Dead or infected trees can harm healthy trees in your yard and cause power line or property damage. So, property owners often have to take care of the mammoth task of tree pruning and cutting.

However, while cutting trees, people often make mistakes if they’re not experts. To ensure complete safety, you must know how to cut trees, what gear and tools to use, and more.

In this regard, I must stress that it’s best to hire a professional tree removal company. They follow key tree pruning rules while removing weak branches or cutting down trees from the stump.

However, if you choose to handle it yourself, you must follow certain safety measures. Keep reading to know how to avoid common mistakes while cutting down trees.

How NOT to Cut Down a Tree: 6 Common Mistakes to Avoid

Cutting down trees involves proper tools and safety gear. It also involves knowledge of making cuts and handling tools appropriately.

Below are the common mistakes that you must avoid:

1. Ignoring Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Cutting down trees means dealing with large tools, massive pieces of wood, sawdust, and noise. So, it’s important to be outfitted with the right PPE.

Do not ignore the importance of the following:

  • Safety glasses to protect your eyes from debris or tree branches
  • A hard hat (helmet) integrated with a face screen and hearing protection
  • A pair of gloves specially designed for chainsaw users or professional arborists
  • Steel-toed boots to protect your feet from sharp gear and falling tree remains
  • A safety vest and harness to protect you and distribute your body weight evenly (strapped on tight to avoid getting caught by branches or tools).

2. Using Faulty or Wrong Tools

Amateur tree cutters often choose the largest chainsaw. But if the tool is too long for your tree, it will likely cause more kickback.

The impact may push you backward fast or cause the chainsaw to slip out of the trunk while cutting. So, choosing a massive chainsaw will simply set you up for major accidents.

In addition, using a faulty or dull tool can make the process harder. You’ll need to put in more force, and there will be more clogging.

Avoid this mistake by ensuring that your chainsaw is sharp and well-maintained. Also, pick a tool suitable for the size of your tree.

3. Holding the Chainsaw Wrong

DIYers may hold the chainsaw upside down while making the top cut of the hinge. Doing so can increase the possibility of a kickback if the saw tip hits the ground.

The immediate kickback caused by the running chainsaw can cause serious injuries. It’s best to hold the chainsaw the right way to avoid this problem.

It also offers better control while operating the device. Speaking of control, it’s important to hold the chainsaw with both hands.

Not maintaining a firm grip on the running machine can cause rotational kickback. Holding the chainsaw with both hands lets you absorb the tool’s forces (push, pull, and kickback).

4. Not Making Proper Cuts or Notches

Amateurs make incorrect directional notches to make a hinge where the tree separates from the stump. The steps you need to follow while you start cutting a tree are:

  • Start by making the bottom cut of the hinge in a straight line.
  • Make the angled top cut of the hinge.
  • From the back, mark an even line that meets the bottom cut of the hinge.
  • Make the backside cut along this line to reach the bottom cut of the hinge.

Be careful not to make the backside cut higher than the bottom cut of the hinge to avoid improper tree falling. It will also ensure that there are no spurs or an uneven stump surface.

5. Improper Fall Path Planning

Once a tree is cut, it needs a clean fall path without obstructions. Otherwise, it can collide with properties, power lines, other trees, vehicles, etc.

Therefore, it’s crucial to plan the tree’s fall path accurately. Unfortunately, DIYers don’t always have the expertise to plan the path properly.

A well-planned fall ensures that the cut-down tree lands in the right direction and doesn’t cause accidents. An unplanned fall can also make the post-cutting cleanup process difficult.

To avoid this problem, access the tree’s natural lean and height and clear the possible path of obstacles. It’s also a wise idea to establish two escape routes at 45 degrees from the fall path.

6. Underestimating Tree Cutting

The biggest mistake that homeowners make is not understanding the tree-cutting process. They underestimate the complexity of the procedure and overestimate their own skills.

Cutting down a tree means analyzing its size, type, health conditions, and surroundings. You must also know about important tricks like cutting trees in winter/fall or cutting lower branches before they fall off.

Don’t be overconfident about your abilities, and take any risk of accidents into account. Just because you took shop classes in school doesn’t mean you can cut down a tree.

To avoid severe injuries, start practicing on small trees under the supervision of an experienced person or a professional. However, the best thing to do is hire professional services to do the job.

Contact Stumps ‘R’ Us

Do you want to cut down trees in your yard – or prune them? Do you want to hire professionals at affordable services?

Then, we’re here for you. Our services include tree cutting, pruning, and removal. We’re equipped with a team of experts who know and implement proper techniques.

Tree Services Near Me

They’re protected by Workers’ Compensation and liability insurance and have top-of-the-line tools. So contact us today to fulfill your tree-cutting needs.

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