The Best Way To Remove a Tree

Man cuts down a tree with axe

What Is The Best Way To Remove a Tree?

Removing a tree from your property is not an easy task to check off of your to-do list. In fact, tree removal can take significant time and be very dangerous. Unless you have all of the necessary tools and adequate time to undertake the removal, it is a good idea to keep this task on the backburner. Keep reading to learn why a tree may need to be removed, the equipment you will need to remove it and when you should hire a professional.

Reasons why a tree needs to go

The most common reason you may consider removing a tree from your property is landscaping. Homeowners are very aware of how they utilize their space, and what may decrease the property value. From an aesthetic standpoint, you may want more space in your yard, or have a tree that requires frequent maintenance. Similarly, a tree may be too tall, or growing too wide for your liking. Although it can take years to notice, depending on size, a tree might even be dead or dying.

Safety is another reason to remove a tree. You can be held liable for injury due to a falling tree or tree limb. Inclement weather is often the cause of uprooted trees or broken limbs and branches, which can be blown in any direction. Florida’s hurricanes, tropical storms and severe summer thunderstorms increase the risk of an unhealthy tree toppling over and crashing through your (or your neighbor’s) roof or parked vehicle.

The root systems of trees – which can be expansive – often aren’t considered as a potential problem. They can cause significant damage to underground pipes and wires if not regularly inspected.

The equipment you will need

As with any sizable project, safety comes first. Make sure you have all of the following safety equipment to prevent common tree removal injuries:

  1. Helmet
  2. Safety glasses or a face shield
  3. Respirator
  4. Ear muffs or ear plugs
  5. Heavy-duty clothing and fitted gloves with adequate grip
  6. Work shoes

Cutting down a tree

Before you get started, ensure that the tree you are cutting down can fall in any direction without damaging property or causing injury. If it can not, do not attempt to cut the tree down. As much as you may think you can control the angle at which a tree falls, you can not. 

Outfitted in all of the appropriate safety equipment, you can begin. These instructions are for a tree with a diameter up to about 10 inches and height of not much more than 20 feet. Within this size, the tree can be cut down at the base. You shout cut the tree on the side that it would naturally fall to, which can often be determined by a lean. Once you know which way it will fall, you will then determine two escape paths.

The first cut you will make is an undercut, or a v-shape at a 90 degree angle. Cut about one-fourth of the tree’s diameter in depth, but not clear through. The second cut is the back cut, which will take place on the opposite side of the undercut. You will cut straight through the tree, at least two inches above the hinge of the v-shape. Any lower and it could reverse the role of the cuts, at which point you lose control of the fall.

After the tree has fallen and is stationary, you can return to it. At this point you will begin limbing. Starting from the bottom of the tree, remove branches down the side of the tree opposite of you. Standing on the opposite side of the tree that you are cutting will reduce your chance of injury. 

Once one side is complete, stand on the bare side of the tree and do the same to cut the remaining branches. When all of the branches are removed, you can cut the tree down to shorter lengths for use in a fireplace or for disposal. Be careful not to run your chainsaw into the ground in the process. Instead, cut halfway through the tree before rolling it over to complete the cut. 

As a rule of thumb, do not attempt to remove a tree that requires the use of a ladder. A ladder is the wrong tool for the job, and is one of the most common and dangerous mistakes homeowners can make in tree removal. If you need to cut any part of the tree and find that it’s too tall for you to reach on your own two feet, the use of guide ropes and mechanical equipment is required. Should this be the case, the tree should only be removed by a professional. Without proper equipment or experience, tree or branch removal can lead to serious injury or even death.

If a tree is too large for you to remove, or if you do not have the necessary equipment, call Daniel’s Lawn Service and Pressure Washing. Our team of experts can safely remove any trees from your property. To learn more about our services, including land clearing and landscaping, contact us today. In our next blog post, we will continue the tree removal process, which includes stump and root removal.