How to Cut Down a Tree Safely

Keeping a tree in good condition is essential, not only for it to grow properly and provide shade, but also to prevent it from being dangerous and could fall. But sometimes the situation becomes unsustainable and a tree has to be cut down, despite all our efforts to conserve it.If we talk about cutting down a small tree, the situation does not involve many risks, beyond protecting yourself properly and using the correct tools.
However, if we talk about cutting down a large tree, the situation changes, and not only can it be dangerous, but also illegal, since there are times when certain species are protected or felling is prohibited.

There are many reasons why a tree is pruned, from keeping it in good condition, aesthetic reasons, to removing it due to risks of fall or disease. These are the main reasons why trees may need to be cut down:

  • Tree with branches inclined downwards with the danger of falling: To prevent any type of accident with falling branches, it is important to cut the lower branches of a tree. This is very easy to identify, you just have to check if the branches are sloping down or broken.
  • Dead tree or without hope of recovery: If the tree was affected by some type of plague or disease and there is no possibility of recovering it, or worse if it died, it is best to cut down the trees. This is because when they die, they lose the strength to hold on to the ground so you must cut dead trees to avoid falls.
  • Cutting of pines that affect architectural elements or neighboring farms: The pines can grow so high, as well as expand their roots so far that they can affect buildings. Cutting down pines is a common option if they are causing damage to floors or pipes, to do so you must learn how to eliminate a large tree because they are very tall.

Do you have to ask permission to cut down a tree?

If I need to cut a tree, the first thing to do is notify the authorities because, although it may seem strange, you must apply for licenses even to cut down garden trees. Failure to do so could result in a fine.
Before felling trees you should approach the municipal council or town hall of your locality, since the procedure is subject to the autonomous community. Cutting tall trees, cutting down a tree on your property, or pruning a downward-sloping tree may require special permits.

Tools for felling trees

An important part of learning how to cut a tree is knowing what cutting tools are necessary. This is the tree cutting equipment you should consider:

  • Logging chainsaw: The logging chainsaw is one of the most efficient tools when learning how to fell a leaning tree, limb it, or cut it down. And it is that chainsaw cuts are not only precise but also cutting with a chainsaw is more comfortable and faster, without having to use physical force thanks to its motor.
  • Ax: If you are afraid to knock down a tree with a chainsaw and want to feel like a vintage lumberjack or the tree is small, the ax is a good option. Its simple and manual operation is ideal for cutting a small downward-sloping tree in the garden or on the street. In any case, it is always advisable to have a support ax in a garden with trees.
  • Others: Ripper bar, impact bar, wedges, and ropes, are some accessories that will help you quickly remove a tree. These accessories are especially useful when learning how to throw down a large tree or one that requires more work due to its volume.

Plan logging

To proceed with cutting the lower branches of a tree or an entire tree, follow these steps:

1.First go to complete the permitting process. The town hall is the place to ask for permission to cut down a tree. Verify the requirements and submit all the necessary documentation to obtain the corresponding licenses.
2.Check if there are any solutions to avoid alternative tree felling, as many times it is possible to do something before the tree is down.
3.With the permits, you should start measuring the tree and planning how you are going to cut it. For example, if you are only delimbing then check which are the easiest branches to cut to start with.
4.Now you need to gather the necessary tools, either the saw or the ax, as well as the ropes, wedges, ladder and other necessary equipment before starting the task.
5.An important point in how they cut down the trees is to delimit the area with safety tape to avoid any type of accidents.
6.You must also get the corresponding protective equipment. When you learn how to cut a large tree with a chainsaw, the normal thing is that you will be asked for a helmet, protective glasses, and gloves.

If this seems too complicated you can find out how much they charge to cut down a large tree, although trust me, the price of cutting down a tree is not cheap at all.

How to cut down a tree safely?

You must not only learn why trees are cut down, you must also know the corresponding safety measures. To cut a tree safely, you just have to follow these steps

Cut to mark the direction of fall

First, start by making a wedge-shaped cut in the lower part of the trunk, the cut will help guide the fall. Then, make a second cut in the upper part of the trunk which should be away from the first and should be located more towards the tip.
These two cuts will cause most of the tree or branch to break due to the weight and fall to the ground in a controlled manner. Next, cut the base of the branch (near the trunk of the tree) with a vertical cut from top to bottom.

Felling cut

To cut the entire tree, you must first measure the diameter of the tree at chest height. Then, about 10 inches above ground level, you should create a 45-degree triangle-shaped hinge about 1/4 the diameter of the tree.
The hinge will serve to guide the fall of the tree with the entire trunk towards the hinge. Afterward, you must make a horizontal cut on the side opposite the hinge, this should be located a couple of centimeters above the base of the hinge and should enter a depth equivalent to just over half the diameter of the trunk.

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