How to Cut Down a Tree Safely



When taking down a tree, safety and planning will make the difference between a successful drop and a YouTube fail video. This 7-step method for cutting down trees provides you with a plan that is both smart and safe.



Step 1: Hazards and Obstacles


Look around the tree. Are there power lines, homes, vehicles, people, pets, etc., that will be in danger of the falling tree? Make sure you know exactly where you want the tree to land.



Step 2: Calculate lean of the tree


Surprises aren’t good! By calculating proper lean, you’ll know where to make your cut to ensure the tree comes down in the spot you want.



Step 3: Plan Retreat Path


When the tree starts to fall, you’ll want to be out of the way. Make sure you have a clear retreat path that doesn’t have any trip hazards.



Step 4: Establish Hinge and Face Notch


Cut a notch that is 70 degrees open to make sure the hinge can work effectively.



Step 5: Establish Back Cut


The back cut needs to come in to the corner of the notch or slightly higher.



Step 6: Wedge and Final Cut


Place wedge in the back to hold the weight of the tree so it doesn’t sit back on your saw.


Step 7: Analyze the Results


Was your cut successful? Or did the tree go where you didn’t want it to? Look at your steps and analyze what went right and what could be improved.



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