Instructables
Cutting down trees seems easy, and it can be, but if you don't do it right it can be dangerous and time consuming. A friend of ours had a tree that was rotting and needed to be cut down, so we offered to help. I figured it was a perfect opportunity to write an instructable!

This instructable is meant to help you cut down a tree safely and correctly, but chain saws and falling trees are inherently dangerous. Practice caution whenever attempting to cut down a tree. Do it at your own risk. You alone are responsible for any damage that results from a tree removal gone wrong.

This instructable also assumes previous knowledge about the use and safety practices associated with chainsaws. If you do not know how to properly handle a chainsaw, either learn from an experienced operator or hire a professional to cut your tree down.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Supplies

  • At least one chainsaw, it's nice to have two (more on that later)
  • Gloves, preferably leather
  • Safety Glasses (you really do need these, my dad had to go to the ER once from a splinter of wood in his eye)
  • Friends

You also may want:

  • Leg protection
  • Ear protection
  • Boots

Member morfmir also has this to say about safety equipment:

"The most imported thing are protection pants. Always ware them when using chainsaw. Cutting wood can be unpredictable, if the saw slips into your legs it can be deadly. The safety pants stops the chain before it cuts into you.

Helmet, my helmet have saved me from falling branches more than ones. When you start to cut, dead and dry branches from the top of the tree can get lose and fall to the ground. When your concentrated on the saw you don't see the falling danger. And if it is a big branch it can cause serious injury.

Safety boots. freshcut wood are very heavy, if you get the log over your feet if will crush it. Next it will also protect your feet and toes from the chainsaw.

Ear protection, chainsaw are very noisy you will lose your hearing if your don't ware ear protection. Most helmets have build in hearing protectors.

Gloves and eye protection. This you already have, that's good. If you use helmet most of them have a face screen that protect the face and eyes. Plus it will not get misty in bad weather like glasses."
SophiaLiam2 months ago

How much experience with a chainsaw do you need before it's safe for you to cut down a tree? Is it good to practice first? I'm hesitant to do my own tree removal, because I am not experience with this type of thing at all.

Thanks,

Sophia Liam http://www.northshoretreeservices.com

evan_1245 years ago
what i would really like to see is a good instructable about how to remove the trunk and root ball easily after you get the tree down for those of us who cant afford a big trunk grinder or pros to come and tear it out for us
Weissensteinburg (author)  evan_1245 years ago
We generally just leave the trunks, as our trees normally get cut down because of safety. For this one, we just cut it as close to the ground as possible. You could also buy some stump remover. You drill into the stump, pour in the chemical and it eats it away.
Thanks, just knowing there is such a thing as stump remover! Grinding out stumps is expensive!
cheapasdirt2 years ago
Warning: Attempting this instructible is dangerous and not recommended. Numerous points contained here within are incorrect and should not be attempted.
Attempt at your own risk.
DON'T DO THIS WITH OUT THE PROPER PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT!!!!! CHAPS, SAFETY GLASSES GLOVES HEARING PROTECTION AND BOOTS (PREFERABLY LEATHER WITH STEEL TOES).  NEVER NEVER NEVER  DO THIS IN SHORTS!!! THIS IS WRONG!!!!
YOU DONT NEED TO USE ALL OF THAT!!! JUST USE AN AXE AND COMMON SENSE AND YOUR GOOD TO GO!!!!!!!!! WHY ARE WE YELLING?!?!?!?!?!?
suryachalla3 years ago
Dear Mr. Weissensteinburg,

I knew nothing before this about the dangers involved in "tree felling". From the comments I've read above, it seems that you have taught us a lot from what you have left out of your article, rather than from what you have written!

Granted you might be a "pro" for whom trees are second nature, but when you're instructing, it should show your professionalism by going to the "grass roots" or "basics".

