If you are planning on cutting down a tree, you must take precautions to insure your safety as well as the safety of others. Cutting down trees is a difficult, dangerous task best done by at least two people and as much room as you can possibly create. The second person can help with lowering branches as well as act as a spotter for dangerous situations that might arise. If you are cutting down a large tree, you might even need to remove sections of fencing.
Clear out things that may be in the path of where the tree will fall. Choose a path that will do the least damage to other vegetation and structures.
Determine where you will go when the tree starts to falls or if something goes wrong. Put an object such as an orange warning cone in that spot so you can see it easily.
Trim thin limbs with loppers. For medium limbs use a tree pruner. Place an extension ladder up against the tree for the high limbs. Have someone hold it at the bottom for stabilization.
Cut through large limbs with a chainsaw. You can use a rope thrown over another branch and tied to the one you are cutting to drop it to the ground safely. Have someone hold the other end of the rope and do the lowering.
Saw a V-shaped wedge into the base of the tree. Do this on the side the tree will fall. Then saw into the opposite side, horizontal to the ground several inches above the height of the wedge. The tree will start to fall. When it starts, move to your safe area.