The Proper Steps to Remove a Tree in Your Yard

The process of removing a tree might seem simple when you look at it step by step, but it’s very risky if you don’t have the right tools and adequate knowledge. Cutting down a tree can potentially cause damage to property, or it could result in someone getting injured. Here are some steps that apply before, during and after the tree removal procedure.

1. Clear the area around the tree

Make sure there is enough cleared-out space around the tree for it to lie flat after it comes down. Measure or estimate the height of the tree, and clear an area large enough to accommodate that size on the ground.

2. Examine the angle

Try to determine which way the tree is going to fall. Look at the direction that the tree is leaning. The tree will tend to fall in this direction, but it’s also possible to cut the tree in such a way so that it falls in a different path. This might be necessary if the tree is leaning toward the house or shed. Look for areas of damage or decay on the trunk. This could cause the tree to fall in a different path.

3. Plan to escape

Have a plan in mind of where you will stand or move when the tree starts to fall. Make sure you have a clear path on the ground to run so that you won’t trip and get hit by the falling tree before you can get clear of it. Be prepared to run in different directions if the tree moves unpredictably.

4. Obtain the proper gear

Some trees can be taken down with a hand saw. If the trunk is a foot or more in diameter, you will most likely want to use a chainsaw. If you are not completely determined to cut it down yourself, this would be a good stage to enlist professionals to help.

5. Begin an undercut

Make a V-shaped cut at a 45-degree angle on the side where you want the tree to fall. The cut should be about a quarter of the way through the trunk.

6. Make a back cut

Go around the trunk directly opposite of where you made the undercut, and make a cut straight through about two inches above the undercut. As the back cut approaches the bottom cut the tree will eventually get cut all the way through and begin to fall.

7. Alert people to the fall

It is customary to yell “timber” when the tree is about to fall. Do this whether you see someone in the path of the falling tree or not.

Once the tree is on the ground, you can begin the cleanup. It’s easy to remove branches once the tree is down. You can use a chainsaw to cut the limbs and trunk into easier pieces that you will be able to carry. The stump could either be excavated with a machine or left in place for aesthetic effect.