- A tree that, while in the process of receiving the back cut, splits lengthwise and leaves a vertical piece of wood on top of the stump. The remaining piece sticking up in the air is reminiscent of a chair.
- The splitting of the butt of the log during the latter part of the fall. The tree may remain attached to the stump, creating a danger zone, and resulting in a large deduction in the net volume in the log. (Source – Occupational Safety & Health Administration)
Each tree gives a lesson—not necessarily free of charge—in physics and magic. So many things can go wrong during a falling operation and the barber chair is just one of those events. I wasn’t able to find a definitve etymology of the term. It may be just the appearance of the end result. The term barber chair may be so named because (this is complete conjecture on my part) it takes “a little off the top,” like the timber faller’s head, perhaps.
- US Dept of Labor page, Dangerous Results of Incorrect Felling.
- Tree World website: Barber Chair explanation and Powerpoint slideshow.
- Washington State Dept. of Labor and Industries Powerpoint slideshow on treefelling.
- Barber Chair, The Timber Buyer’s Network, Basic Chain Saw Course 103.
- Dictionary of Wisconsin History, Barber Chair
- Jargon Database.com – Barber Chair
- Long Forestry Consultation