Chain Saw Training and Tree Felling Instruction

Hello. I’m Scott Peterson, and my passion is being a professional consultant chain saw instructor.

I’m approved to provide training and field evaluation of Forest Service employees and volunteers. My knowledge in Forest Service safety and training requirements is comprehensive and I’m also familiar with OSHA standards.

  • In 1991, as a Michigan corrections officer work-crew supervisor, I went through the US Forest Service wildfire power saw course where I became an “A” sawyer, discovering what I had been doing right and wrong. I also completed the wildfire fighting course.
  • I was a work-crew boss for 19 years of my corrections career, and trained a new crew every six weeks. We used chain saws almost daily.
  • I fought local forest fires and went on out-of-state fire-fighting details every couple of years as a sawyer on 20-person hand crews.
  • Around 1995, I became a “B” sawyer.
  • In 2003, I was designated as an unlimited sawyer with the US Forest Service.
  • In 2006, I became a Level C Certifier “Trainer” which is the highest USFS certification in the field of tree felling.
  • In 2014, I retired from my career as a corrections officer and am now pursuing my passion as a full-time sawyer and trainer.

As an instructor, I enjoy teaching and sharing my expertise at chain saw safety seminars. Groups smaller than twenty work best in the classroom, with less than eight people per day for field instruction which gives me more time to spend with each individual. I have trained North Country Trail volunteers, re-certified unrestricted sawyers for the Forest Service, and I specialize in precision directional tree falling.

My specialty is training people in directional tree felling, chain saw safety, and cutting techniques. Instruction of safe chain saw use and tree cutting techniques can be tailored for beginners or experienced chain saw users.

My chainsaw safety and tree felling instruction utilizes the Forest Service training S-212 course material and the Missouri Department of Conservation training material. MDC is known for its exceptional quality of training.

During my years as an instructor, I have offered training for:

  • U.S. Park Service
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Department of Natural Resources of Michigan
  • Individuals
  • Youth Camps
  • North Country Trail volunteer groups
  • County Park maintenance crews
  • Entities concerned with forestry

During Chain Saw Safety training, I cover these topics and more:

  • safety features on the saw
  • handling the saw safely
  • reactive forces
  • maintenance
  • sharpening the chain
  • troubleshooting
  • Fuel issues
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Directional Tree Felling techniques:

  • Sizing up the tree, assessing lean, evaluating health and hazards of the tree
  • Learn which technique works best under various circumstances
  • humbodlt, conventional and open face notches and what are they for
  • several back-cut techniques and how, when and why to use them
  • line installation, line use, block and tackle rigging
  • limbing, bucking (log cutting) techniques
  • tension compression analysis


Do your employees know:

  • how to safely use the most potentially dangerous and least understood tool to avoid loss of limb or life?
  • how to properly cut a tree? Do you hear excuses like “the wind took the tree in the wrong direction” and do you hear excuses often?
  • how to sharpen a chain saw? Are their cuts straight?
  • when the bar, drive gear, and chain are worn out?
  • the safety features on the saw?
  • about the proper personal safety equipment like chaps, hard hats, eye protection, ear protection, boots, gloves, long-sleeve shirts, and other gear available?
  • where the gunning site is on the chain saw?
  • the gauge, pitch, cutter, shape, and cutter sequence that they use on their saw and why?
  • how to calculate the correct dimensions of the hinge?
  • how and when they should use wedges?
  • what a bore cut is?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, I can help. Whether teaching beginners or those with more experience, I can tailor a course to your needs.

Each year, I attend annual forest service conferences for Regions 8 & 9 (for states east of the Mississippi River) where I continue my education in the latest training information and share knowledge and experience with fellow sawyers as well as critiquing each other in classroom and field sessions.

“Send me an email or give me a call at (231) 690-3211. It will be my pleasure to accommodate your training needs and I will be happy to discuss the possibilites with you.”