Advanced Tree Surgery Techniques

Tree removal consists of two main jobs – cutting the tree upper body and removing the stump. For years, the concept of removing a tree has been very straightforward.

The tree surgeons will do a scarf cut, hingewood, and back cut on the tree for it to safely fall on the ground, then remove the stump by digging out the roots.

But in recent years, the techniques of tree removal is constantly evolving. Tree surgeons are coming up with new and advanced tree surgery techniques that make this task easier to perform and much safer.

Advanced Tree Surgery Techniques

Cutting Techniques

The traditional scarf cut, hingewood, and the back cut is an effective technique to cut down a tree. But there are certain tree conditions that these techniques are not applicable and can even pose risk to one’s safety.

To prevent facing potential injuries, the tree surgeon can now choose an alternative technique that is more suitable for every tree condition. Few of the popular advanced tree surgery techniques today are described as follows:

  • Back Pulling

Removing the trees near the house, neighbour’s property or utility lines is always been a difficult task to perform. But tree surgeon find back pulling technique as a safer and easier way to execute the cutting.

Back pulling is the technique of cutting that uses a winch rope and strop to pull the tree against its natural lean. There are 2 methods to successfully perform back pulling technique: no blocks back pulling and back pulling using a block.

The no blocks back pulling normally perform if the tree surgeon can place their machine at least two three-length away from the tree. But if it is not possible, they can perform the back pulling using a block.

Important Note: Back pulling is not recommended to use for emergency tree removal jobs (e.g. trunks with cracks).

  • Bore Cut

A large-diameter tree is one good example of the tree’s condition wherein the traditional back cut technique is not applicable. For this condition, bore cut is the recommended technique to use as this can eliminate the risk of splitting the tree vertically.

The bore cut is done by making a scarf cut, then drive the chainsaw through the trunk’s centre, and make the final cut at the back.

  • Crane Removal

Space is an important factor when removing a tree. If the space in the property is very limited, a tree surgeon can use the crane removal technique. This advanced tree surgery technique can be done by cutting the tree into pieces, while the crane secured the large-sized part of the tree.

This is one of the recommended technique used for emergency tree removal as this will lessen the risk of damaging the property.

Tree Pruning Techniques

There are times that the tree, subjected to removal, have numerous large branches. With this reason, the tree surgeon will remove the said branches first before going through the entire tree removal.

There are two techniques available – tree topping and the notch-relief-final cut. The topping technique is straightforward, removing the entire large branches by using the traditional cutting technique.

While the notch-relief-final cut technique, the tree surgeon will make three cuts in one branch. First, the tree surgeon will cut the bottom of the limb with a small notch. From the first cut, measure around 1-foot outside the notch cut. This is where the tree surgeon will make the relief cut. After the second cut, go back at the branch collar and make the final cut.

These two pruning techniques are both applicable to all tree’s condition, and even emergency tree removal due to expected weather change or damaging the house’s exterior.

Removing the stump

After successfully removing the tree, the tree surgeon will focus their attention on the tree’s stump. The traditional technique on stump removal is digging the roots out using a shovel and burning it.

These two are still acceptable nowadays, except for the burning technique. This technique needs approval first to the local council to ensure that the property is outside the bushfire-prone areas.


The advanced tree surgery techniques used for stump removal are the following:

  • Chemical Stump Remover

Stump removal using a chemical solution is a fast way to rot the wood. Once the wood fully absorbs the chemical solution and it’s softened, the tree surgeon can easily remove it by chopping the stump with an ax.

The only downside of this technique is the wood need weeks before it can fully absorb the chemical solution. Not to mention, the risk it can cause to one’s health.

  • Stump Grinding

This may be a bit costly compared to other techniques of stump removal, but this is by far the quickest and safest. Once the entire stump turns into dust, the tree surgeon will either used it to cover the hole in the ground or used it as a garden mulch or compost.

Aside from advanced tree surgery techniques, other things that every property owner must ask their tree surgeon is the requirement set by the local council. Permits, rules (e.g. 10/30 rule), and regulations for emergency tree removal to follow are just a few of the important information that they must know.

Featured Photo Courtesy of markusspiske via Pixabay

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