Book Review: To Fell a Tree

to fell a treeTO FELL A TREE:  The first chainsaw was sold in 1929 yet the first good book on how to use one wasn’t published until last year.  Jeff Jepson’s new book, To Fell a Tree, is absolutely the best work written on the subject.  Sure, there have been others like D. Douglas Dent’s Professional Timber Falling and G.R. Beranek’s The Fundamentals of General Treework, but those are way too advanced for the casual reader.  Then, there’s Frank and Stephen Philbrick’s The Backyard Lumberjack that is so riddled with bad techniques and misinformation I would not force it on my worst enemy.  In To Fell a Tree, Jepson expertly presents the elements of treework from equipment and situational awareness to felling, limbing and bucking.  He includes all the newest techniques like bore cutting and has a useful section on pulling trees using mechanical advantage. Most importantly, it is fun to read and lavishly illustrated by ISA certified arborist Bryan Kotwica. Unlike other books on treework, To Fell a Tree appeals to both beginner and expert alike and is a must have for anyone running a chainsaw.

Also, check out Jepson’s other book, The Tree Climber’s Companion, which, not surprisingly, is the best tree climbing book available.