There are so many things wrong with this instructable.  I have no idea why homeowners always want to make an angled back cut. This is WRONG.  I climb prune and remove trees everyday, I use a chainsaw on a daily basis and what you have done is Horribly wrong.  First of all you should never do this in shorts, you need to wear chaps hearing protection and boots in addition to your safety glasses and gloves.  NO ONE SHOULD ATTEMPT THE INSTRUCTIONS HERE, THEY ARE WRONG AND YOU CAN KILL YOUR SELF OR OTHERS!!!! HIRE A PROFESSIONAL, ITS CHEAPER THAN A FUNERAL!!!!
Thanks for pointing this out. I work at a saw shop and I dont even test saws with out chaps, glasses/steel toes and gloves, let alone when im falling trees. Never drop trees alone people.
Look in the background i dont think your neighbors are too happy with you :P lol
lemonie5 years ago
I love chainsaws And would like to add that (in the interests of safety) they should not be used while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or in poor light. L
DSCF0247.JPG
Weissensteinburg (author)  lemonie5 years ago
Lemonie, you're back!
If anyone is considering felling a tree and has any questions or even the slightest amount of doubt in their ability. I would either A - look up any info you can until you're comfortable, or B - get a professional to do it. Here in British Columbia, Loggers that fell trees actually have to get certified. So obviously there is a bit more to it then cutting a wedge and a back cut. Possibly mention in the instructable about "kickback" and what it is and how to prevent it. I work at a Stihl dealer and have seen a few guys with pictures after their kickback incident. Also you should use the chainbreak whenever you're not going to be cutting or when you're walking around with the unit running. The chains are extremely sharp. There was one guy who touched his leg with the chainsaw while it was idling. Didn't notice till he got in the house, leg felt warm and wet, poured the blood out of his boot and went to the hospital. On a lighter note. good general instrucable and if anyone wants to see some cool videos. check youtube for tree felling or falling tree etc etc. There are some MONSTERS that come down.
Weissensteinburg (author)  s6666666666665 years ago
Thanks. I didn't delve too deeply into general chainsaw safety and operation, as this instructable deals more with the actual felling of a tree, and assumes previous knowledge of the use of a chainsaw. I'll add something about needing proper knowledge, though. I wouldn't want anybody oversimplifying the process and making a mistake,
morfmir5 years ago
I like your effort, and the overall instructable are well written. But your instructions are faulty from start to end. You will kill your self or some other if you don't take safety serious. Falling trees and chainsaw are not toys and can be deadly if not handled right. very, very, very bad idea to cut down a tree without any Safety. Please remove this instructable, or make a BIG remark that this is the way NOT TO CUT DOWN TREE. /Thomas
Weissensteinburg (author)  morfmir5 years ago
Instead of simply telling me that it's wrong, why don't you tell me what you think should be different?
You have to thing more about safety. Specially personal protective wear.
The most imported thing are protection pants. Always ware them when using chainsaw. Cutting wood can be unpredictable, if the saw slips into your legs it can be deadly. The safety pants stops the chain before it cuts into you.

Helmet, my helmet have saved me from falling branches more than ones. When you start to cut, dead and dry branches from the top of the tree can get lose and fall to the ground. When your concentrated on the saw you don't see the falling danger. And if it is a big branch it can cause serious injury.

Safety boots. freshcut wood are very heavy, if you get the log over your feet if will crush it. Next it will also protect your feet and toes from the chainsaw.

Ear protection, chainsaw are very noisy you will lose your hearing if your don't ware ear protection. Most helmets have build in hearing protectors.

Gloves and eye protection. This you already have, that's good. If you use helmet most of them have a face screen that protect the face and eyes. Plus it will not get misty in bad weather like glasses.

/Thomas
Weissensteinburg (author)  morfmir5 years ago
Do you mind if I just copy and paste what you wrote into the supplies page? With due credit, of course. Thanks for the tips.
That is fine, glad to help. An glad you did not injure your self. /Thomas
blugyblug5 years ago
I seriously hope there won't be a tree hugger comment. There will be one inevetibly though... Ah well.
Weissensteinburg (author)  blugyblug5 years ago
We only cut down the trees that need to be cut. This one was close to their house and was rotting. The neighbor's was already dead, and when we sold them, all of those trees were growing way too close to our driveway.
Yeah we had to cut down the branch of a tree because it was hanging over our driveway.
Dead trees make good firewood. Since they are dead, they dont't absorb moisture and are dry...
=good firewood.
reedz5 years ago
I really like this, it is pretty informative. Perhaps you could add a note: Trees generally fall in the direction you want, however if a tree is already leaning or has a lot of branches on one side it is more prone to fall that way. Otherwise, 4/5
Weissensteinburg (author)  reedz5 years ago
Thanks, i'll add something about the weight of the branches.
pbonk5 years ago
I'd suggest a few more pieces of safety equipment:

- Helmet with face shield and hearing protection
- Leg chaps and long pants
- Steel toed boots

More info here, safety gear

Look at dem nosy neighbors..
Weissensteinburg (author)  GorillazMiko5 years ago
Not as much nosy as amused...I think they just enjoyed the show.
NachoMahma5 years ago
. Good job.
LinuxH4x0r5 years ago
Nice. I personally prefer the *relative* safety of using a reciprocating saw with a 12" blade.
bumpus5 years ago
Warning! Get really drunk first. Then it won't hurt so much when you chainsaw your face off and crush your family. - Tim Anderson.
:D
Weissensteinburg (author)  bumpus5 years ago
I saw his version right after I published this one...let's just say I didn't regret publishing this one, too.