Do Not Fall Trees Uphill on Steep Slopes

Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A worker was falling a fir uphill on a 50 percent slope. The 175-foot fir had a sweep ("hockey
stick") at the butt and was leaning heavily uphill. As the fir fell, it struck two previously felled
trees and broke in two pieces. The butt end rolled to one side and slid down the slope. It hit the
faller as he exited along his escape route. He was dragged 28 feet downhill, sustaining serious

Learnings and Suggestions: 

• Do not fall trees uphill on steep slopes. Limit the direction of fall to a maximum upslope
angle of 15 degrees off level.
• Discuss falling difficulties with your supervisor/bullbucker or falling partner.
• Consider alternative methods if the tree must be removed uphill on a steep slope.
• Recognize that a tree with an unusual shape may not fall in the intended direction.
• Brush out your escape route and plan an alternative route in case the tree does not fall
as intended.

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