Is Tree Felling Wrong? An Expert's Perspective

The destruction of trees can have a devastating effect on the environment, leading to deforestation, global warming, and a disruption of the balance of an ecosystem. Last month, Earth Day was celebrated, drawing attention to the most pressing environmental threats to our planet and inspiring calls to action, such as planting trees. But is tree felling really wrong? It's not that simple. Trying to save trees can lead to negative environmental consequences.

Private forest lands are the key to future economic, social and environmental stability, yet they are increasingly inaccessible to the management and supply of timber. In general, it is widely accepted that the preservation of trees is vital to the health of our land and the balance of warming and cooling of our atmosphere. We know that millions of acres of forest land worldwide are destroyed annually due to urban growth in developing countries, as well as economic and agricultural activities. In terms of climate change, cutting down trees adds carbon dioxide to the air and eliminates the ability to absorb existing carbon dioxide. Pointing the chainsaw directly through the center of the trunk until it comes out the other side, the tree is likely to fall on you instead of moving away from you. It is difficult to thin older and deteriorated trees because competition has already weakened them.

The soil loses its cohesion and becomes susceptible to drying out if there are no tree roots that anchor it. Now use a mallet or hammer to hit the felling wedges, placing them behind the chainsaw blade. In general, a 16- to 18-inch bar is best for small to medium-sized trees, and a 20- to 24-inch bar for larger trees or for cutting a large tree already cut down for firewood. While some people believe that the best use for a tree is to leave it alone in order to further remove more carbon from the atmosphere, this general “do nothing” approach is an oversimplification of a complex issue. In addition, a large, low branch can cause the tree to roll or shift to the side when the tree hits the ground. If you have never wielded a chainsaw, do not have all the necessary safety equipment or are faced with a very large tree, it is better to leave the work to a professional.

Support for sustainably produced wood and paper products also helps to maintain more wooded land, as it provides an economic incentive not to cut down trees make way for agricultural, residential or commercial use of land. Removing some trees, particularly those that are physically afflicted, can relax competition between trees and allow the remaining trees to grow healthy and large in the process. In Tanzania, Kokota residents have planted more than 2 million trees on their small island over a decade, with the aim of repairing previous damage. This shows that there are ways we can help restore our forests without having to resort to tree felling. Ultimately, it is important that we take into account all aspects of an issue before making any decisions about how best to manage our forests.