How to Cut Down a Tree With a Chainsaw

How to Cut Down a Tree With a Chainsaw

One of the essential steps in the woodcutting process is knowing How to effectively cut down a Tree With a chainsaw. Knowing how to use a chainsaw correctly will allow you to cut down trees without hurting or causing property damage.

However, if you’re new to using a chainsaw, learning How to Cut a Tree With a Chainsaw can be difficult and dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

If you’ve never used one before, the following step-by-step guide on how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw will help you get started safely and effectively.

So, how about it? Did I forget to tell you about the things you’ll need? Read our blog.

What is Felling?

Felling a tree means cutting it down. You cut it down at its base, causing it to fall over. When a falling tree, there are three main types of cuts that you’ll need to make lopping cuts (which remove branches), notch cuts (which create cuts in a degree angle on either side of your intended felling cut), and felling wedge (which carve out a vast space between two trees).

Stand on the opposite side of your target tree’s trunk to fall effectively with a chainsaw. Then take one more step in that direction, placing your leading foot near enough so that when you lean over to begin making your first notch cut, you’re not putting any weight on power lines. Begin by cutting along one side of each trunk.

Wear Proper Safety Gear

Always wear your safety gear when falling trees. Chaps are needed to prevent injury from protruding branches. Thick gloves protect you from splinters and abrasions, steel-toed boots keep your feet safe while protecting them from falling objects and debris, and ear protection is needed so that you don’t lose your hearing for life. Also, you will use a chainsaw when thinking about making a tree to fall.

Protecting yourself against tree falls is paramount. There’s no reason for you not to be using proper safety gear.

Tools and Equipment

Start by measuring your tree’s diameter with a tape measure. It will tell you whether you’re dealing with a thin, dead branch or an entire tree trunk. Ideally, you want to cut down trees less than 3 feet in diameter. These can be quickly felled using just hand tools and basic safety precautions (no power chainsaws needed).

If your tree is too large, call on professionals who can use heavy equipment or hire someone who owns their chainsaw. As we’ll discuss shortly, trees should never be felled during storms. Consider waiting until rainfall has subsided or when there’s no threat of lightning.

Reasons to Cut Down a Tree

A tree begins to become dangerous when they’re dying. That’s why you should make a tree to fall. However, if you need to remove a healthy tree or simply part of a large tree trunk, there are some things you should know beforehand. There are many reasons to cut down any side of the tree, some of which are explained below.

When cutting down a tree, it is essential to remember the safety guidelines set forth by the National Arborist Association (NAA). These guidelines include wearing proper eye and ear protection, using a fall protection system when necessary, and keeping the chainsaw moving to avoid kickback.

They are cutting down healthy trees benefits both the environment and your property. Dead branches create environmental problems, such as increasing soil erosion and noise pollution. Any side of the tree starts to reduce your home’s value if they fall on it or blocks views. Additionally, cutting down a healthy tree reduces its energy consumption and helps ensure that it will continue supplying shade.

If you have already damaged or destroyed a tree on your property, it may be necessary to hire a professional arborist to remove the tree safely.

How to Cut Down a Tree With a Chainsaw – Step-by-Step Guide

Chainsaw use has become more prevalent in recent years as a tool for cutting down trees. The chainsaw can be a dangerous instrument. However, proper instruction and precautions can be used safely to remove trees from your property. Here’s how to cut down one tree with a chainsaw and how to cut down other trees with a chainsaw, too!

Plan Before You Cut

While cutting down a tree trunk is probably easier, planning before you cut is still essential. First, ensure no power lines are in your felling zone or fall zone. Always use sharp chains and proper guards to avoid damaging your chainsaw and causing severe injury.

And lastly, keep an eye on that tree while you’re cutting. It can start falling at any time. Once it falls (and don’t worry if it doesn’t go exactly where you wanted), be sure that everyone stands back from fallen limbs, so they don’t cause injury.

Identifying Felling Area Around the Tree

To tree felling, you’ll need to cut them down so that they fall in an area that won’t hurt anything or anyone. It’s called cutting them on a fall path. The easiest and most obvious way is to cut all of your wood while they’re standing up, but that doesn’t always work out. You can identify which sides of your tree are on the fall path by looking for three warning signs:

1) The tree leans

2) There are loose branches

3) Broken limbs

Clearing the Felling Area Around the Tree

After you have your proper safety gear on, felling wedges must be used to guide around the tree as it falls. Make an open-faced notch in your trees, about 6 inches deep and at least 1 foot from where you want it to fall. Ensure that your chainsaw is facing upwards in case any branches fall.

Pulling on the felling chain should cause it to kick back and help topple your tree for good. The other step is to orient the tree so its trunk faces the direction you plan on cutting.

Estimate the Reach

When you’re felling a tree, there’s no such thing as too much cutting. Only make a felling cut. Estimate the reach of the branches and cut them 10–15% longer. That gives you enough leverage to ensure each swing is long enough, making it easier when the tree starts falling. Don’t underestimate the number of chainsaws you need to take down that size around the tree.

