How to Fell a Tree With a Chainsaw? – A Step by Step Procedure

Chances are, if you own a chainsaw, you’ll eventually have to cut down a tree. Whether it’s a tree that’s in your way, or one that’s dead and could fall at any moment, you’ll need to be able to cut it down.

It’s not a surprise, that cutting trees with the chainsaw technique is a useful method to fell a tree. This is not always a job that can be done with just one felling: it’s not uncommon to have a chainsaw cut down a tree in pieces, or cut the branches off a tree before cutting it down.

How to Fell a Tree With a Chainsaw?
The first step to felling a tree with a chainsaw is to cut a horizontal notch in the tree trunk about a third of the way through. The second step is to cut a vertical slice up from the bottom of the notch, making sure not to cut it all the way through. The third step is to cut another horizontal slice at the base of the tree, about a foot above the ground. Finally, saw through the remaining trunk until the tree falls.

Felling a tree with a chainsaw is not as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of preparation, skill, and effort to do it right. The only way to learn how to fell a tree with a chainsaw successfully is to gain a good amount of experience in doing it.

A Detailed Step-by-Step Guide on How to Fell a Tree With a Chainsaw


The section will explain the basics of how to fell a tree with a chainsaw.

Step 1: Plan Your Work

Even before you pick up a chainsaw, you have to plan how you are going to approach a tree cut down process. You have to decide which side of the tree you are going to cut from, as well as whether you are going to fell the tree to the left or to the right of a given border.

You should also decide which direction you want the tree to fall and if you want to fell it into a specific area. You should know that trees usually fall in a direction that is opposite to the direction of the prevailing wind. This is a safety precaution.

If the wind is blowing in the direction the tree is leaning, it will be harder to push it over and it is easier for it to fall in the opposite direction.

Step 2: Clear the Area

Before you start, you have to make sure that it will not land on anything or anyone. You have to cut all the branches and also remove any other obstructions.

Step 3: Position Yourself

Once you have decided on which side of the tree you want to cut from, and which direction you want the tree to fall in, you have to position yourself accordingly.

Place the chainsaw in a secure, but easily accessible location. Make sure that it is within comfortable reach, but far enough away so that you will not be injured by any flying debris should the tree fall unexpectedly.

Step 4: Mark the Direction and Plan the Notch

Before starting, you need to mark the direction of the cut. You can use a chalk line to do this. You can also use a rope to mark the path of the cut. This is to ensure that you do not get confused when you start cutting.

The notch is the cut made into the tree to help it fall in the direction you want it to fall. To fall a tree properly, the notch is made on the opposite side of the tree’s naturally lean.

Step 5: Make the Notch

The notch is made on the opposite side of the tree’s lean using a chainsaw. The chainsaw is used to cut a V-shaped notch in the tree. The V-shaped notch is cut halfway into the tree.

When cutting the notch, leave about a 12-inch uncut portion on the side of the tree that will remain after it falls. This uncut portion will be used to remove the undercut. The undercut is the area that is left on the tree after the notch is cut.

Step 6: Cut the Tree

You should start the chainsaw, and make sure that it is running smoothly. Start cutting the tree slowly by making a shallow cut. This is to prevent the tree from splintering. You have to cut the tree, starting from the bottom and working your way up. You should always cut against the grain of the wood.

The chainsaw should always be pointed towards the tree when cutting the notch. To make the cut, start the chainsaw and slowly move it into the tree. The chainsaw must move in a straight line. If the saw moves in a curved motion, the tree could split.

After the chainsaw is moved into the timber, it should be held in position for about 10 to 15 seconds before starting to cut to allow the chainsaw to move slowly through the wood. This will help prevent the chainsaw from becoming stuck.

Once you have completed the first shallow cut, you can start making deeper cuts. Continue cutting until you have cut halfway through the tree. You should then make the final cut. This will make the shrub fall in the direction that you want it to fall.

Step 7: Cut the Undercut

After the V-shaped notch is made, the undercut must be removed. The undercut is the area that is left on the tree after the notch is cut. Removing the undercut will make it safer to fell the tree. It must be cut from the bottom up to the notch.

Step 8: Make the Backcut

After the undercut is removed, the back of the notch must be cut. It is the side of the notch that is opposite the direction the tree will fall. The back of the notch must be cut with the chainsaw running that is held at a 45 degree angle. When the back of the notch is cut, the tree should start to fall.

Step 9: Cut Branches

After felling a tree, start cutting off branches. If you don’t cut off the branches, they will stick out the other side of the timber. This is a problem when the shrub is being dragged because the branches catch on brush, sticks, rocks, and other trees.

Start cutting the limbs, starting from the bottom, and working your way up. After you cut the limbs, move to cut the trunk.

Step 10: Cut up the Trunk into Firewood

With the tree felled, and the stump removed, you have a nice supply of firewood at your disposal. This is a good time to use your chainsaw to do some cleanup and maintenance.

Step 11: Clean up

After you have felled the timber, clean the area, and remove all of the debris to make sure that the area is safe for other people to walk around.

Tips on Chopping Down a Tree

Chopping down a tree needs a lot of energy and a lot of time. And to prepare you for the process, I’m going to share some tree-felling tips.

  1. Always fell a tree during the day. It is extremely dangerous to fell it at night. You need to be able to see the entire tree and its surroundings. In addition to felling a tree at night being very dangerous, it is also against the law in most areas.
  2. Make sure you have your chainsaw safety gear before you begin the job. This includes chaps, chainsaw gloves, eye protection, a hard hat, and a chainsaw helmet. You will also need a spotter to help you keep an eye on the shrub as you cut it down.
  3. Make sure you have a firm grasp of the chainsaw safety rules. It is important to know how to safely cut down a tree.
  4. Before you cut any part of the tree, mark out the area you are going to cut. Make sure you cut the timber in a direction that is away from you.
  5. When you begin cutting, make sure you cut a wedge. A wedge will make it much easier to cut through the tree. Felling a tree with wedges is the most convenient technique. You can make a wedge by cutting an “X” shape into the tree. When you finish cutting, make sure you remove the wedge before the tree falls.
  6. When you begin cutting, make sure you brace your body and the chainsaw with your legs. This will help prevent you from being injured when the tree falls.

Safety Rules

Chainsaw cuts a branch

If you want to fell a tree with a chainsaw, you need to make sure you have the proper safety gear. You should have thick clothing, tough gloves, and eye protection. You should also have a hard hat if you are working with a chainsaw that has a large blade. Don’t forget to wear boots with an ankle strap.

Final Word

If you are planning to do some home improvements, you will most likely need to fell a tree. Maybe you would like to clear an area to build a shed or an outdoor storage area or you have always postponed cutting down a dead tree. Whatever the reason, learning how to fell a tree with a chainsaw is a useful skill to have.
This is the end of the tutorial. Hope you have found it useful. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, please post them in the comments section below. I will be happy to answer.

Ronnie Collins

Ronnie Collins

I’m Ronnie Collins. I’ve been passionate about gardening and woodworking all my life and even earned an MS degree in Botany from the University of Maryland. I’ve been working at a gardening company for a while, so I know the ropes about a whole lot of dedicated equipment such as the table saw, track saw, lawnmowers, chainsaws, garden hoses, and much more.

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