Women-Specific Basic Chainsaw Safety and Operation

Women-Specific Basic Chainsaw Safety and Operation

Friday, November 5 & Saturday, November 6 (two-day course)

TIME: 8:30am – 4pm (each day)

LOCATION: Forest Society Conservation Center, 54 Portsmouth Street, Concord

INSTRUCTORS: Wendy Weisiger, managing forester, Forest Society; Tish Carr, Tish Carr Consulting, certified arborist; Mike Gagnon, Hillsborough County Forester

COST: $125 (Forest Society Members); $150 (Non-members)

This course is limited to 15 participants; advance registration required.


Participants in a chainsaw course for women pose outside in front of two chainsaws.
Past participants. (Photo: Cheri Birch)

Part of the "Women and Woodlands: Increasing Stewardship of Women-Owned Forestland in New Hampshire," presented in partnership with the NH Timberland Owners Association and UNH.

This two-day course is specifically designed for women by women. No chainsaw experience is necessary, though this course is also an excellent refresher for more experienced operators who may not have previously taken a course. This is a gateway course to learning more advanced methods.

The focus of this course is on safety: safe posture, safe practices, safe clothing, and safe habits. The first day will focus on safety gear, parts of a chainsaw and function, chainsaw safety features, basic saw maintenance, and introduction to proper and safe operation. The second day will focus on practice and application of basic chainsaw operation, safe movement and operation, making straight up and down cuts, limbing, and tension and compression wood. Students will learn bore cutting methods and see a felling demonstration.

The goal of this course is to provide each participant with the tools to evaluate practices and equipment for safety.  All participants will have the opportunity to practice chainsaw use in a safe, controlled, and supervised environment. This course is designed to provide a classroom where all participants have ample opportunity to ask questions and practice these techniques. The instructors will break groups out based on experience and some participants may have the opportunity to try more advanced techniques depending on their experience level.

PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is required.  All students must have: helmet, eye protection, ear protection, steel-toe (or composite-toe) boots, and chainsaw chaps. Students should bring their own chainsaws (if they have them) but instructors will provide classroom saws for everyone to use. We have limited gear to loan; please contact Wendy Weisiger in advance to inquire about available equipment.

Women in the Woods is a collaboration between UNH Cooperative Extension, NH Timberland Owners Association, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and other partners aimed at connecting women landowners and land managers with the resources, skills, and community they need to make informed stewardship decisions that promote healthy forest resources.

Conservation Center

54 Portsmouth Street
ConcordMerrimack County, New Hampshire 03301