Large trees are difficult to drop if you are in a confined space. Surrounding structures can prevent you from dropping the tree in certain directions, and you might not have a good way to bring it down. If this is the case, you can cut down the tree without damaging your property, but it is best to enlist the help of at least one other person for safety reasons.
Lean an extension ladder against the tree and climb as high as you can. Have someone hold the ladder.
Cut off the smaller limbs with a tree pruner. Clean these up before proceeding so they aren't in the way. Move other objects out of the way as well before proceeding to large branches.
Throw a rope over a high branch, letting one end fall to the ground and so that it can be held by your helper. Tie the other end securely to the large branch you are cutting out. The rope will hold the branch suspended after it is cut so that it doesn't fall to the ground and cause injury or damage. Your helper can lower the branch slowly. Do this with each of the larger branches. Cut thick limbs with a chain saw.
Tie a rope 1 foot below the portion of the tree trunk that you will be cutting down. This will be the anchor that you will use to lower a section of the tree, similar to how you used a rope over a branch to lower other branches. Large trees should be cut down in sections. Their length makes it hard to drop at once unless you are in the middle of nowhere.
Tie one end of a second rope to the tree a couple of feet above where you will be cutting, and drop the loose end of the rope down. Thread the loose end of the rope under the lower rope that you tied first, bring it up and thread it through again. This will create a loop around the lower rope.
Drop the end down to the ground after creating the loop and tie it with a quick-release knot around the base of the trunk. When the upper portion is cut, it will not fall very far because it is attached by rope to the tree. Pull the end of the rope tied around the base of the trunk to untie it, and slowly lower it to the ground. The trunk section will be hanging by the rope that is loosely looped around the anchor rope. When lowering the cut piece, the rope will slip through the anchor. This method will prevent damage to the ground and surrounding structures.
Cut a notch at least halfway up on the side where the tree is to fall using a chain saw or an axe. Sometimes it will fall with just this cut, so be careful and pay attention. Usually you will need to make a second cut on the other side of the trunk to release the hold the tree has. Make the second cut at least 6 inches above the first. The second cut should be straight, not a notch. If the tree is tall, you might need to cut it in more than a couple of sections. Don't cut in more than 15-foot sections.
Cut the base of the tree in the same way as the upper part. You won't need the rope because you are on the ground, but make sure to pay attention as you cut, and move everyone out of the way.