DIY: 5 Steps to Cutting Down a Tree

tree
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Whether you have a diseased tree growing in your backyard, or you just want to get rid of one taking up too much room, you’ll need to know how to cut down a tree. This can be a dangerous process if the correct precautions aren’t taken. We’re here to help by giving you a list of steps to properly and safely cut down a tree.

1. Assess the overall condition of the tree

Take note of its lean, branch distribution for limb weight and where the top of the tree falls. Check around for dead branches, loose bark, cracks or anything else that looks out of the ordinary. Also, look to see if there are any branches from other trees interfering with it. These will need to be removed right away.

2. Inspect the base for signs of root instability

This includes roots found near a river or lake as well as other uprooted trees and fungus growth.

3. Clear a workspace around the tree, determine the lay

Figure out where you want the tree to fall. We recommend that you pick a direction close to the tree’s natural lean but far enough away from other trees’ branches so that it won’t get stuck. Keep in mind that an uneven ground may cause a tree to break, bounce, roll or even explode, so aim for a flat surface.

4. Plan an escape route to ensure your safety

Begin by clearing an area at a 45-degree angle away from the tree and its fall corridor. Remember, it has to be long enough that you can move at least 30 feet or more away from the stump.

5. Make your cuts with your chainsaw

Your first should be more than halfway through the tree, and the second cut should join this one in as a notch. The “mouth” of the notch should face the direction you want your tree to fall in. Once that’s done, cut the other side of the tree towards the notch. The tree should begin to fall in the direction of the notch. As the tree falls, make sure to use extreme care and get out of the way quickly.

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