Windfalls are dangerous to cut: the wood is often under high tension; the working place is sometimes restricted and the tree difficult to get at. Stumps may tip forward or backward when cut loose from the trunk. Therefore, the worker must be well trained and experienced in order to avoid accidents and to reduce the loss of wood.
Chain saws have a definite advantage over hand saws in clearing windfalls as they can be more easily handled in restricted space and, compared to a cross-cut saw, only one man is exposed to danger. They permit special techniques for cutting wood under tension without cracking. Furthermore, in extensive windfalls where there is a danger of wood deterioration through insects and fungi, chain saws help to speed up the operation.
Wind-fallen areas are attacked from the side where the wind has entered. When working with hand tools, trees are worked up from the top end by debranching and cross-cutting to release tension.
When cutting the tree from the stump, special care must be taken if there is a danger of the stump turning over. To avoid the stump moving towards the sawyers, different means of support can be used, e.g. a piece of wood or a stone (1a), a pole (1b), or a cable (1c).
After cutting off the tree, stumps may fall back. The sawyers must therefore make sure that nobody is standing behind the stump whilst they are sawing.
In loose soil, the base of the tree may be pressed on the ground. In this case, it is necessary to dig a trench to allow salvage of the valuable butt end (2a).
Cutting of tensioned trees in windfalls may easily result in wood losses through cracking (2b). This risk can be reduced through pressure ropes or chains (3).
Work in windfalls is greatly facilitated if the wood is skidded after cross-cutting to storage places which are easy of access.