November 21, 2011 @ 12:08 PM

A tree can be a dangerous thing, especially when it is dead and standing right next to your house. Cutting down a dead or diseased tree is one of those things in life that fits under the category of undesired necessities, and many people are inclined to try to save money by doing it themselves. This is not recommended: cutting down a tree without bringing damage to person or property involves skill and experience. However, if you are determined to learn how to cut down a large tree and attempt it on your own, here are the things in which you need to arm yourself to execute the job safely and successfully.

Safety Gear

Before explaining how to cut big trees, first we must present the list of safety gear and precautions.  Wear a hard hat to protect the head from falling branches. Protective goggles  are required to protect eyes from flying wood produced from a working chainsaw. Hearing protection will also protect ears form a working chainsaw. Protect arms and legs with sturdy shirt and pants, and steel-toe boots are recommended to protect feet from heavy pieces of tree which could come crashing down on them.

Preparing to Cut

Before applying chainsaw to tree trunk, it is important to pre-plan how the tree needs to come down, so to bring the least amount of damage to the tree and to everything else surrounding it.  Determine the direction you want the tree to fall. If there is no direction that proves good for accommodating the coming down of a tree, then the tree needs to be taken down in sections. For this, call a professional tree service that is bonded for such maneuvers. If there are power lines in any direction of a tree where, if the tree should fall in an undesired direction, might hit the power lines, then call a professional tree service and do not attempt to cut down the tree on your own. Lastly, call your homeowner’s insurance company. Make sure, if this tree is close to your house, that you are covered by your homeowner’s insurance just in case things don’t go as expected and the tree falls on, say, your garage.

Cutting Technique

There are a few different techniques for performing cuts, and it is best to review OSHA’s guidelines to determine the best one for the job. Go to osha.gov/SLTC/etools/logging/manual/felling.html to access a host of resources and information to help you make this determination.

Finally, and with much emphasis, we further stress that it is best to have a professional tree service take care of your tree removal needs. Learning how to cut big trees is interesting and an adventure, and sure, it does not take rocket-science-level intelligence to become competent at the task, but there are many dangers that only experience can teach, and gaining experience on how to fell a tree has a rather unforgiving learning curve. Having a cut tree land on your garage will provide you a valuable lesson for sure, but one that you will wish had been avoided. Hiring a professional and bonded tree removal specialist is the smartest thing you can do.