3 Days Ago
Checking the far side is not even remotely a rookie thing to do imo. Anytime it is a critical fall, checking the far side is SOP. In countless PNW falling vids, highly competent and experienced fallers are seen checking the far side or their partner is checking it for them. Paul is right, in the woods falling trees all day, all week, checking the far side will be done a lot less because of the feel that repetition provides and because when falling in the woods, the vast majority of the time minor imperfections in the back cut won't prove to be bad.
I disagree also about wedging- wedging big trees early in the back cut usually makes the process easier IME because you can get more lift when the huge hinge is still supporting a lot of the tree's weight. When the hinge is fully cut up the wedges are already in fairly deep and you don't have to try to lift all that back weight at once, you've already lifted little bits of it in the process of back cutting and driving wedges early.
One man's opinion anyway. :drink: