How to Cut a Small Tree Down Without a Chainsaw: Simple Steps



Cut a Small Tree Down Without a Chainsaw

To cut down a small tree without a chainsaw, use a handsaw or bow saw, make a V-cut on the tree’s fall side, then a horizontal cut on the opposite side.

Need to remove a small tree from your yard but don’t have a chainsaw? No problem! Our guide will show you how to do it safely and efficiently using alternative methods.

While chainsaws are powerful tools for cutting down trees, they are not always available or practical for everyone. Whether due to cost, safety concerns, or the lack of necessity for a single job, you may find yourself needing to cut down a tree without one. This tutorial will provide you with a step-by-step approach to felling a small tree using manual tools and techniques that prioritize safety and efficiency.

What You Will Need

Bow Saw or Hand SawMaking the initial cuts and felling the tree
Axe or HatchetAssisting with larger cuts and trunk splitting
Loppers or PrunersTrimming small branches and clearing the work area
Rope or Pull LineDirecting the fall of the tree
Safety GearProtective equipment like gloves, goggles, and a hard hat

Preparation Steps

  1. Assess the Tree: Determine the natural direction of fall, check for instability or decay, and plan an escape route.
  2. Clear the Area: Remove any obstacles from the base and along the fall path of the tree to prevent trip hazards and ensure a clean drop.
  3. Prepare Tools: Ensure all the tools are sharp and in good working condition.
  4. Wear Safety Gear: Put on your gloves, goggles, and hard hat before beginning the work.

Cutting Technique

  1. Make a Notch Cut: Create a V-shaped notch on the side of the tree that faces the direction you want the tree to fall.
  2. Begin the Felling Cut: On the opposite side of the notch, begin cutting slightly above the point of the V. This will be your felling cut.
  3. Insert a Wedge: If you’re using an axe, you can insert a wedge into the felling cut to keep the saw from getting pinched.
  4. Monitor Tree Movement: As you cut, regularly check for movement and be prepared to retreat along your planned escape route.
  5. Completing the Cut: Continue the felling cut until the tree begins to lean, then step back quickly and safely.

Note: In case the tree does not fall, a pull line might be necessary to apply force in the correct direction. This should be done carefully and possibly with help from others.

Post-Felling Cleanup

Once the tree is down, use your loppers or pruners to remove branches starting from the lower end working your way up. Cut the trunk into manageable sections using the bow saw or axe, depending on the diameter. Make sure the tree parts are disposed of properly, per local guidelines or recycling options, or repurpose them for personal use where possible.

Learn: How Often to Sharpen Chainsaw Chain

Safety Tips

  • Never turn your back on a falling tree.
  • Avoid cutting alone – always have someone nearby in case of emergency.
  • Ensure no one else is within twice the height of the tree being felled.
  • Inspect your tools before and after the job for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Be aware of your physical limits to avoid strain or injury.

Your next chainsaw adventure begins with our informative articles in the Knowledge section at Chainsaw Hive.

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