Knowing which direction a tree is likely to fall in during the event of a storm is important so you can prepare beforehand or get the tree cut down. A tree falling on your property can cause a lot of damage that might take thousands to repair.

When determining which way a tree will fall, make sure to consider the 4 factors: branch distribution, the force of gravity, the tree’s lean, and wind direction.

Read below as we discuss these factors in more detail.

How to Know Which Way a Tree Will Fall in a Storm

We’ve listed all the factors that influence which direction a tree is likely to fall in because of a storm. 

Branch Distribution

Gravity will cause your tree’s heavier side to fall to the ground if one side has more branches than the other. Large branches can drag a tree in an unfavorable direction if they aren’t cut off.


Gravity is by far the most important factor since it is always at work trying to pull down every upright object. A stand-alone erect tree can withstand the gravitational force because of its inherent biophysical capacity to detect gravity and develop its roots, limbs, and trunk in such a way that its trunk stays balanced at every 360-degree location from around the trunk circumference. 

Gravity can exert a one-sided effect on the entire weight of the tree as a response to any event that disturbs that equilibrium, such as a cut in the trunk, a powerful wind, or damage to a supporting root. This causes the tree to go out of balance.

Leaning on the Trunk      

You can notice the natural lean that a tree has if you stand at the bottom of the trunk, close enough to touch it, and look straight up at it. Additionally, this way, you can notice where the tree has the most branches because those branches will also weigh the tree down so that it falls in a particular direction.  

Wind Direction

Winds during a storm can be very powerful. The direction in which the tree falls may be impacted by these powerful winds. If the force is powerful enough, it can even cause the tree to fall in the opposite direction of the earth’s gravitational pull.

How to Fell Trees in Your Desired Direction

To successfully complete the task of tree felling, some necessary knowledge and skills must be applied. To make the process of falling a tree as easy as possible, we’ve broken it down into the following stages:


To have a good picture of what you’ll be doing on the day, visit the location in advance.

Before beginning your task, acquaint yourself with your chainsaw to make sure you can operate it easily. When you intend to cut down the tree, ensure someone else is there, as this is a crucial safety precaution. Ensure that the escape path is clear before cutting and that no one is present in the danger zones. 

Decide beforehand who will hold the saw if there are two individuals participating. Hazard tape should be used to fence off areas, warning signs should be up on any paths that cross the area, and people around should be told to alert any onlookers.

Choose the Felling Direction

Once you have located the tree that has to be felled, you need to pick the direction you would like the tree to fall. Examine its tilt, the direction of the wind, and whether or not the branches hang primarily in one direction. 

It makes your task much simpler if you can cut the tree down over a large rock or log. To choose the best felling method, carefully examine the tree and its surroundings. Plan your route to avoid barriers like fences, old stumps, overhanging cables, and other trees.


Cut off any low branches that can get in the way of climbing the lower trunk. Make sure you don’t cut over shoulder height or stand right behind the saw. Instead, place a barrier between the individual cutting and the saw itself by keeping the trunk in the middle.

Avoid trying to cut one or more branches to balance the tree, as this is a job for experts. Regardless of your safety measures, you can generally expect the tree to fall in the direction it is leaning. Never attempt to remove portions of the trunk.

Fell in the Right Direction

You should be all set to fall the tree after you have cleared the site and your escape route. To guarantee that the tree falls in the correct direction, add a hinge to the trunk that will allow it to be guided when it hits the ground.

Directional and Felling Cuts

Make a directional cut on the side that corresponds to how you want the tree to fall. The falling cut is then made by making a horizontal cut from the opposing side. Be careful to leave a hinge of about 3 cm, which will govern the direction of the felling, rather than sawing through the entire stem of the tree. 

Path of Retreat

Put your saw down after making the felling cut, and elevate the pry bar to help the tree fall. Move a few steps to the side as the tree falls to ensure you are out of its path until the trunk finally strikes the ground. The tree’s roots may spread in a variety of directions, including sideways, upward, and even backward.

If the tree falls toward you, take a few side steps instead of running. Keep an eye out for splitting wood.


Determining which way a tree will fall is important if you expect a storm. This is because if the tree falls over your house or property, it will cause much damage. We hope you’ve learned how to predict the direction of a falling tree and how to deal with it.