East Malling Short Courses

Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-fall Techniques (CS39)


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Cost: £625
Duration: 3 Days
Certification: Level 2 NPTC City & Guilds or LANTRA
Assessment Type: 1/2 day practical assessment
(The cost of the assessment is included in the cost of the course)
Course Prerequisites: See below

This course will provide you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to carry out aerial cutting of trees with a chainsaw using free-fall techniques.

This course is suitable for you if you are working in any of the following industries:

  • Arboriculture
  • Forestry
  • Woodland industries
  • Local authorities
  • Conservation

This course is intended for those who are already experienced in climbing trees using work positioning systems and who are experienced in chainsaw use, including felling small trees up to 380mm.

You must be physically fit and not suffering from vertigo or similar conditions or on medication that could affect your safety.

Chainsaw users should be particularly aware of the potential hazards of being cut by the saw, hit by the timber and exposure to noise and vibration.

Upon completing this Aerial Cutting of Trees with a Chainsaw Using Free-fall Techniques training course you will be able to:

  • Understand the legislation and safety guidelines pertaining to the use of a chainsaw from a rope and harness
  • Understand the safety considerations to be observed in organising a worksite
  • Carry out pre-start checks to the chainsaw, cold and hot starting techniques
  • Demonstrate techniques for hauling chainsaws into the tree and attaching them appropriately to the harness
  • Use appropriate techniques for establishing secure and comfortable work positions
  • Demonstrate the appropriate use of various step and sink cuts and correct final pruning cuts
  • Use top-handled and lightweight rear-handled chainsaws in a safe and efficient manner to remove light and medium weight branches
  • Understand and fulfil the duties and responsibilities of a competent grounds person
  • Deal with matters arising appropriately.


  • HSE legislation and safety guidelines
  • Preparing a chainsaw for use in a tree
  • Securing the work position
  • Cutting techniques
  • Equipment inspection, storage and waste disposal.

You need to be 18 years old to take this training with us. You also need to already hold the NPTC units 002003 (old unit CS30) 002004 (old unit CS31) and 002013 (old unit CS38) or equivalents before taking this training.

You will be required to provide your own PPE and equipment. Please ensure that each item is in a good state of repair and meets current British Safety approved standards.

Please wear suitable outdoor clothing appropriate to the training and the weather conditions.

You will need to bring your own drinks and lunch for the day.

You will need to supply:

  • Suitable chainsaw A top or rear handled chainsaw with guide bar appropriate to timber size should be used.
  • tree climbing harness, either full or sit type
  • tree climbing rope, minimum 12mm diameter and of suitable length (recommended 30mtrs long)
  • climbing irons (spikes).
  • six triple action karabiners
  • work positioning adjustable strop (either grillion or short rope with prussic
  • four prussic loops or split tails
  • any climbing or lifting equipment used during the NPTC assessment must be LOLER compliant – this means that it should be uniquely identifiable and have a record of thorough inspection presented with it.

Personal protective equipment required:

  • protective work boots (not rigger boots)
  • non-snag clothing
  • combination helmet with four point chin strap EN12492
  • personal first aid kit suitable to take up a tree
  • knife with retractable blade
  • whistle.

Related courses

Certificate of Competence in the Thorough Examination of Arboricultural Equipment (LOLER)

Level 3 Award in Thorough Examination of Arboricultural Lifting Equipment.

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Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting (CS30)

This 2 day course covers all the theory needed to use and keep a chainsaw running safely, with sessions covering saw chain, guide bar, and power unit maintenance.

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Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross Cutting and Felling and Processing Trees up to 380mm (CS30-31)

This course combines the chainsaw maintenance and crosscutting course with the felling of trees up to 380mm to produce a comprehensive and intensive course over 5 days.

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