The Basic Fall Trees course covers how to assess, plan and safely carry out manual tree-felling operations using a chainsaw. It is an introductory or base-level unit that covers the felling procedures for relatively small trees with a low level of complexity. Techniques for trees with a diameter greater than the bar length, while not excluded, would generally be regarded as techniques beyond the scope of this course.

This course involves tree felling in a variety of work settings, which may include a forest, agricultural, domestic, local council, and emergency services and other government agency environment. With the exception of minor forest produce, it is not considered a suitable level for commercial harvesting operations.

Basic verbal and written English communication skills sufficient to read material and understand instruction. Where necessary theory assessment can be answered verbally.

Typically the training and assessment is competency-based and is a ½ day course. Please Note-Total time is dependent on competency of each individual.

Training and assessment is both practical and theory based and delivery.

FULL COURSE TRAINING– Practical and theory training based on theory concepts and set tasks that need to be completed. The learner is then given a theory and a practical assessment.
Designed for all types of learners giving them access to the equipment and skills required to be competent.
Step 1-Completion of theory training and equipment familiarization
Step 2– Learner completes practical training in a structured learning environment in a small group.
Step 3– Learner completes a final theory and practical based assessment and is issued a Statement of attainment and a proof of training card.


1. Prepare for felling

1.1 Identify and adhere to work specifications and site environmental protection measures relevant to felling basic trees in line with organisational requirements and relevant regulations
1.2 Review and check job requirements with appropriate personnel
1.3 Select tools and equipment appropriate to work requirements and check for operational effectiveness according to manufacturer recommendations
1.4 Identify trees to be retained and felled
1.5 Establish and maintain communication with others according to WHS requirements

2. Prepare for felling

2.1 Review location and stability for conditions likely to affect felling activities
2.2 Identify and report site environmental conditions to appropriate personnel
2.3 Identify and control potential and existing risks and hazards
2.4 Monitor and exclude location and activity of other personnel on the work site

3. Assess tree and plan felling

3.1 Assess limitations of own skills in safely felling trees, identify trees considered outside own skill level and seek assistance from appropriate personnel where required
3.2 Confirm that tree is safe to fell
3.3 Visually assess tree for felling characteristics, defects and stresses
3.4 Assess and check required falling direction and possible deviation
3.5 Plan sequence of cuts to fell tree according to standard felling procedures
3.6 Select suitable escape route and clear of growth and other obstacles according to environmental care principles and statutory requirements

4. Apply tree felling techniques

4.1 Fell individual trees using selected cutting techniques according to WHS and job requirements
4.2 Adjust cutting technique in response to movement and condition of tree
4.3 Use planned escape route when tree starts to fall and monitor the fall and movement of tree on ground until determined stable
4.4 Delay movement back into the felling area until all tree material, including from adjacent tree crowns, has fallen
4.5 Identify and implement procedures for removal of trees that are hung-up
4.6 Dispose of waste materials in line with environmental and operational requirements

5. Maintain equipment

5.1 Inspect equipment on completion of trimming and cutting activities
5.2 Identify damaged saws and cutting attachments for repair or replacement according to organisational requirements and manufacturer recommendations
5.3 Remove, clean, adjust or replace chain and other components according to manufacturer recommendations
5.4 Maintain tools and equipment according to WHS requirements and manufacturer recommendations

  • Assess a tree felling
  • Plan and carry out a tree felling for small trees
  • Trim and cut felled trees
  • Maintenance of equipment
  • Adhere to legislative and regulatory requirements
  • operate a chain saw