What is a Faller?

A faller is responsible for cutting down trees in a controlled manner. The role of a faller is critical in ensuring the safe and efficient felling of trees while minimizing risks and damage to the surrounding environment. Fallers are trained professionals who possess specialized knowledge of tree species, cutting techniques, and safety protocols.

In addition to tree felling, fallers may also be responsible for limbing, bucking, and processing fallen trees into manageable sections. They may work in various logging environments, including forests, mountains, or remote areas, often facing physically demanding conditions and adverse weather. A high level of physical fitness, knowledge of forestry practices, and a commitment to safety are essential qualities for a faller in order to carry out their duties effectively.

What does a Faller do?

A faller using a chainsaw to cut a tree.

Fallers help facilitate the extraction of timber and contribute to the sustainable management of forests by selectively removing trees based on industry guidelines and land management objectives.

Duties and Responsibilities
The duties and responsibilities of a faller can include the following:

  • Tree Felling: Fallers are responsible for safely and accurately cutting down trees in accordance with industry standards and safety protocols. They assess tree conditions, evaluate potential hazards, and plan the felling process accordingly. Fallers use chainsaws, axes, and other tools to make precise cuts and ensure controlled tree falls.
  • Hazard Identification: Fallers must have a keen eye for identifying potential risks and hazards associated with tree felling. They assess the surrounding environment, including uneven terrain, overhead obstacles, power lines, and nearby structures, to ensure the safety of themselves and others. Fallers take appropriate precautions and plan their work to mitigate risks and minimize damage to the environment.
  • Safety Compliance: Safety is of utmost importance for fallers. They strictly adhere to safety guidelines, regulations, and best practices to protect themselves, their crew members, and the environment. Fallers wear appropriate personal protective equipment such as helmets, safety glasses, hearing protection, and cut-resistant clothing. They maintain a high level of situational awareness and communicate effectively with their team members.
  • Limbing and Bucking: In addition to tree felling, fallers may be responsible for limbing and bucking fallen trees. Limbing involves removing branches from the felled tree, while bucking involves cutting the tree trunk into manageable sections. Fallers use chainsaws and other tools to perform these tasks efficiently and safely.
  • Equipment Maintenance: Fallers are often responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of their tools and equipment, particularly chainsaws. They ensure that their equipment is in good working condition, sharpening chains, replacing worn parts, and performing routine maintenance tasks to ensure optimal performance and safety.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Fallers work as part of a team, collaborating with other forestry professionals such as equipment operators, buckers, and supervisors. They communicate effectively to ensure a smooth and coordinated operation, sharing information about tree conditions, potential hazards, and work progress.
  • Environmental Stewardship: Fallers have a responsibility to minimize their impact on the environment during tree felling operations. They take care to avoid damaging nearby trees, vegetation, or sensitive habitats. Fallers may also participate in reforestation efforts or follow specific guidelines for sustainable forestry practices.

Types of Fallers
There are various types of fallers based on their specialization and the specific tasks they perform. Here are a few common types:

  • Felling Fallers: These fallers specialize in tree felling, which involves cutting down standing trees using chainsaws or other cutting tools. Felling fallers are skilled in assessing tree conditions, determining the direction of fall, and making precise cuts to ensure controlled tree falls.
  • Bucking Fallers: Bucking fallers focus on cutting fallen trees into manageable sections known as logs. They use chainsaws to make cuts at specific lengths according to industry requirements and specifications. Bucking fallers play an important role in preparing trees for processing and transportation.
  • Limbing Fallers: Limbing fallers specialize in removing branches from felled trees. They use chainsaws or other cutting tools to carefully remove the branches, ensuring the tree trunk is prepared for further processing or transportation. Limbing fallers need to be skilled in maintaining balance and stability while working on the uneven surfaces created by fallen trees.
  • High Climbers or Tree Toppers: High climbers or tree toppers are specialized fallers who perform tree felling or limb removal at significant heights. Equipped with climbing gear and safety equipment, they ascend tall trees to carry out tree felling or selective limb removal. High climbers require advanced climbing and cutting skills to safely navigate the tree canopy.
  • Danger Tree Fallers: Danger tree fallers are responsible for identifying and removing trees that pose a threat to infrastructure, roadways, or people due to their compromised condition. These fallers assess trees for signs of disease, decay, or structural instability, and safely fell or remove such trees to eliminate potential hazards.
  • Urban Fallers: Urban fallers work in urban or residential areas where tree removal requires specialized techniques due to proximity to buildings, power lines, or other structures. They must be skilled in navigating tight spaces, working with precision, and implementing safety measures to ensure minimal disruption and risk to the surrounding environment.

Are you suited to be a faller?

Fallers have distinct personalities. They tend to be realistic individuals, which means they’re independent, stable, persistent, genuine, practical, and thrifty. They like tasks that are tactile, physical, athletic, or mechanical. Some of them are also conventional, meaning they’re conscientious and conservative.

Does this sound like you? Take our free career test to find out if faller is one of your top career matches.

Take the free test now Learn more about the career test

What is the workplace of a Faller like?

The workplace of a faller is primarily in outdoor environments, such as forests, woodlands, or logging sites. They spend their time working amidst nature, surrounded by trees, vegetation, and wildlife. This often means being in remote or rural locations where trees are being harvested or cleared. The work locations of fallers can vary, and they may move from one site to another depending on the logging or forestry project at hand. This can involve traveling to different locations and adapting to varying environmental conditions.

Being a faller requires physical endurance and agility as the work environment can be demanding. Fallers often need to hike or traverse rough terrain to reach their designated work areas, carrying heavy equipment and tools with them. They must be prepared to work in various weather conditions, including extreme temperatures, rain, snow, or high winds. The ability to adapt to different weather patterns is crucial to performing their duties effectively and safely.

Safety is a top priority for fallers, given the potential risks involved in working with heavy machinery and trees. They adhere to strict safety protocols and wear personal protective equipment to mitigate hazards. Fallers must constantly be aware of their surroundings, including falling trees or branches, and communicate effectively with their team members to ensure a safe working environment. Collaboration with other logging and forestry professionals is also common, as fallers often work as part of a team, requiring effective communication and coordination to carry out their tasks efficiently and safely.

Fallers are also known as:
Tree Faller