How to Fell a Tree With Chainsaw


Trees are good environmental additions. However, sometimes these trees are enough to challenge your guts. This is due to the fact that trees frequently grow in undesirable directions, or other environmental hazards such as storms bend or lean them. Both conditions are harmful to surrounding life as well as other trees. Thus, felling a tree is the only option in these cases. It is mostly done using wood-cutting mechanical tools such as chainsaws. 

But how to fell a tree with a chainsaw? Well, that’s the problem. Many people who have to tackle such situations always seem worried about the solution. Even professionals ask this question frequently. 

Well, to make a tree fell, you have to make proper planning. The planning includes estimating the felling zone, clearing the surrounding area, understanding the anatomy of a tree notch, creating a notch in the tree, and finally cutting the tree. However, if you are limbing a tree or doing dead tree removal, you will also have to cut down the limbs or branches of the tree using the chainsaw.

Safety First 

When you are going to work with a power tool like a chainsaw, the first and foremost thing that is important is the safety measures. Thus, to protect yourself, you should have these things: 

The helmet system: You can select a logger helmet that covers your head. In many cases, while working with the chainsaw, your head is the most vulnerable part. A helmet will protect you from any falling limbs of the tree. 


  •  Ear Protection: Chainsaw creates an enormous noise while cutting down a tree. Thus, to protect your ears, you should select good quality earmuffs. 
  • Hands and arm protection: Hands and arms are the closest body parts while you are working with a chainsaw. For protecting hands, gloves are the best option. However, to protect your arms, you can wear arm guards or safety jackets for this purpose. So that you can save yourself from chainsaw kickback or vibration. 
  • Legs and feet protection: While working with a chainsaw, the chances of falling branches on legs are greater. Hence, you can wear either safety pants or chaps. You can also wear boots. 
  • Eye and face protection: Because chainsaws cause a lot of tree bark to fall apart, you can use a face shield and safety glasses to protect your eyes and face.

Secondly, to protect the surrounding area, you can use felling wedges to prevent the tree from falling in the opposite direction. Moreover, you should go out into the surrounding area to check that you are not harming any kind of vegetation, buildings, or powerlines. 

What type of chainsaw do you have? 

With the advancement of technology, there are different types of chainsaws available on the market. Every type of chainsaw possesses a different level of power. So, while trying to fell a tree, you should check which type of chainsaw you have. To fell a small tree using a chainsaw, you don’t require a large force. Hence, for this, you can use an electrical or battery-powered chainsaw. These types of chainsaws are also beneficial when you want to remove garden bushes or small trees. However, if you want to remove medium or large trees, then you should use a powerful gas-powered chainsaw. Furthermore, chainsaws come in different sizes and models. So, before selecting your chainsaw, you should match the size of the tree and the chainsaw. Because if you use a more powerful chainsaw for cutting a tree that requires low force, you will end up felling the tree abruptly in any direction. 

How to fell a tree with Chainsaw? 

Felling a large or medium-sized tree with a chainsaw isn’t easy. It requires proper planning. So, if you are a beginner, you should ask a professional or someone who has the experience to get the proper knowledge of how to cut down a tree with a chainsaw. The following are tree cutting down techniques using a chainsaw: 


  • Assessment of the felling tree, the felling area, and the surroundings: 

To avoid any type of accident, check the tree first. If the tree’s wood is rotting or if it has any weak branches or limbs, then you should remove all of them with the chainsaw before felling the tree. Furthermore, clear the roots of the trees of small bushes or branches. After this, check the direction in which the tree is leaning. A leaning tree falls more easily than the other ones. Others need proper ropes to fell in the desired direction. 

Now, estimate the felling zone of the tree with proper measurements. Make sure that your felling zone is completely clean. Moreover,  make alternative zones to avoid any kind of accident. And the last thing is your escape route. This is one of the most important parts. So, keep a route planned before starting your work. For your protection, you should keep your escape route 45 degrees from the felling zone. 

  • Making Cuts: 

Before you start cutting the tree with the chainsaw, you have to plan the notch. A notch is the series of cuts that you first make before felling a tree. So, planning the notch is a critical step. The most common notches are directional notches. They are done making sure that the tree falls in the right direction. This notch and the final felling cut with the chainsaw make a hinge. This hinge helps in holding the tree to the base when it falls. Different types of notches make different types of hinges. The following are three notches that you can make on trees with a chainsaw to cut them: 

  • Open-face notch: 

To make this notch, you should put the chainsaw at an angle of 70 degrees and start cutting in a downward direction closer to the tree stump and keep doing it until you are ¼ of the depth of the tree. Then cut in an upward direction at an angle of 20 degrees. This creates a 90-degree notch.  

  • Conventional notch:  

In a conventional notch, you should cut at an angle of 45 degrees in a downward direction until you are ¼ of the depth of the tree. Then make a level cut in an upward direction until it meets the first one. 

  • Humbolt notch: 

A Humbolt notch is exactly the opposite of a conventional notch. You have to make a level cut in a downward direction until you reach ¼ of depth. After that, make an upward cut by putting the chainsaw at an angle of 45 degrees. 

  • Final Felling Cuts: 

After making face cuts (notch cuts), we make final cuts called “back cuts” with the chainsaw. These cuts will form a hinge, then the tree will fall on the ground. The following are the types of back cuts: 

  • Open-faced back cut: 

This back cut is made exactly behind the meeting point of the notch. Plus, it is created much deeper than the notch until only 10% of the trunk in the form of a hinge is left. 

  • Conventional back cut: 

The conventional back cut is made by almost putting the chainsaw an inch higher than the upward cut of the conventional notch. But it will be as deep as the open face back cut is. 

  • Humboldt back cut

It is exactly the opposite of a conventional back cut. In this cut, you will create the same one-inch back cut, but this time you will raise the chainsaw higher than the downward notch cut. 


We have got all the necessary points that you should follow before cutting down a tree. Meanwhile, you should strictly follow all the precautions and planning procedures to proceed further. 

Hopefully, you have got all the details about how to fell a tree with a chainsaw. 

How to Fell a Tree With Chainsaw was last modified: by