by Nina Post
There are a few different ways you can take down a big tree like a Douglas Fir, Big-Leaf Maple, or Hemlock.
You can cut a notch in the side where you want the tree to fall, then go to the other side, chainsaw some space, insert some plastic wedges, and hammer them in. Hammer the wedges for a bit, and the tree might fall then.
If the tree is more stubborn and has some back lean, you may have to use all the wedges in your wedge bag, and hammer them for a long time.
If the tree is really stubborn, like a dense and strong Doug Fir that just doesn't want to move, and hammering those wedges isn't getting anywhere, it would be helpful to get a Bobcat or other heavy machinery to give it a push.
If you only have a narrow space where you can drop the tree, because there are other trees in the path -- and the tree has back lean (so it wants to fall a different way) -- you may need to use a chain and ratcheting method along with the notch and wedges to guide its path.
Even if you've perfected a technique for doing something, it may not cover 100% of the cases. Sometimes you need strategy, precision, and brute force (more people, new partnerships, different staff, etc) to get the job done.