How Do You Safely Cut Down a Tree?


Quick Answer

To safely cut down a tree, wear protective gear, estimate the landing zone, cut a notch and fell the tree. Having an assistant to watch the tree and communicate as needed makes cutting down trees much safer.

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Full Answer

  1. Put on protective gear

    Protect your head with a logger's helmet, earmuffs, a face screen and safety glasses. Wear Kevlar chaps to prevent damage to your legs, and wear steel-toe boots and sturdy work gloves.

  2. Estimate the landing zone

    To estimate how far the tree is going to fall, hold an ax in front of your body at arm's length. Position yourself away and towards the tree until the entire ax lines up with the tree from top to bottom. Keep in mind that this is a rough estimate, and plan for extra room to be safe.

  3. Cut a notch

    On the side of the trunk that falls, mark a spot for the middle of the notch with the chainsaw or a piece of chalk. Cut the top half of the notch first, angling the chainsaw towards the middle of the notch. Finish the notch from the bottom. If the tree leans, place a wedge in the cut to prevent the saw from being pinched.

  4. Fell the tree

    Connect both sides of the notch by scoring a line around the tree. This is the cutting guide. Keep the back cut even and parallel with the notch's summit. Make the felling cut. As soon as the tree begins to fall, remove the saw and set the chain break. Cautiously walk away from the tree, following a planned route. Watch the tree carefully the entire time.

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