To remove a tree, prepare the area, fell the tree and remove the stump. Taking the necessary precautions, you can safely remove a tree up to 20 feet tall and 10 inches around with basic tools, but you should consult a professional for larger trees.
Clear the area where you expect the tree to fall. Be prepared for the tree to fall in an unexpected direction, and have a plan for moving out of the way. If the tree has a natural lean, the direction of the lean is a good choice for the fall line. Do not attempt to fell the tree if it shows signs of rotting, such as open wounds. Hollow and rotting trees can be unpredictable when they fall, and it is best to call a professional to handle them.
Cut a 90-degree wedge a quarter of the way through the trunk into the side you want the tree to fall. On the opposite side of the trunk, cut horizontally into the trunk approximately 2 inches above the first cut until the tree falls. Remove the limbs, and chop up the trunk.
You can allow the tree to decompose or dig it out using sharp spades and shovels. If you leave the trunk, remove any new growth that appears. After five to 10 years, the trunk breaks down naturally.