

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Four things to consider in reading a tree for felling. Lean, branch size, balance and windage. Removed limbs don't catch moving air, large branches don't roll the log when they fail to snap if they're already on the ground. As a side note, people underestimate the amount of sail area a tree can represent. My Uncle was a topper (for skyline yarding operations - Oregon) and his best story was about the windless day and the tree top that wouldn't fall. He got madly to work with the wedges before it decided on a random direction involving him when the hinge gave way. – Fiasco Labs Feb 24 '13 at 5:21
up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would prefer trimming as many as are convenient.

Leaving them on means the tree will preload those on the bottom, sometimes making for pinching or sideloaded cuts.

Since pines typically grow limbs to the ground, lower limbs might spin the tree during the fall, a potentially dangerous situation.

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