Last Updated on August 29, 2020 by builder Aaron Barnett
Sometimes there is a tree that is just blocking a view or a tree that doesn’t fit in its place. Most likely there is a tree that has been blocking your view or sun for a long time, and you have always had it on your mind to trim or cut it down.
It’s important to recognize that cutting down a tree with sizable weight, and height is a dangerous job. As it can be hard to predict exactly what will happen when a branch or tree falls.
When thinking of removing a tree, don’t risk injury to save a few dollars, make sure to gradually work yourself up to bigger tree cutting jobs as you get more experienced. Never go too far out of your comfort zone with this particular DIY job.
It’s important to call in professionals when unsure about the job. But if you are confident and can safely cut down a tree make sure to get someone else with experience to watch, as a second or third pair of eyes.
Should you DIY; Or get a professional tree feller?
Before starting to cut down a tree yourself, consider the questions below. And weigh them up with the price of getting a professional in to do the job.
It could be worth getting a pro in some cases, guys that do this every day have been trained to safely do the job and can take on the responsibility for any unexpected event.
Ask yourself these questions?
Safer ways to cut down high branches
There are a few safer methods for trimming trees rather than climbing them and using a standard chainsaw.
The safest way to trim high tree branches is to use an using a telescopic Pole Saw, some of these saws can extend 26 ft (8 m) or higher. I personally use one to save time with a ladder, on top of having a chain saw to use depending on the job.
Tools used to trim a tree branches
Extendable tree cutting saws
A telescopic hand pole saw is the safest and cheapest tool for cutting down a high tree branch. Without the need for a ladder, this tool makes a tree branch trimming job quick and safer than the ladder and standard chainsaw approach.
If a telescopic pole saw can reach the brunch you want to cut and it isn’t too large I recommend this method.
If the branch is bigger than let’s say 6 inches wide you might want to get the electric version of this saw to make the job easier, however, if you don’t want to spend the extra money, you can cut wider brunches by hand it will just take longer.
Cordless tree cutting pole saws
A cordless chain pole saw as a hand pole saw is a safe way to trim high tree branches except you have a powered tool that is much more efficient by taking the manual work out, making the job quicker and easier. Its good value for money to get a cordless line trimmer that also works as a cordless pole saw with a changeable end attachment.
Trimming tree branches with a chainsaw
For trimming tree branches with a chainsaw you want to first under-cut the branch rather than cutting down from the top straight away. You could do this with a V cut, or a straight cut for a small brunch.
When you are cutting a fallen tree branch that is supported at both ends from the top the log can snap can jamb on the chainsaw blade. If this is the case you should cut the flat branch from the underside first, before then cutting top-down.
For a lot of DIY trimming jobs, a cordless chain saw can be the safest and cleanest way for most cutting jobs.
Cutting down a tree with an axe
Cutting down trees with a wood splitting axe can be fun, but the axe is best suited for soft trees that cut more easily. Or smaller trees with less to cut.
How to cut down a tree with an axe:
Cutting down a tree with a chainsaw
The obvious way to cut down a tree is by using a gas chainsaw, make sure you well research to know what you are doing, and have a safe cutting technique.
V cuts, back cuts, and wedges
Just like cutting down a tree with an axe you want to first do a v cut on the side you want the tree to fall. Continue to shape this until the tree is close to the tipping point.
Once the V cut is finished, slowly start to cut back from the other side at the top of the V.
If the tree isn’t starting to tilt in the direction you want the tree to fall, you can insert a wedge into this cut, and hit it with the back of an axe or a big hammer.
From the beginning, you can tie a rope to the tree and run it from a distance, to then pull the tree over when it is on its last legs.
Large trees should be cut down in sections
It is safe to cut down a tree in sections, its important to take your time and cut down a tree in as many sections as you need to.
For a large tree, you want to work your way down from the top while pruning the side brunches to make it easier to judge the weight distribution. Cutting and pruning the side branches is going to make the tree lighter and take off some of the weight, making the job safer.
When you first trim the trees side branches it will mean less damage will be done to the surrounding bush when the big fall happens. If you have huge branches out the side of a tree this could clear and wipe out a big area of the healthy surrounding bush. Instead, if the tree comes down in small bits, less damage will be done to the surrounding trees.
Tips for when cutting down trees near a house
You can use a rope with tension as a safety measure to stop the tree unexpectedly falling in the wrong direction that could cause damage to property or surrounding trees.
To do this securely anchor a rope or wire with tension on the tree and anchor point, to stop it from falling in the wrong direction. A good anchor might be a much bigger tree, that can comfortably take the weight of the tree your cutting down.
For smaller trees you can tie a rock to the end of a rope, throw it over the top of a tree with a noose. When you have secured a rope to the top of a tree you could run the rope far from the impact zone and have a few people pulling the tree from a distance instead of having to make the final cut under the tree.
Things not to do when cutting down a tree
Things to avoid when cutting down a tree is doing anything you are not comfortable with, cutting down trees is dangerous if you don’t know exactly what to do don’t do it.
Avoid doing any tree cutting job alone, instead, have a group of people that can help out and be a second pair of eyes.
Cutting down a tree can be very rewarding and a fun job, but as discussed above stay safe and don’t do anything out of your comfort zone. Be aware at all times about what is happening and never rush your job.
Cut down a tree in sections if needed and use the safest tools for the job, be that an extendable tree cutting saw, to avoid putting yourself at danger on a ladder. And make sure to use chainsaw with safety guards, and make sure to wear long pants, and a face shield.
For the power you need for cutting down large trees get a gas power tool.
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Hi, my name is Aaron, and welcome to Banging-Toolbox.
As a builder and site supervisor, I started banging-toolbox with the goal to make the #1 building, DIY, and tool review resource on the internet.
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