|Wood Harvesting with Hand Tools - An Illustrated Training Manual (ILO, 1989, 128 p.)|
Felling in dense tropical forests can be particularly dangerous. Dense undergrowth makes it difficult to retreat from the tree during its fall. Dead branches may be hidden in the crown, which is often not visible. For the same reason, it may be difficult to assess the lean of the tree.
Trees may be over-mature and may therefore have hollow or rotten centres.
Trees are often connected to each other with climbers. When the trees fall, they frequently pull down other trees (1). Branches from the falling tree or from neighbouring trees (2, 3) are broken off and may swing backwards (4). Climbers are torn off or may break and snap back (5).
The accident risk when felling trees in dense tropical forests is considerably reduced if the area around the base of the tree and the escape routes are well cleared.
Two paths are cleared to a length of 20-30 m beyond the reach of the crown opposite the felling direction. The angle between them should be about 45.
Climbers attached to the tree must also be cut before sawing begins,
It will often be necessary to clean the base of the tree to remove bark and dirt deposited by termites.
Tree harvesting in natural tropical forests still continues to some extent with hand saws although in the large commercial operations chain saws have taken over.