The Art of the Chainsaw

The Art of the Chainsaw
February 9, 2024 leeanna

Recently, Conservation Site & Crew Supervisor Ty Washburn and Crew Leader and Conservation and Video Intern Tommy Kauffman had the opportunity to attend the highly informative California Conservation Corps (CCC) S-212 training to increase their chainsaw skills and earn an advanced certification.

Tommy shares the following information about their experience:

The training course’s primary focus was on felling trees. Our Instructor, Woody, guided us through three levels of possible certifications – Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced – each level presented its challenges and rewards.  At the Beginner level, we were taught by a sawyer how to properly perform two essential cuts (the Pie Cut and Back Cut as well as practice how to make accurate cuts on a prop stump.   As we progressed to the Intermediate level, it was to demonstrate to the instructor that we could create a quarterback cut for directional tree felling. The level was pretty technical, and the ultimate test of our skills. The goal was to fell a tree that was already leaning, to where your conventional cuts could cause problems. The cut that was to be performed was a Side Bore Back Cut which relieves pressure on the tree to prevent it from tilting and splintering explosively – also known as a “barber chair.”  

“The Chainsaw training that we went to was amazing! It was wonderful to get out into the woods and work with the California Conservation Corps. I learned a lot about their techniques and safety and felling big trees. Their training program was a week-long and it was wonderful taking part, and absorbing the information”- Ty Washburn (Conservation Site & Crew Supervisor)

Everyone was helpful to one another and looked out for each other. During the four days out in Folsom in the woods with 40*F with rain, the team had warm spirits and a sharp chain to cut through the cold. 

As a result of this training, I was able to hone my chainsaw skills more and fell two big eucalyptus trees. Returning to a second training, I was feeling a whole lot more confident in taking these trees down. I would highly recommend attending. After attending the training, you will have crafted the art of chainsaw, assess and fell trees, and be able to teach others what you’ve learned. 

Check out the video of Tommy and Ty’s S-212 journey on our YouTube channel.