How to Cut Down a Small Tree With a Saw

Published on: March 5, 2022
Written by Eric Devin / Fact-checked by David Rowan

A small tree is defined to be a species of full-grown tree that usually grows in height not less than 15 feet and a maximum height might reach up to 24 feet with a maximum spread of 24 feet endorsed by the botanists. Sometimes we need to fell trees for various reasons.

There are a few unique techniques that are applied to fell a small tree in a safer way to avoid workplace hazards and inappropriate ways of felling. 

The most important aspects include preparing a feeling spot examining all safety aspects and using the right saws and the right technique to cut down the tree. Creating a notch at the right position of the tree is another key aspect to keep in mind.

how to cut down a small tree with a saw

You must make sure you have enough grip to hold your tree firmly while felling takes place. The eco-friendly aspect has to be taken into account before cutting down your tree to protect environmental safety. 

However, I have designed this article to discuss in detail how to cut down a small tree with a saw to make you familiar with techniques before commencing your tree-felling project.      

Techniques of Cutting Down Small Tree Using Saws

As I said, a few basic techniques you must adhere to before and during cutting down trees. Post-cutting aspects are also vital for safely accomplishing your tree-felling project. Always gather all materials that you need to cut down your trees.

Below are the safest and simplest ways you should follow through for cutting down trees. Be trained on creating a notch at the right spot of the tree for safer felling. 

Wear Safety Equipment

For felling trees wear all safety equipment including helmets, eye-protective goggles, boots, and jackets to prevent hazards and injuries at the tree felling sites.  

Examine Tree Felling Area

Examine carefully around the felling area to ascertain there are no structures, electric wares, by-pass roads, or other trees which might cause inconvenience for your project tree to fall safely.

Make sure the felling environment is completely safe before cutting down your tree. Also, check out vigilantly if there is any debris and clean the felling site to avoid a hazardous environment. 

Determine the Leaning Direction and Stability of the Tree

It’s important to determine where the tree stands out sturdily if it’s quite stable and healthy etc. as these aspects impact the safer falling of the tree.

Another safety aspect is to consider the tree’s leaning direction. Leaning direction significantly leads the tree to fall down to a certain direction as the tree itself is not able to change its own direction while falling down.  

Ascertain Falling Path

Another important aspect to ascertain is that there is no structure, trees, power lines, or roads around the falling path so that the tree can fall safely without hitting anything around. 

In this step, do some calculations including the height of the tree and the distance between the base of the tree and the falling area. This measurement would prevent all types of hazards during the felling of the tree. 

However, you should also create a small notch on the side of the tree to get your tree inclined towards falling direction for falling safely. If your tree is loaded with too many branches, it’s good to cut down them at the beginning to free your tree. 

Determine Exit Way During Falling

Determine the exit area so that you can escape to a safe distance while the tree falling takes place. It’s a vital task to prevent accidents and injuries. Never walk over or stand near the tree when your tree starts falling after cutting down. 

Felling Tree With ChainSaw

The first task is to make a notch on the tree at a 70-degree angle considering the felling direction of your tree. Make sure the notch maintains the proper measurement so that your chainsaw will be able to cut on the notch. 

The notch must be 1-2 feet off the ground.  After that, take a chainsaw, hold it tightly with both hands to have a strong grip, and cut on the notch exactly at a 70-degree angle and fell the tree successfully.   

You can also make a horizontal cut at the base of the notch if you want to keep the bottom of the tree straight. 

You can also make a bore cut by inserting the tip of the saw blade through the tree instead of making a cut from the side of the tree.

To produce the bore cut, position your chainsaw blade 1-2 inches away from the border of the notch and push it thoroughly through the tree. Then keep sawing from the back side of the notch until achieving a horizontal cut through the other end of the tree.  

Felling Tree With Hand Saw

For producing a horizontal cut with the hand saw, place the teeth of the handsaw 1-2 feet above the roots of the tree and move it in a horizontal motion through the tree. Keep going until one-third of the way is made through. Two-handles saw would be helpful and one assistant to do this.

However, hold the saw with both hands to cut the tree. After the horizontal cut, start hatching above the cut to make a notch. For doing so, hold the hatchet with both hands and run the hatchet in vertical motion into the side of the tree at a recommended angle and keep cutting until a defined notch becomes visible. 

After that, cut the tree all through using the saw from the back side of the notch. During falling, stay at a safer distance to avoid injuries. 

What Safety Measures Should You Take to Prevent Injury While Cutting a Tree?

  1. Wear protective gear (hard hat, eye protection, gloves)
  2. Check for nearby power lines and obstacles
  3. Have a clear escape route
  4. Use the proper tools for the job
  5. Cut from a stable position
  6. Keep others a safe distance away
  7. Don’t cut above shoulder height
  8. Plan the fall direction before cutting.

Concluding Notes

I hope you are familiar now with the essential aspects of felling trees and quite confident to do it yourself for your project. The key equipment including saws, hammers, hatchet, and a few other accessories should gather beforehand for the smooth operation of your tree felling project. Employ someone to assist you while accomplishing your project.  

Take care of environmental safety aspects while going through the felling process. Maintain all other safety protocols to avoid workplace hazards and injuries.

The application of proper techniques for tree-felling projects needs adequate training and practice. Starting with cutting down small trees would make you an expert over time and one day you too might be quite capable of dealing with tall trees. 

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About This Writer

author eric devin

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

Hi, I am Eric Devin and I am a professional interior architect. Since childhood, I've always enjoyed DIY projects! And, I have loved to solve simple household problems using essential tools and equipment. I have also acquired a lot of information about basic household tools settings by working with contractors.

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