DIY: How to Cut a Tree Down Safely

In some instances, it is possible and safe to cut a tree down yourself. It is important to take a variety of factors into consideration before deciding to go the DIY route.

Three of the primary considerations in cutting down trees are safety and tree removal regulations. You can always tap the services of professional tree cutters or do-it-yourself in case of budget constraints. However, if you choose DIY methods, it is important to consider several factors.

Tree Cutting Gear and Equipment

It is important to wear the proper outfit. You need to acquire a hard hat and additional protection for the eyes and ears. Chainsaw chaps for protection of the legs are also important. Acquire boots with steel toes and a sturdy pair of working gloves. Tree cutting equipment that you should prepare consists of a chain saw, robust ladder, ropes, and felling wedge for safety purposes. An assistant will also come in handy to provide help on the ground.

Basic Considerations

The initial things that you need to study before the actual tree cutting are the angle that the tree is leaning to; drop zone alternatives; height of the tree and whether it will fit into your drop area; wind conditions; presence of persons or houses in the immediate vicinity; and, present condition of the tree. It is also essential to plan for contingency measures. There should be a safe retreat for you when the tree starts to fall. This should be a minimum of 20 feet from the base and a 45-degree exit angle on both sides and rear portion. This will allow you to avoid accidents should the stump suddenly kick back. It is much better if you can seek cover at the back of another tree for extra protection.

For tree and stump removal, it is less difficult to chop down a tree that bends in the same direction. Although cutting can be done on the opposite course with the help of wedges, using ropes to steer the tree towards your drop zone is possible. Climb up the ladder and fasten a ½” rope around the highest part of your tree for better control. Tie the other end of your rope to another tree which lies in the path of your drop area. You can strap another long cord around the tree and ask your assistant to pull as you make the finishing cut. Arrange a good exit strategy to avoid unnecessary accidents.

Make the initial cut more than halfway across the tree using your chainsaw. Then start with the next incision to combine this one as an indentation. The aperture of this notch should face in the direction of where the tree is supposed to drop. The next step of tree removal is to cut the other portion in the direction of the notch. The tree should fall in the direction of the cut. If this is not possible, your assistant must wrench the rope towards the correct direction. Just make sure to move fast in getting out of harm’s way. You can never predict anything even from wayward branches. Any miscalculation can result in grave injuries or even death. Use all the necessary safety precautions before embarking on this complicated task.