Cutting Down A Tree With A Chainsaw

Courtesy Husqvarna

Do you want to fell a tree on your property? Is there a specific tree that gets on your nerves? Even though cutting down a tree is a dangerous process, it isn’t impossible with the right tools and a high degree of skill for the job. In fact, if the tree is a manageable size, you’ll be able to cut it down yourself with some instruction and proper safety gear. Read the following article to learn how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw safely and effectively. 

Tree felling  

Courtesy Husqvarna

First, you should know what tree felling is and how it is planned. “Felling” is the process of cutting down an individual tree, as opposed to “logging”, which is the process of chopping up and preparing felled timber. 

Felling operations are done for various reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Land clearance  
  • Removing or maintaining trees near power lines, house etc.  
  • Production Forestry  
  • Urban Forestry 

Tree cutting steps 

Employing the right technique will make the tree fall where you want it to. Follow these steps carefully so you can fell small trees and avoid messy situations. 

  1. Clear your space: if there any bushes or other trees around, clean them out so that there aren’t any tripping hazards.
  2. Identify a direction for the fall: Identify the side you want the tree to fall on and the natural lean of the tree so you can organize the face cut with that target, which will determine the direction of the fall. 
  3. The stump: It is necessary to calculate the hinge dimension, which should be 80% of the diameter of the tree (hinge length) or 4.5-ft. from the base and 10% of the hinge thickness or diameter of the tree. You can start the back cut above the face cut line.  

About “the notch cut”

During the filling operation, you should make the top cut of the face notch leaving enough space for the undercut. After that, cut downward at the angle in relation to the type of notch. Remember to stop when the cut gets to 80% of the tree’s diameter.  

Tree cutting techniques 

There are many techniques depending on the size and type of the tree, but some of the most common tree cutting techniques are: 

  • The plunge cut: It is used for bigger trees with a hinge height twice the length of a chainsaw bar. 
  • Wedging Trees cut: Used for trees that Side scar easily 

It is important to hire professional fellers if the tree is too big or rotten. On the other hand, if your chainsaw gets stuck in the back cut, don’t try to pull it out, the best option is to stop the engine and use a wedge to finish the felling operation. It is much safer if you aren’t alone while cutting down a tree, having a friend or someone nearby will be more useful and effective. 

Choose the right chainsaw 

Courtesy Husqvarna

Chainsaws are the main character in all felling operations, therefore selecting the right kind of chainsaw is essential to succeed in this procedure. You must consider the type of power that your chainsaw should have depending on the size of the trees. Electric chainsaws are not ideal for this type of job. You should look for a chainsaw that includes anti-kickback features, such as battery powered chainsaws or gas powered chainsaws. 

Felling wedges 

This is a tool that will protect your saw during any felling operation. The DK slider is a great version that avoids pinching in your saw blade during operation. You can find felling wedges at outdoor equipment stores or on Amazon here.

Safety Gear 

Felling trees is a serious job, especially when chainsaws are involved. The first rule that must be followed before cutting down any type of tree is this: wear the essential safety gear items. These can vary depending on the site and the type of felling, but you should definitely have: 

  • Earmuffs with a face screen 
  • Safety glasses 
  • A logger’s helmet 

It is also recommended that you wear work pants, boots, and a long-sleeved shirt 


Bucking or limbing processes are the final phase of tree felling, which allows safe removal and use of the wood. Limbing focuses on removing all branches from the felled tree while bucking takes care of cutting the branches to make it easier to carry around.

Thing you should NOT do when cutting a tree 


Here are some important facts that every person who wants to cut down a tree should know:

  • You shouldn’t use old chainsaws: Using a chain saw that should be retired or repaired increases the risks of accidents or slows down tree felling.  
  • Never lean a ladder against a tree: This mistake is more common than you think. It can actually cause damage to the chain saw. 
  • Pick up the stump: Leaving logs over your neighborhood may cause trouble, therefore, you can always hire a tree stump removal company that will take care of it quickly. 

Summing up 

Tree felling does require a plan of action in order to get a safe removal. Here are the most important factors that you should take into account:

  •  Consider the path where the tree will fall
  • Have members or friends that help you during this process and clear away all vegetation or bushes
  • Don’t assume that tree felling is a job that everyone can do.

If you ever have doubts or you want extra help, don’t hesitate and call professional fellers who will take care of any issue you have.


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