It takes 60 horsepower or more. Lighter trees should be manageable with less power (like 30 horsepower). To get an idea of how far your branch can reach, grab hold of your chain as if it were coming out of the saw and stretch it as far away from your body as possible.

Making a Perfect Notch

Cutting a notch in a tree is often crucial for felling it. The conventional notch is one of three basic cuts you can make to your tree, along with undercuts and felling wedges.

How to Make an Open-Face Notch Cut

When felling a tree in your backyard, it’s best to make an open-face notch cut on one side of its trunk before pushing or pulling it over. First, with your chainsaw at a 45° downward degree angle and your safety gear in place, determine which side of your tree is best suited for making an open-face notch cut. This will make a felling cut. It will make the tree falls in the direction.

How to Make a Conventional Notch Cut

To make a conventional notch cut, use a chainsaw to cut a notch about one-fifth of the way through from your intended felling direction. The notch should be at least five inches wide and as deep as half of your chainsaw’s bar length. It will provide room for you to fit your ax handle. A sawbuck, tree cradle, or felling wedges can also help control how and where you fall trees.

How to Make a Humboldt Notch Cut

The Humboldt Notch Cut is a popular way to cut down trees with a chainsaw. If you own a large tree, take all your precautions before starting. This cut involves making one large notch in your tree’s trunk and then directing your saw inside that notch toward its base until it falls. The Humboldt Notch Cut is a great way to get around not being able to fall a tree straight down because you’re working around other trees or structures.

Cutting Down a Standing Tree

If you have a standing tree, you’ll need to do more work before cutting it down. After clearing any brush or obstacles out from under your tree, pull on your hearing protection (safety first). Once you’ve pulled up a sturdy stump (and cleared it of firewood), make a small pilot hole for your chainsaw blade with an auger or posthole digger.

You can make a horizontal cut in firewood as it is easier to split later, while a vertical cut allows better access when felling trees; in either case, start small and slowly work your way up. Standing trees are generally more accessible than fallen ones because they don’t roll around much. Stand clear of falling branches and keep sharpening the file close by because you’ll have to sharpen often.

Cutting Sticks, Limbs, or Branches from Standing Trees

Cutting sticks or limbs from standing trees is relatively easy, but you need to use your chainsaw’s safety features. To begin, cut downward toward your trunk, stopping 2 or 3 inches before you hit it. It will leave an area for you to insert your saw’s chain brake (which reduces kickback and helps control the fall direction you want).

Ensure that before touching any part of your saw, as it is hazardous even after being idle for some time. When everything is set up correctly, carefully cut downward and watch for springy tree branches. Cutting branches from trees can be quick work if done correctly and safely.

Removing Fallen Trees

Removing a tree falling across your property line can be tricky and expensive. Although environmental regulations vary by state, if it’s on your property, you may have permission to clear it yourself if you know what you’re doing. Your local Department of Forestry will give you a chainsaw bar, which is shorter and broader than regular chainsaw bars.

In addition, they’ll ask that you use an open-face notch on more giant trees meaning cutting your way around rather than through to prevent splintering them as they fall.

Large fallen branches could fly off in any direction you want once cut. Safety glasses are required, and saw operators must remain at arm’s length from where it is about to land.

Limbing and Bucking

Limbing is cutting off unwanted branches. Bucking is trimming branches into logs suitable for firewood. The first step in limbing is ensuring adequate support under your tree, so it doesn’t fall over while working on it. It’s also a good idea to cover your chainsaw with dirt and keep it as far away from other objects as possible (trees, power lines, etc.).

When cutting limbs from smaller trees and bushes, be sure not to trim off more than one-fifth of their height. For more giant trees (about two feet in diameter), trim about one-third of their height. Otherwise, you might topple it over.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do You Have a Chainsaw Yet?

Are you thinking about buying a chainsaw but aren’t sure if you need one? Don’t worry. We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll detail the basics of using a chainsaw.

First and foremost, know your limitations. If you’re reading this, you’re already familiar with an essential chain saw safety precautions like keeping your eyes open while operating the saw and wearing protective eyewear. However, always wear a safety harness when cutting down trees more significant than 12 inches in diameter or when working above waist height.

Can An Electric Chainsaw Cut Down A Tree?

Yes, they can, but it isn’t always easy. An electric chainsaw might be easier than pulling on that big ole’ manual saw, but making clean cuts is still pretty tough. The bigger and harder-to-cut-down trees are notorious for being expensive on an electric model. Electric chainsaws often won’t run if there is a snag or branch in their path.

You’ll need tools like an ax handle trick or proper equipment to overcome these obstacles. In short, take your time when cutting down any tree. Other obstacles could be around the corner, and you’ll want to avoid them altogether (no pun intended) if possible.


If you’re like most people, you probably dread the task of cutting down a tree. But with the proper preparation and some simple tips, it’s not as scary as it seems! This article will show you How to Cut Down a Tree With a Chainsaw without any accidents. After reading this article, I hope you can easily cut down your next tree!

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