We asked our neighbor for a good company and he sent us these good old boys. I use this term with the greatest of endearment...because they really are!
They use a slingshot with a weighted bag to shoot through the branches of the tree they wish to down. It was not going to be topped or cut up for firewood. We just wanted a safe 'drop', which is cheaper and safer for all when you have lots of room as we do. They then feed a heavy-duty rope through the path of the slingshot and pull taught after the cutter cuts the wedge and the other side of the trunk directing the fall.
The fellow above who weighed about 90 pounds was in charge. He was in his 50's and had been dropping trees for decades, one of the few with the skill in the county. He had been working with some Naval group in his youth and kept apologizing for the four letter words that the crew was using. He said they were somewhat new and he was trying to train them. I just smiled. All I cared about was that they were being careful and concentrating and if that meant they had to swear...so be it. The trees were tulip poplars which are considered shallow rooted and easy to rot.