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About the Job

Use axes or chainsaws to fell trees using knowledge of tree characteristics and cutting techniques to control direction of fall and minimize tree damage.

It is also Called

  • Utility Arborist
  • Tree Topper
  • Tree Feller
  • Tree Faller
  • Tree Cutter
  • Timber Feller
  • Timber Faller
  • Timber Cutter
  • Skidder Operator
  • Sawyer
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What They Do

  • Split logs, using axes, wedges, and mauls, and stack wood in ricks or cord lots.
  • Place supporting limbs or poles under felled trees to avoid splitting undersides, and to prevent logs from rolling.
  • Work as a member of a team, rotating between chain saw operation and skidder operation.
  • Mark logs for identification.
  • Load logs or wood onto trucks, trailers, or railroad cars, by hand or using loaders or winches.
  • Secure steel cables or chains to logs for dragging by tractors or for pulling by cable yarding systems.
  • Tag unsafe trees with high-visibility ribbons.
  • Insert jacks or drive wedges behind saws to prevent binding of saws and to start trees falling.
  • Maintain and repair chainsaws and other equipment, cleaning, oiling, and greasing equipment, and sharpening equipment properly.
  • Select trees to be cut down, assessing factors such as site, terrain, and weather conditions before beginning work.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.