Tree Removal and Tree Cutting: Tools and Effective Methods

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As innovation progresses, there have been some advanced tools in the market related to professional tree removal or tree cutting. If you know an expert lumberjack, you will usually find some of these tools and their variations in his garage or backyard. In this article, we will also go through some effective techniques to safely cut trees or remove them completely.

Most Common Tools Used to Cut Trees

When it comes to cutting trees, a wide selection of tools and equipment is available to get different jobs done and to make the process as easy and as simple as possible. Since the tool aisle in the hardware store looks like a historic museum exhibit display but without signs or explanations of what they are meant for, we decided to go over some of the gear commonly used in tree cutting.

4 Most Common Tools Used to Cut Trees

A Saw

Chances are, when you think of cutting trees, a saw or chainsaw is the first tool that comes to mind immediately. Chainsaws and handsaws are the most commonly used tools to cut trees because they are pretty straightforward in use and make cutting a tree computer game easy. Nevertheless, you still need to know that not every saw will be able to take on any tree. The larger the tree, the bigger and the more powerful the saw you will need. A handsaw for example is good for cutting twigs and new shoots, but a wide tree might be a little too much for it to handle. In this case, electric chainsaws become handy, which also come in a few variations and sizes, depending on the intended use. The most powerful chainsaw is gas-powered. They are used to take down very large and hard trees. For medium to small-sized trees, a battery-powered or electric chainsaw will do. Also, for cutting twigs and small branches higher up the tree, a pole saw (electric powered chainsaw with a long pole-like handle) will be more useful, as you will not even need to climb a ladder to chop a few branches off and create a little more space under the tree.

An Axe

The axe is probably the second, and for some of us who grew up watching  “The Wizard of Oz”, probably the first tool that comes to mind when thinking about cutting trees or chopping wood. And rightfully so, because the axe has been around since the dawn of time specifically made for felling trees and chopping wood. While modern technology introduced the chainsaw, the axe remains an effective tool in cutting trees, since it’s inexpensive, comes in a variety of sizes, is easy to store and transport, and does not require gas or electricity to use.

A Wedge

A wedge is a tool that is used to insert into the cut in the tree trunk to control the direction of the fall. It also helps to prevent the bar and the chain from getting pinched and stuck during the process of cutting. Wedges also come in a variety of sizes and a few of them used together are effective when you want to fell a tree in your preferred direction.

A Hatchet

The hatchet is a small axe meant to cut twigs and small shoots. Unlike its heavier brother, the hatchet can cut a thin shoot or a branch with one swing using one hand.  

Effective Methods to Cut or Remove Trees

It is always better to keep the tree on the property, as it adds so many benefits to our existence by keeping the yard cool on a sunny day and regulating the moisture of the soil. However, sometimes despite all the effort, the tree cannot be saved and eventually it has to be removed. In order to do so safely, professionals use several methods that we will discuss below. But remember, it takes skills, experience, and the right equipment to remove the tree without incidents and unwanted consequences. Anyways, without any further ado, the following are the most common tree removal methods as practiced by professionals:

Tree Removal and Tree Cutting: Effective Methods to Cut or Remove Trees


Local government recommend that felling is the most common process of cutting down trees. It involves cutting the tree at its base and effectively letting it free-fall in a safe direction. This can be done manually with the use of an axe, if a tree is not too large, or with the use of a chainsaw if the base of a tree is larger than 10 inches in diameter. Nevertheless, a very large tree cannot be removed by this method, since there is not enough space for it to fall without causing damage to the surroundings. This method of tree removal normally is not used in the urban environment, unless the people who perform the job are inexperienced, as there are always structures around that can get damaged in the process and it is more suitable for logging. 


In dismantling, a professional tree climber will climb the tree and remove it section by section, first cutting the large limbs and branches around the trunk starting from the bottom, until he reaches the very top, which he also cuts down and slowly lowers using ropes. Never at any point of the process a tree limb or a branch is allowed to free fall, every cut piece is slowly lowered to the ground. This method is used to cut very large trees and trees within the city limits and the yards of the residential houses, as it allows for more control over the process and helps to avoid potential damage to any structures around.

Using an Arborist Crane

In cases of very tall trees with heavy crowns and large branches and limbs, a crane is used to lift the arborist up, so he can safely dismantle the tree section by section. A crane is also used to slowly lower the logs to the ground after they are cut because they are way too heavy for any man to successfully secure and hold them using just ropes. Also, a crane can aid during the clean-up process, when large limbs, branches, logs, and parts of the tree crown must be cleared from the area and loaded on the truck as well as during stump removal when the stump is lifted off the ground by a crane, while the roots are being manually dug out. As you can see, a crane is a very useful piece of equipment, but it requires experience to operate.

What’s Next?

Do you already have the tools to become an expert lumberjack? Or would you, perhaps like to meet someone with a vast collection of tree-cutting tools? Most of us in The Tree Dudes are tree-cutting tools enthusiasts, enough to passionately provide tree care services to people who are in need. Feel free to find out more through our services page.

The next in this series of arborist tutorials would be all about completely removing the last part of the tree, the stump! Find out more by visiting this link. Part 6: Stump Removal Techniques

Other parts of this Tree Removal and Tree Cutting series: 

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