16 Things to Not Do When Cutting Down a Trees

Things to Not Do When Cutting Down a Trees

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Using a chainsaw to cut down trees can be very dangerous. Therefore, today we want to talk about 16 things that you should not do when cutting down trees. If you follow all the tips listed below, you should be perfectly safe.

1. Don’t Use a Sub-Par Chainsaw

If you are cutting down trees, one of the worst things that you could do is use a chainsaw that isn’t in its prime. You need a chainsaw that is in top-notch condition with all pieces functioning properly.

The chain and all of the other pieces need to be in good condition, they need to be able to move easily, and all of the pieces must function properly together. If your chainsaw needs repairs, repair it first, and if that’s not possible, get a new one.

2. Don’t Forget Your Safety Gear

Chainsaws are extremely dangerous and powerful tools. Therefore, you should absolutely not forget your safety gear. This means that you need to wear special chainsaw pants that will prevent the blade from penetrating your legs in the event of an accident. You then also want to wear an ideal helmet, as well as eye protection. Additionally, you should wear steel-toed boots that are resistant to being cut, as well as a long sleeve shirt, preferably one that is designed specifically for use with chainsaws.

3. Don’t Start Without Knowing What You Are Doing

Another big mistake that so many people make is just winging it. If you have no idea how to safely cut down a large tree, don’t even bother starting. You need to know how to cut every single branch, the stem, and more.

Cutting down a large tree is extremely dangerous and requires the utmost caution. Not knowing how to cut down a tree can result in serious injury or even death.

4. Never Work Alone

Yet another one of the biggest mistakes that people make when cutting down trees is working alone. This is perhaps the biggest mistake of all. The fact of the matter is that you need to have someone there with you, preferably about 10 feet behind you.

You need someone there who is going to let you know if there are any falling branches and who will let you know when the tree starts to fall down. This person should also be able to help if the worst were to happen.

5. Don’t Lean The Ladder on a Tree

This item on our listen applies not when cutting down trees, but when cutting branches, and it is leaning the ladder against the tree when pruning. This is an absolutely horrible idea because branches can snap and swing back at you if they have a lot of tension on them.

They may knock the ladder down right off of the tree. Moreover, there is always a chance that the ladder slips off of the tree, and you fall down along with a moving chainsaw.

If you have no way to secure your ladder properly, you might want to consider using a pole saw instead of a chainsaw.

6. Never Lose Grip of the Saw

Additionally, so many newbies take their hands off of the chainsaw while it is running. You might think that one hand is enough to hold the chainsaw in place steadily while making a cut, but this is not the case at all.

If it kicks back at you, you need that second hand to stabilize it and prevent it from hitting you. You always need to have your hands wrapped around both of the handles in order to have a secure grip on the tool.

7. Never Forget to Fill It Up

A lot of people also forget to fill up the oil or gas before starting a job with their chainsaw. This is of course a big mistake because it can be very dangerous to stop cutting down a tree right in the middle of the job. Simply put, always check your chainsaw first to see that it has enough oil and gas to finish the job at hand.

8. Never Use a Dull Chainsaw

Another one of the biggest mistakes that so many people make when cutting down trees is that they use dull chainsaws. A lot of people may not realize that those chains go dull, but this does happen.

If you use your chainsaw too much without sharpening it, its condition will deteriorate. This increases the chances of the chainsaw kicking back when you are cutting through a tough tree.

This, therefore, increases the chances of you suffering an injury. Always make sure that your chainsaw is sharp and that you maintain it on a regular basis.

9. Never Cut Down a Rotten Tree

One of the most dangerous things that you could possibly do when cutting down a tree is to cut down a rotten tree. Rotten trees have loose limbs above, and those can fall down on you as the tree shakes and is being cut.

Moreover, if the center or the trunk of the tree is rotten, then you just have no idea how it is going to fall. If it falls in a direction that you weren’t expecting, you could injure or kill someone, or wreck your house. Therefore, never cut down a rotten tree. If a tree is rotten, always call in professionals to do it for you.

10. Don’t Work Around Power Lines or Structures

You don’t want to cut trees down around buildings or infrastructure, especially if you aren’t a pro. If the tree falls in a way that you weren’t expecting, you could damage or wreck your whole house.

If this is the case, you certainly want to hire a professional. This is even more so the case if you are cutting down trees around power lines. Not only do you risk damaging the power lines, but there is of course also a risk of electrocution involved here.

11. Never Forget to Check Chainsaw Tension

One thing you should never forget to do is to check the chain solid tension before you start. If you have a very new chainsaw, that new chain needs to be checked and tightened around 20 minutes after the first use.

Moreover, after that, the chain should be checked for tension around every hour of use. If the chain is too loose around the bar, they can literally fly off. Of course, a chain moving at high speed that then flies off the bar can cause serious injury or even death. A loose chain also just isn’t good for the bar itself.

12. Never Pinch the Saw

If you are cutting a tree that has already been felled and want to cut it into smaller pieces, if you cut too far through that branch, and it’s not supported on either side, it’s going to pinch the chainsaw. If the chainsaw gets pinched, there is a serious risk of kickback and other issues occurring. Therefore, you always want to place something under the piece being cut off to prevent it from sagging down and pinching the chainsaw.

13. Never Cut in the Kickback Zone

Another big mistake that so many people make when first using chainsaws is that they cut using the kickback zone. The kickback zone is in the top half of the tip of the bar. If this zone comes into contact with anything when the chain is moving, the saw is going to kick back and upwards towards you.

This can obviously be extremely dangerous. This is why most modern chainsaws have a chain brake system designed to stop the chain from moving in the event that kickback happens.

14. Don’t Cut into the Ground

Yet another mistake that so many newbies make is that when they are cutting a tree that has already been cut down, they tend to cut into the ground with the chainsaw.

It might not seem like dirt and other such objects would have a huge effect on such a sturdy tool, but this is actually not the case. If you do start cutting into the ground, that chain is going to get very dull very quickly, and that can then pose risks of its own.

15. Never Leave the Stump Behind

Although it’s not a huge necessity, you really don’t want to leave the stump behind. Tree stumps just don’t look very nice. There are special stump killers designed to make the wood rot quickly, so you can then just chop away at it with an ax. You can then also use a power stump grinder to get rid of anything that remains.

16. Never Use a Chainsaw That Is Too Small

If you are cutting a very large tree, using a chainsaw where the bar and the chain aren’t even as long as the diameter of the tree, you are going to run into some big problems. You can’t use a small chainsaw for a large tree. It just won’t work.


There you have it people, 16 things that you should never do with a chainsaw. If you follow all of these tips, your tree-felling projects should go much better.