DIY home and landscape projects seem like an attainable project to take on – while that may be true, there are certain things that should be left to a professional. Removing a tree is one of those things that a pro should do.
Yes, you can remove your own tree but it may be at the cost of life, personal and neighbors’ property.
Let’s take a closer look at removing a tree and figure out if it is the right fit for you to do on your own.
What Size Of Tree Can I Remove On My Own?
Pro-Tip: If a ladder is needed to reach and remove tree limbs, then that tree is too big for you to safely cut on your own.
So, it’s not advisable to cut your own tree – let a professional do this job as it may cost you more than you think. This project does not need a permit.
That being said…disclaimers reiterated…here’s how you should tackle on the project of cutting a tree on your property.
Tree Cutting Equipment
You’ll need tools to successfully accomplish this job – hands and karate kicks are not an option.
- Protective Gear – Be safe. Go into this knowing there’s a HIGH possibility of getting hurt. Wear Kevlar leggings, hard hat, steel toe boots, heavy-duty gloves and goggles.
- First Aid Kit – Be prepared. Cuts are easily attainable with this type of project if you don’t know what you are doing. Get medical supplies to for any type of cuts (gashes to amputations).
- Chainsaw – Check chain and fluids.
Let’s Take A Look At The Tree
Plan it out before jumping right in. Take a look at the tree you’ll be cutting.
- Does it lean?
- Any branches dead or broken?
- Any safe areas where the cut branches can fall?
- Any nearby tree branches getting in the way?
Plan out an escape route. If things get out-of-control they will rapidly, be mindful of your surroundings. Choose the best route to get out of the way of the falling tree. Tip: try to run behind another tree or structure if tree falls in an unintended direction.
How To Cut The Tree
- Sound – Knock against the tree with your ax. Hollow sound? The tree may be dead or dying. If there’s a solid sound, the tree is alive and cutting will be more difficult. This should be done at different points and heights. You’ll want to find the sweet spot where you’ll safely cut the tree.
- Where Will It Fall – Trees that are leaning will tend to go into the direction of the lean after cut. Select and area where the tree will fall naturally. Choose an area that is level; the tree may roll, bounce causing damage or injuries.
- Cut Horizontally – The cut shouldn’t be higher than your hip. Keep around or under one-third of the way into the tree. The tree will fall perpendicularly to this cut.
- Cut A Wedge – Think of a pie. You’ll be cutting, either from the top or the bottom of the Horizontal line, a diagonal line into the tree that will meet the end of Horizontal cut.
- Make a Back Cut – This is the cut that will help the tree fall. DO NOT meet the Wedge cut – there should be several inches in-between Back Cut and Wedge. This cut should be at least 1.5 inches above the horizontal cut for best results.
- Be Ready – As your back cut is completed, you’ll either have a falling tree or tree will still be up. To help tree fall into the direction of the Wedge Cut. You may add a wedge (something to pry/force the tree into the direction of the wedge cut). Be ready to run at any moment.
- Run – When the tree is on its way down, use your escape route to get safely clear of it. Don’t look back. Just go! This will reduce the risk of being injured.