How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw

Do you want to learn how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw? If you are considering cutting a tree in your garden and just need tips and a guide on how to do it safely, then you have come to the right place.

As is well known, chainsaws are very powerful tools that can perform heavy tasks like cutting down trees and shredding wood. Whether you are an arborist or a homeowner, if you wish to fell a tree (which is another name for cutting a tree) then you will definitely need a chainsaw.

Using a chainsaw is not difficult but neither is it easy. Before handling a chainsaw, you must first be mindful of your safety. You have to make sure that you are properly protected so that your safety is guaranteed.

Once you have put safety measures in place, you can use our ‘how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw‘ guide to getting your job done.



How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw

When trying to fell a tree with a chainsaw, be aware it is not a one-stop street. You won’t just pick a chainsaw and proceed to lay trees to waste. There are a number of things you must do first of which the actual tree felling will come in last.

Choose The Right Chainsaw

Before you can proceed to chop down a tree, first choose the right chainsaw. Below are three highly recommended chainsaws for beginners and experts alike.

The bar length of the chainsaw matters when it comes to the size of the tree you wish to cut down. A large tree will require a chainsaw with a bar length of about 18″, while a smaller or thinner tree can be felled with a 10″ bar length chainsaw can work.


When thinking of how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw, you must never go straight into cutting down your tree without making the necessary preparations.

When preparing, you must bear three things in mind:

  • The warning signs have to be put up
  • The surroundings have to be checked and cleared to ensure nothing is in the way and no one comes around
  • If it is required, permission has to be taken from the necessary authorities.

Decide What Direction The Tree Will Fall

After you have made sure the area is clear, the next thing to consider is what direction the tree will fall. You should not make this decision by guessing, rather there are some determining factors which will help you make the right decision:

  • The wind’s direction
  • Which side of the tree has more weight?
  • Is the tree already leaning in a particular direction?

The above-mentioned factors, when answered will help you determine what direction the tree must fall. But it doesn’t end there. You must make sure the direction you have decided does not have any property which could be damaged.

After you have made your decision on the tree’s fall direction, proceed to clear that area and the area behind it as well. This will be the part you will retreat from. Once done, you have to mark the place you wish to cut.

However, there is a point to note here, which is that a safety rope must be tied around the tree at about the height of your waist. This is vital because a cut that is above your waist should never be made as it is very risky and unprofessional.

How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw

Prune Buttress Roots And Tree Limbs

The region at the lower part of trees usually has small branches,  buttress roots, and limbs growing on them. You should prune them off using your chainsaw. A pulling chain can also be used for this purpose as it is faster and easier.

Cut the undergrowth from the top and make a downward stroke. A safety tip to be aware of is that you must never cut tree limbs that are not below your shoulder level.

Face Notch

A front cut should be made in the direction where the tree will fall. This is called the face notch. To make the front cut, two cuts need to be made on the tree’s front side.

This is also called the wedge cut.

There are more than one ways to make a face notch. The method that is recommended and common is the ‘open directional notch‘.

You must make the face notch correctly because it is important in determining if the tree will fall in the direction you want it to.

Back Cut

Next, you need to make the back cut. This cut must be made in the opposite direction of the wedge cut. The back cut should be made between the ends of the wedge cut’s upper part. Ensure you leave a gap of about 2 inches between the back cut and the front cut.

You need not cut through to the other side of the tree as the tree can fall with your chain still in the hinge. This could get very dangerous.

Use A Rope To Take Down The Tree

Once you have marked the back and front cuts, the tree might get unstable and might start to fall. At this point, you must be very careful. Move aside and turn off your saw.

There are a few things that can be used to take down the tree. For instance, a rope, block, or a felling wedge. You can tie the safety rope around bother of the cuts and the tree will break and begin to fall.

At this point, you have come to the end of your task. If you fell the tree for the sake of safety, then your job is done. But if you fell it to get timber, then the job continues.

Final Thoughts on How To Cut Down A Tree With A Chainsaw

Felling a tree is not a task for the faint minded. It requires the utmost attention and careful observation of details. If you are not taught the basics of how to fell a tree with a chainsaw, it task will undeniably be difficult for you.

The guide that has been provided in this article covers the basics of all you need to know before felling your first tree. You surely can pull it off if you are careful enough and follow the instructions that have been laid out.

Last update on 2023-01-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API