Tree Felling & Removal


Cutting down and removing can be dangerous if done improperly. Correct cutting techniques prevent injury due to a slipping saw or the saw being activated too close to the ground. Felling a tree in the wrong direction by cutting the tree in the wrong place may damage your home or anyone standing beneath it when it tumbles to the ground.

Step 1

Inspect the tree to determine in which direction the tree leans. The tree will fall easiest in that direction using a guiding cut.

Step 2

Look at the landing area of the tree, as indicated by the lean, to determine if any expensive property lies underneath. Choose an escape path at this time to get you out of the area as the tree falls. Remove any debris from the area which may impede your escape.

Step 3

Cut the tree at the front about a third of the way through to begin the undercut, says the University of Missouri Extension. The undercut guides the tree down, so make the undercut on the leaning side of the tree. Make another cut at a 45 degree angle that meets the end of the undercut.

Step 4

Make a cut starting from the opposite side of the tree and slightly above the undercut. Continue cutting through the tree until it cracks and begins to fall. Use your escape route to clear the area.

Step 5

Remove any branches from the tree using a chainsaw.

Step 6

Cut the tree into smaller pieces for removal using the bucking technique. Make a cut from the top of the tree about halfway through the tree to avoid cutting into the earth. Roll the log until the top cut is resting on the earth, and make another cut into the log to meet the first cut. Remove the tree piece to your wood pile or dispose of appropriately.

Things You'll Need

  • Chain saw


  • University of Missouri Extension: Felling, Bucking and Limbing Trees
  • Oregon State University Extension: Safe and Effective Use of Chainsaws for Woodland Owners
  • Kansas State University Extension: Chainsaws - Safety, Operation, Tree Felling Techniques
Keywords: Felling tree, Bucking tree, Removing tree

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.