The Bore-ing Back-cut…

The Bore-ing Back-cut…

The Bore-ing Back-cut…

by Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.



Once you have completed the first four areas of information on your felling plan it is time to choose a back cut to fall the tree. You may choose to simply start from the back of the tree and cut to your holding wood/hinge or you might bore-cut through the tree, set up your hinge then cut backwards to release the tree. Yes, there are several other configurations of cuts that could be made to conclude the process. You could cut the good side, then the bad side, from back to hinge or hinge to back. You could bore and circle the tree with the back cut. But, what is or are the advantage(s) of a bore-cut over the simple back cut?


When asked the question of the advantages of the bore-cut I usually explain that the only negative to the bore-cut, if it is one, is the understanding of the reactive forces, especially the one of kickback. Really, if you understand that reaction, there are no negatives, only positives. Knowing how to begin the cut with the lower portion of the bar tip and quickly burying the tip in the process, eliminates the issue when you think about it. So, let’s list some positives…


1.      It reduces the chances of the tree trunk barber-chairing in heavy forward lean.

2.      Allows for a planned hinge/holding wood dimension to be better achieved. 

3.      Makes it possible to cut larger trees with multiple position (side to side) cuts.

4.      Improves capabilities of using a shorter saw bar length on larger trees.

5.      In smaller back leaning trees it gives the ability to place wedges before setback.

6.      Controls the release of the tree when there may be widow makers or broken tops.

7.      Gives more escape time from trees with vine issues.

8.      Offers better footing and escape from trees in steep or slippery terrain.

9.      Reduces fiber pull on the stump by allowing more accurate hinge completion.

10.   It offers the ability to locate hollows and rot areas in the tree trunk.

11.   Enables better controlled release of the tree should there be traffic or people issues.

12.   Eliminates some issues with tops swaying or wind effecting the release of a tree.


There are probably more as I sit and think and there are also several advantages working with bore-cuts on horizontal storm damaged trees. The Bore-Cut is not so boring… but very useful and productive.


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