Step-By-Step Tree Removal

Posted on: 8 December 2015

If you have a dying or dead tree you want to remove, you may be able to take it down yourself. Larger trees should only be removed by a professional, but when it comes to smaller sized trees, removing them yourself is simple. Here are some steps to help you easily and safely take a tree down on your property.

Before You Begin

Before beginning the process of felling a tree, you need to look around and make sure there aren't any items in the way, like overhead wires, a fence, your garden, or a car. Once a tree falls, there is little you can do to stop it, and if it lands on something, it can cause irreparable damage. Next, take a look at which way the tree is leaning naturally. You will want it to have it fall in this direction when you cut it down. Make sure no large dead branches are hanging down and ensure that the tree itself is not rotted or hollow. Dead trees can be dangerous to take down because you will not have control over which direction it falls. Set up an escape route on each side of the tree for when it falls so you can easily get away from it and avoid being hit.

Felling the Tree

You will want to use a chainsaw for larger trees, and a handsaw for smaller ones. Cut a V-shaped notch into the side of the tree in the direction you want it to fall. Use a 90-degree angled cut which will allow the tree extra time to fall, giving you ample time to clear the area. Next, make the back cut in the trunk, which is about two inches higher than the undercut or V-shaped notch. This releases some stress on the back of the tree and helps it to fall. Always make sure it is higher than the first notch you cut, not lower. Once you do this, the tree should start to fall over. Use your pre-planned escape route and get as far away from the tree as possible, and allow it to fall naturally. 

Clean Up

Now that your tree has fallen, it's time to perform some clean up. First, cut off all branches of the tree using a chainsaw. Always wear goggles and hearing protection when performing this kind of activity to protect your ears and eyes. Once all branches are removed, you can clear them out of the area and begin cutting the trunk of the tree into manageable sections. You can store this wood for the fireplace, offer it to friends, or place an ad announcing there is free wood available. After you've cleaned up the area you can work on removing the stump and you will have a nice, cleaned up place in your yard without having to worry about the tree falling when you don't expect it. 

If you find the task a little overwhelming, consider contacting a tree removal specialist to do the job.


Keeping Your Trees Healthy

About a year ago, I realized that our front trees were starting to look a little funny. Some of the leaves were wilted, but we weren't anywhere near autumn. The bark on the trunk also seemed to be rotting away, which was frustrating and disappointing. Fortunately, a friend of mine told me to call a professional arborist for help. He came out, inspected the trees, and injected some special pesticides into the trunk. Within a few months, they started to look a lot better. Our arborist also trimmed our trees to reduce the weight load on the branches and to improve their shape. Check out this blog for information about tree trimming.