How to Fell Pine Trees


Pine trees planted in the landscape make an attractive sound when the wind blows through them. But pine trees are not without problems. Pine tree wilt can cause the tree needles to turn yellow and fall from the trees. Additionally, the trees can develop root rot or littleleaf in areas of poor drainage. An infected or declining pine tree often cannot be saved. In situations such as this, the only solution is to cut down the pine. Felling a pine tree is similar to felling any other tree.

Step 1

Study the tree for any signs of tilt or lean. This can help determine the direction a pine tree may fall, and help you decide which way to cut the pine tree down. The direction the wind is blowing is another factor that can affect the way a pine falls.

Step 2

Move any items from beneath the tree that you do not wish to damage by the tree's fall.

Step 3

Clear an escape path away from the tree. Remove any debris that could trip you as you flee from the tree.

Step 4

Cut a V-shaped notch into the side of the trunk that extends 1/4 of the way through the tree. The notch should open in the direction that you wish the tree to fall, and should be located near the bottom of the tree.

Step 5

Make a second cut horizontally straight through the pine tree on the opposite side of the trunk from the notch. The second cut should be just above the point in the V-shaped notch, and should extend almost to the point of the notch to create a pivot point. The tree will start to fall in the direction of the notch.

Step 6

Step back along your planned escape route as the tree begins to fall along its pivot point. This will keep you from being injured if the tree falls in an unplanned direction, breaks free of its pivot point, or bounces.

Things You'll Need

  • Chain saw
  • Axe


  • NC State University: Pine Diseases
  • LSU Ag Center: Pine Tree Problems
  • University of Missouri Extension: Felling, Bucking and Limbing Trees

Who Can Help

  • Alabama Cooperative Extension: Safe Operation of Chain Saws
Keywords: cutting down trees, felling pine trees, removing pines

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."