How To Cut Tree On Ground With a Chainsaw

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Did you just buy a new chainsaw, and you’re wondering how to cut trees and wooden logs on the ground? If yes, then this blog is the place to be.

Cutting trees on ground with a chainsaw is actually easy as long as you know the right procedure. The right way to cut trees on the ground includes identifying the felling area of the trees first, clearing the felling area, performing a thorough tree analysis, making perfect notches in the trees, and ultimately cutting the trees by making clean cuts. Before starting work, remember the wear the necessary safety gear.

In this article, you will get to know all about cutting trees on ground, reasons to cut down trees, how to cut tree on ground with a chainsaw, and more. Stick around to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Felling or cutting trees on the ground for beginners

Finally, you have decided to try out your hidden handyman skills. However, trying your first-ever cut could be a daunting task, even though it doesn’t need to be. You can easily cut a tree on the ground standing in your yard without worrying.

Here, you will find the easiest guide on how to cut a tree on the ground using a chainsaw. Remember to collect the necessities, make your first cut, and fall trees on the ground. If you aren’t familiar with the term “felling wood”, then it means cutting down a tree.

If there is one thing that chainsaws are known for, then it is cutting down trees. The act of cutting down trees is often referred to as “felling”. However, before going out and felling trees on your own, it is essential to learn how to do it safely.

Felling trees isn’t as simple as cutting straight through the tree trunks. Having the wrong or improper technique can be incredibly dangerous. You wouldn’t want the tree to fall on a car, house, or worse. In fact, felling full-sized trees must be left to the professionals who are properly trained, have the right equipment, and have commercial liability insurance.

Reasons for cutting down trees on the ground

You must consult an arborist if you are uncertain if the selected tree is a suitable candidate for removal. Most healthy trees offer great protection from the sun, soil erosion, and wind shear. Yet, there are many reasons why felling trees on your property makes perfect sense for practical or safety reasons.

  • The tree has partially fallen or has been damaged and isn’t safe
  • The tree isn’t healthy or has died (fungal, bacterial, or viral diseases)
  • The tree seems to be too close to your home’s foundation or any other structure (roots or branch concerns)
  • It isn’t suitable for the climate, is invasive, or could be overpopulating the area 
  • You require a decent source of wood for fires or projects and replant the trees you’ve cut 
  • You own a tree removal business 

Tools and safety considerations for cutting trees

Make sure that you are wearing all the necessary safety gear and have the proper equipment to help prevent injury while complying with OSHA standards. Protective boots, hearing protection, chainsaw chaps, eye protection, and more are important items to wear when felling a tree. Chainsaw chaps are important as approximately 35% of chainsaw injuries take place to the knees and lower legs.

The right way to protect yourself and keep yourself safe would be by wearing the following protective gear. 

  • Logger helmet – Also known as a chainsaw helmet, it will protect you from sudden branches or twigs falling or any other injuries during tree felling 
  • Gloves – Gloves are solely meant for protecting your hands from getting hurt by wood tips or chainsaw 
  • Earmuffs – Earmuffs are essential for protecting your hearing abilities while also keeping you safe from losing your hearing 
  • Chaps – Protect your legs from being injured by the chainsaw chain or while you’re sitting on the ground to cut logs
  • Sunscreen – You wouldn’t want to burn yourself in the sunlight, would you? This is why you should apply sunscreen on your face before you cut the tree.

After wearing the necessary safety gear, you should carry out the necessary steps like picking up the chainsaw, the felling wedge, and more.

How to cut tree on ground with a chainsaw

Here, you will get to know how to cut a large tree on the ground using a chainsaw. So follow the below-mentioned steps and get started with the cutting.

Step 1: Identify the felling area for the trees

Usually, this will depend on where you want the trees to fall. However, estimating the space that a tree takes up after felling is important. This way, you can keep people or animals away from this area. Moreover, you can also try to guess the area that a large tree would take.

An easy tip would be to use an ax with a handle. You must hold the ax in one hand and then start walking backward. Stop where you’re feeling, the tip of the ax handle equals the treetop, while the ax bottom equals the tree base. The tree will most probably take up this much space.

