Cut Down a Tree and Clear Foliage in 6 Easy Steps

Chain SawsOne usually associates work, such as tree felling, limbing, pruning branches and removing foliage as long, drawn out hard manual work. However, the use of a chainsaw speeds up the work considerably and makes it easier as well.

Chainsaw Types

The first action is to get yourself a chainsaw. Chainsaws come in many shapes and sizes, and the best one depends on the task to be done.

  • Bar Blade Chainsaws: Chainsaws with a bar type blade is best suited for basic tasks. For best output, the bar has to be at least a one third size longer than the tree or log.
  • Electric Chainsaws: These are best suited for small trimming tasks.
  • Gasoline Chainsaws: These are most suited for large-scale work, which require heavy felling and clearing.

When getting a chainsaw, select the one most appropriate for the task to be carried out.

Process of Pruning a Tree with a Chainsaw

  1. Sharpen the Blade: Regardless of the chainsaw selected, make sure to fine-tune the bar and ensure a sharp blade. For large scale work, it is a good idea to have a filing kit handy, to sharpen the blade as required in the midst of the work.
  2. Check for Obstructions: Before starting the actual work, estimate the felling zone for medium to large trees. If there is a shed or other immovable objects in the felling zone, the felling may have to be done in stages, starting from higher elevations.
  3. The Safest Way to Cut: It is safer to cut from either the top or bottom of the bar and chain, but avoid the kickback zone, which is the top half of the bar’s tip. If this zone comes in contact with something when the chainsaw is in motion, the saw kicks back, which can cause serious injury. As an added safety measure, grip the handle by encircling it with the thumb around the front part of the handle.
  4. Clear Outgrowth and Foliage First: Cut the branches, outgrowth and foliage first before aiming for the trunk. For big trees, cut the branches from bottom to top.
  5. Begin Cutting from the Left Side of the Trunk: It is a safe practice to work from the left side of the trunk, as it allows resting the side or bottom of the saw on the trunk and slicing off the branches with a pivoting motion.
  6. Cutting the Trunk: Cut the trunk by making a downward cut, one-third the diameter of the trunk. Cutting straight down through a trunk may cause the weight of the trunk to pinch the bar and stop the chainsaw.

A Word of Caution

Regardless of the type of chainsaw used, leave sufficient room for cutting. A chainsaw getting in the way of power lines, nearby cars and buildings, or any other obstructions can create a big mess, and turn out to be dangerous for the operator.

About the Author

Tempe Thompson is a sales and inventory expert at Runyon Equipment Rental. She has over 35 years of experience and has accumulated a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise. She could talk for hours about how to use all of Runyon’s tools and equipment, in addition to suggesting which type corresponds to a certain application.

Categories: Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Post navigation

4 thoughts on “Cut Down a Tree and Clear Foliage in 6 Easy Steps

  1. Just 6 steps, I feel that using a chainsaw for pruning a tree is not complicated anymore because the order of steps is very clear. Thank you, Tempe Thompson! 

  2. Pingback: Getting Ready for Fall Part 1: Tree Trimming – A Seasonal Sport | Runyon Equipment Rental Blog

  3. Pingback: Top 10 Most Popular Runyon Equipment Rentals for Fall | Runyon Equipment Rental Blog

  4. Timothy Devries

    Good article, but you haven’t mentioned anything about personal safety!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: