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How to Remove a Tree From Your Landscape

Video created by Progressivefarmer

Home landscaping is an evolving process. Sometimes it becomes necessary to remove plantings from your landscape. Removing a tree is sometimes necessary. It may be diseased or damaged by a storm There are some home landscaping tasks that are best left to professionals since they have the tools and experience to accomplish the task safely. Removing a tree from your home landscape usually falls into this category. However, if you are comfortable using the tools, and with the tree removal process, then it is up to you whether you want to accept the challenge.

How to Fell a Tree

Whether you need to remove a threat to power lines, clear ground for construction or simply change the appearance of your back garden, felling a tree is a relatively simple operation. However, although the basic steps to felling are simple, it can be highly dangerous. Careful planning is needed, and anyone intending to fell a tree must observe safety precautions at all times.  Felling a single tree in an open space is much simpler than felling a tree in a wooded area. If you need to fell a tree in an area with obstructions, don’t hesitate to consult a professional.

Before felling, assess the area. You need to determine two things: the direction in which you want the tree to fall and your escape route. Check the tree to see whether it leans naturally in a particular direction; this will be the optimal direction for it to fall. Clear the area into which you intend the tree to fall.

Tools You Will Need:



Tree Stump grinder

Stump Grinder

Long-reach pruner

Tree Pruner

Tree Removal Process

In addition to clearing the area in the tree’s path, you should also clear an escape route for yourself. Your escape path should not be directly away from the direction of the falling tree. Instead, plan a route away from the falling tree and slightly off to the side at roughly a 45 degree angle. If the tree strikes an obstacle while falling, it may “kick back”, possibly striking anyone standing directly behind it.

Once you have cleared the tree’s falling path and planned your escape route, you may wish to trim large branches from the tree in order to minimise the area it will strike when falling. Use a long-reach pruner to trim these branches. Do not stand directly under the branches, and always wear head protection when working with branches above your head

.TreeBefore felling, make sure you have the proper safety equipment. A helmet, safety goggles and protective clothing and boots can help to protect you from accidental injury. If you are cutting with a chainsaw rather than a manual saw, you should also wear ear protection.

Felling the tree will involve making three cuts. The first two cuts, known as the directional cuts, take a wedge-shaped section out of the trunk on the side facing the direction the tree will fall. Make the top cut first, then the bottom cut. The two cuts should meet exactly, without one being deeper than the other. Ideally, the cuts should meet at a 45 degree angle. The depth of the cuts should be half the distance between the face of the trunk and the center.

Once both directional cuts are complete, it’s time for the third and final felling cut. This is a horizontal cut which goes through the trunk on the side opposite the directional cuts. It should be one to two inches above the bottom directional cut. Cut carefully, keeping an eye on your position. A cut that doesn’t stay parallel to the directional cuts can cause the tree to deviate to one side as it falls.

As the tree begins to fall, back quickly along your escape route until you are roughly 20 feet from the falling tree. Always back along your route; do not turn your back on the tree until it has come to rest.


This is a guest post by Rashed khan who is writing on behalf of HSS Hire. If you would like Rashed to guest post on your site, why not shoot him an email at

As you have read, removing a tree from your home landscape can be hard work and potentially dangerous.  Another advantage of hiring a professional to do the job is they do all the clean-up and disposal of the tree for you. That alone in time-savings might be worth the expense. If you choose to remove the tree yourself, be sure safety is always on your mind.


2 Responses to How to Remove a Tree From Your Landscape

  1. grace @ garden area August 14, 2012 at 4:54 am #

    Thanks for sharing this. We have a tree we need to fell in our garden as it is blocking the sun. I have been researching this for a while now and your step by step instructions will certainly help my husband in carrying it out.

  2. Rashed Khan September 10, 2012 at 3:28 am #

    Hey, thanks for your comment Grace. Felling a tree can be tricky and there weren’t many resources on this when I was doing my research. I’d make sure your husband is well prepared and has all the tools necessary to do the job before attempting to fell your tree. Preparation is key.

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