Step 2: Clear out the felling area

Instead of taking risks, it would be better to take your time and clean out the area around the tree to avoid any mishaps. Ensure that you’re clear both ways, opposite to the tree felling area. In case you have to run after cutting, you wouldn’t want to experience any trips or slips. Remember to keep the two ways away from one another at around 45°. 

Step 3: Analyze the tree thoroughly

Do not start cutting the tree just like that. You should calmly stand in front of the tree and look around for all the branches or hedges. Check if any are broken, dead, or semi-attached. Identify the side on which you’re fine with the tree falling. Mark the area where you’re comfortable and then begin cutting.

An important tip to consider would be to remove the maximum branches from the side that you’re about to cut (opposite to the felling side). The reduced load on the cutting side would lead the free to fall in the opposite direction.

Step 4: Make the perfect notch

Your first cut needs to define a proper notch. Therefore, according to the rule of thumb, your notch must be one-fifth of the total tree diameter. Now, you should make the following cuts –

  1. Notch cut 1: Make the first cut from the top at a 60° angle 
  2. Notch cut 2: Make a cut from the bottom side of the notch with a 30° angle 

Continue cutting the bottom until it meets the other end and wait for the wedges to come out.

  1. Felling cut – Now, you should start cutting from the opposite side of the notch. Make the horizontal cut all the way to the notch at a 180° angle.

A smart tip would be to place a felling wedge between the felling cut to avoid the chainsaw pinching.

A professional logger cutting a tree on the ground

Step 5: Limbing and bucking the tree

Once you start seeing the tree falling down, it would be time to start bucking a tree on the ground and do some limbing.


Start off by cutting the tree’s branches from the bottom to the top. You must be facing towards the left side and the treetop. It will help you with using the chainsaw effectively while also cutting branches from the bottom and sides.


Once you’ve removed the branches from the log, it is time to cut it into a usable form, like firewood. For that purpose, you must cut the tree at specific intervals and continue rolling until you separate the firewood from each other.

How to cut small trees in your garden using a chainsaw

You can easily cut a tree in your garden or any small tree with a chainsaw by following these steps –

  • Gather your gear and select the area where you’re looking to cut the tree without the fear of breaking anything or hurting someone
  • Clean the area around your tree for instincts like broken branches, falling twigs, or other dangerous obstacles 
  • Find a comfortable height and then mark the part that you want to start cutting (you wouldn’t need to make yourself uncomfortable with different tree levels)
  • Make the first cut horizontally (around 2/3rd of the tree) and make the second cut by moving the chainsaw downward (60°)
  • Make sure that the two cuts create a wedge-like shape 
  • Ensure that you’re moving yourself to the safe side (opposite the tree-felling area)
  • Make the last cut on the opposite side of the last two cuts and begin cutting from one inch above the horizontal cut
  • Push the tree on the same side and ultimately, it will fall apart
How To Cut Down A Tree


Can you cut tree roots using a chainsaw?

For cutting the tree roots, you will require a pruning chainsaw. First, you should dig around the tree and make a hole. Continue digging until you see the roots. After that, carefully cut the roots with the chainsaw in an upward direction. Lastly, take out the roots and fill the hole again.

Can you cut down a tree with an electric chainsaw?

Yes, it is possible to cut down a tree with an electric chainsaw as long as the tree is small or medium-sized. As electric chainsaws are corded and or battery-operated, they’re less effective in making high-profile cuts. Therefore, if you’re looking to cut larger trees, it would be better to use a gas-powered chainsaw. However, you can still give it a shot at cutting small or medium-sized trees with an electric chainsaw.

Is it legal to cut fallen trees?

Everything within a wood, including logs and fallen branches, is the property of the owner of the land. This means that removing any trees or logs without consent will be considered theft. Make sure that you are having the consent of the wood owner before you decide to remove any wood.

Can a neighbor make you cut down a tree?

It would be within the rights of your neighbor to make you cut branches that are overhanging into their garden if they’re coming into their area. You can also remove the bits on their side of the boundary if their land is getting affected. If they want you to cut your tree or hedges because they don’t like the way the area looks, it’ll be up to you whether you want to do it or not.

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Hi, I'm Mike - but my friends call me Backyard Mike. I'm the founder of this website, and I'm addicted to outdoor power tools. I love to work with wood and share my knowledge here on this website with you. You can find more about me here.