How To Cut Down A Tree

First tip, get drunk before cutting down a tree so that you won’t feel that much hurt when the chainsaw goes the wrong way. This is to tell you that cutting down a tree is not about skills, it demands a lot more than that, especially your careful and thorough preparation.

While I always recommend to let the professional do the work if you are not confident about it, my article will still offer a detailed instruction on how to cut down a tree.

What You Need?


Make sure you have the gas ready to go and a good maintenance of your chainsaw. You may need to consult your guides because they are so many different ones. But primarily add oil to it, chain bio-oil and then your gasoline, but make sure your gas is full before you start.


It is ideal to be a plastic wedge, so if you do it with the chainsaw, you will not destroy. Otherwise, if it is a metal one, when you hit the chain, you could jam it, and it can cause you serious injury. With a come along, you attach one end to something solid like a tree trunk, a toe hitch on a vehicle so that you can pull on it.


It often comes with the cable. There is a ratchet that when we push it, this clicks over and notches it up. That’s why you can pull a ton, a 2000 lb. force on the cable itself and then there is a release on the top for unwinding the cable for you to pull it out.

Safety Equipment

General safety is crucial to fell on a tree. Your mistake can easily kill you. So, you have to be very serious; you have to know what is going on and if you have any hesitation, hire a professional to cut it down.

I can show you how to do it safely, but you have got to be confident, and you have got to be careful. Safety equipment includes:

  • Glasses
  • Ear protection
  • Gloves
  • Chaffs, bulletproof preferred
  • Good boots, steel toed preferred

How To Cut Down A Tree

How to Cut Down a Tree

Plan the felling

You need to plan the notch in the direction facing the direction you want the tree to fall. The notch should be V-shaped, and once it is cut, if you put a square on the planned notch, it’s going to point the direction the tree should fell.

Even though people usually cut the trees right near the ground, for the trees having some rock down below, you don’t want to cut a notch into that because that adds too many variables, you will cut it a little higher.

Then you can cut the bottom off later.

Plan the escape route and wedge

Escape route

Begin with taking a good look at the area. You have got to look up the tree and make darn sure it is not going some other direction in particular towards you. Make sure there are no structures, power lines, people or pets close to a radius the height of the tree.

Then pick a direction you want the tree to fall, and plan a clear escape path – opposite the direction of the fall and at a 45-degree angle. Clear the area around the tree, and make sure there are no loose branches overhead.


On the side you put a felling wedge in, it could be pounded in with a hammer and help you to cut through more easily.

You can stop cutting then tap in the wedge. If you have it in, so it is relatively close the wedge and make it start to fall, you may have to go back in and cut a little further with your chainsaw, but the wedge could be in there. That’s also the reason why the wedge should be made of plastic.

Tie a rope anchor

Tie off the base, put a two-ton come along on it and pull it slightly in the direction where you want. That with the notch will help you fell safely. So, you need to go up and put the rope on the tree to help encourage it to fall properly.

You should have a preformed knot in it, a slip loop so that you can put it on real quick. Remember always to put it so that you will have the least tension on the loop.

Cut a notch

Aim perpendicular to the line right along where you want to the tree fall. So if you took a T-square and put it perpendicular to that, that’s where it should fall. Now a big factor is where the tree initially wants to fall.

You might need to have the cable going to counter it back, and when you cut through the back, then you have to cut through evenly on both sides.

With the tree on your left, make a 70-degree cut on the side facing the direction you want the tree to fall. Also use the felling sight on the top of the saw as a guide. Cut to a depth of about a quarter of the tree’s diameter.

For the next cut, you need to turn the saw sideways then cut horizontally to meet your previous cut, creating a notch. Be sure the cuts meet.

How To Cut Down A Tree

Cut down the tree

For the felling cut, go to the opposite side and make a horizontal cut slightly above the previous cut. Saw until you have enough space to insert a wedge.

Then finish the cut being sure not to touch the wedge with the blade. Don’t just cut through – leave about 10 percent of the width as a hinge. When the tree begins to fall, move away down your escape path.


When the tree is cut down, remove the branches – called limbing. You can cut downward – called a pulling chain – or cut upward – called a pushing chain. Offsetting cuts prevent the chain from binding.

Underside limbs can be cut if you have a good working height. Limbs under tension can be cut later when the tree can be turned. Large branches can be under high tension and should be cut starting from the outside, working toward the trunk.

When you’ve chopped the limbs, it’s time to cut the trunk – called bucking. Look for where the wood might compress as it’s cut. Cut through the side where compression might take place, but just about a third of the way through. Then, cut a 1-in offset from the opposite side to keep the blade from binding and give you more control. A wedge can also be used to hold the gap.

For logs on the ground, cut through most of the way, then turn the log and finish the cut, so the blade doesn’t touch the ground. And for logs supported on one end, cut up from the bottom, then finish the cut on top.

Finally, cut the pieces into manageable sizes and stack them away from the work area. By working carefully and safely, you’ll successfully cut down that tree.


Above is the full instruction on how to cut down a tree. Hope it may help. After all, you need to be sure you’re familiar with the operation of your saw and follow all safety recommendations.

For big size trees, trees that are near a structure, or trees that you want to fell opposite of their lean, or any tree you feel uncomfortable tackling – call a professional.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply