How to Cut Down a Small Tree With a Chainsaw

If you are a beginner and just starting to cut trees, try to have at least a little practice before using it.

You have to be careful especially while cutting down a small tree.

If you happen to be among the people that have this particular problem try to use these steps as guidance.

In this article, We have shared 7 simple steps on how to cut down a small tree with a chainsaw.

But before deep diving into the detailed guide, let’s have a quick look at safety gears. Because personal safety is more important.

Safety First

Do not cut corners when cutting a tree with a chainsaw. Each step is crucial to ensure safety and safety of everyone around you. Before you start, make sure to consider each one of these safety precautions.

Chainsaw Safety Gears:

Eye Protection

There are many options when it comes to choosing eye protection:

Face shield

Attach directly to your safety helmet.

Safety glasses

For added protection, choose safety glasses that have side shields or wraparounds. Safety glasses also come with scratch resistance such as the Starlite model or UVA/UVB protection such as Scorpion Mag safety glasses.


Prescription glasses wearers will appreciate the eye protection provided by goggles. These goggles can be worn over regular-sized glasses, and they allow for full vision in all directions.

Coverall eyewear

These coveralls can be worn over prescription eyewear.

Here I have listed best chainsaw halmets

Hearing Protection

Two types of hearing protection are commonly used to reduce chainsaw noise: ear muffs and ear plugs. It all depends on which type of hearing protection you choose. Make sure you check the noise reduction rating (NRR) for each.

Earplugs may be the problem or can be connected to a cord or band. No matter what type of earplugs you use, they must be correctly inserted to ensure the best possible hearing protection.

These steps will ensure that you get the best fit possible and maximum protection.

  1. Roll the earplug into a small cylinder.
  2. Pull your ear up and back to open the ear canal.
  3. Hold the earplug in your ear canal for a few seconds, until it fills. This will ensure the best fit and protection.

On the other hand, Ear muffs will offer the best protection against excessive noise. You should also consider the ear muffs’ weight and comfort.

Hand Protection

To protect yourself from scrapes and cuts, chainsaw gloves must be worn when cutting trees.

Gloves are not required, but it is a good idea for chainsaw users to wear them. Gloves reduce vibration and protect against minor cuts.


Safety boots with a steel or composite toe and non-slip soles are safe options. Lighter footwear may be preferred by tree climbers. Before you use your new boots, make sure they are properly broken in.

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How to Cut Down a Small Tree With a Chainsaw

1. Plan ahead

The most important thing to keep in mind before cutting trees is that you want to plan ahead. You certainly don’t want to get hurt, and you don’t want the tree falling onto your house or garage. It takes planning to keep both of these things from happening. 

First, take a look at where the tree is located and what’s around it. Check for not only structures but also power lines, fences or anything else that could possibly be damaged.

If there is a road close by where the tree might fall, set up some warning signs just in case some debris ends up in the road. If you’ve never done this before, it helps to have someone with experience around, as they should be able to more closely predict any danger or things you’ll want to keep in mind before getting started.

Then, clear out the area around the base of the tree. Remove any undergrowth, fallen limbs, or branches. It’s important that you can get to the tree from every angle without stepping over or tripping over anything. Make sure there are no obstacles within the distance of two times the height of the tree.

2. Clear The Area

Once you have your plan in place, now it is time to consider the surrounding area. Make sure everyone who is near the tree understands what you are doing. To ensure that the tree falls safely, you may put up warning signs around the area.

This is done by determining the area of the fallen zone. Do not be deceived into believing that the tree is smaller than its actual size. To get an idea of the distance the tree will travel when it hits the ground, you can use trick with the axe.

Hold an axe blade at arm’s reach in front of you and face the tree. Close one eye. Slowly, and slowly, move away from the tree. Once the handle is level with the tree’s top, the base of your tree will appear level with the bottom end of the ax. This is how far it will fall.

Once you have determined the area and direction of the fell, you can choose two escape routes in case things go wrong. You’re now safer and more prepared to learn how to trim small trees with a chainsaw.

3. Make your cuts at a comfortable height

Don’t feel the need to squat down and cut close to the ground right away. You can make your initial cuts, let the tree fall, and then cut down the remaining bit to a stump. Use a stance that is comfortable for you to hold throughout the entire cut. It’s safer to have a good handle on the chainsaw and prioritize cutting in the right spot so that the tree falls where you want.

4. Cut a wedge on the same side 

The first cut was horizontal and about halfway through the tree. Sometimes, it could be 2/3. The chainsaw should be used to make the cut. Do not use a sawing motion. Next, cut at a lower angle than the first, approximately 60 degrees, and at a depth where the two cuts meet. The tree should be cut in a wedge shape.

how to cut down a small tree with a chainsaw
5. Make a third cut on the opposite side

You should position yourself so that you are not directly under or on the opposite side of the felling area. Although it seems logical to do this, if the tree falls backwards, you won’t want to be there.

You will need to make another horizontal cut a few inches above the original one. However, don’t go all the way across the cut lines. The tree will begin to fall due to the fact that the chainsaw will cut the base of it. It will look a bit like a hinge. I was a little nervous when this part happened because K and his dad have ZERO FEAR getting up in the action and pushed on the tree (which I’m not sure you’re supposed to do, but I let it go).

6. Cut the stump

The cutting trees will move away from the tree as they are cut. After it is down, remove the trunk and turn it into a stump.

7. Cut firewood logs

Cut off the smaller branches first until you have a clean section for making into logs. Elevate it off the ground slightly. Get most of the way through and slow as you get to the end of the cut (otherwise, the cut will give way and send the tip of your chainsaw into the dirt).

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