Removing a Tree from Your Yard

by April Reinhardt
(last updated October 14, 2015)

If you have a tree that is dead or dying, and if you own the property on which the tree grows, then you may consider removing the tree. Before you grab an axe or a chainsaw to do the job yourself, however, take a moment and read these tips for removing a tree from your yard:

  • Examine the entire space around the tree first. Look for overhead wires, other trees in close proximity, buildings, vehicles, and roadways where the tree may fall when you fell it. Make sure that the area is entirely clear before you attempt to remove a tree.
  • If the tree is situated on a hill, consider which way the tree will fall when you cut it. Determine the lay and make sure that the lay ground is smooth so that the tree won't bounce or roll when it falls.
  • Do you have the right to remove the tree? Check property lines and records before you make the first cut. Talk with your neighbors about how they may feel about you removing the tree, even if the tree is on your property.
  • You may need to check with the local utility companies before removing your tree, especially if you have to dig out the stump. It would be unfortunate, and costly, to hit a water line, but it might be fatal to hit a gas line.
  • Check the base of your tree to determine if any part of it is hollow. If it is a large base, it may take a long time to fell the tree. If it is a large hollow base, however, the wood will be brittle and won't take long to fell.
  • Use a chainsaw to fell a small tree with a small trunk. If you've a very large tree, use an axe to make several notched cuts at 45-degree angles, in the direction of the lay. Cut a bottom notch, and then a top notch on the same angle, to meet the depth of the first cut. Make another notch on the opposite side of the tree to make the falling cut, and then get out of the way—fast!

When felling a tree, even a small tree, it's best to plan an escape route to prevent injury, harm, or death. After making the first cuts, and before making the falling cut, scope out the area and make sure that you have removed all implements or anything else that might be in your running path. Make the final falling cut, throw down the chainsaw or axe, and then run away from the direction of the lay. Even if the tree does not fall immediately, it will fall eventually after making the final cut. If you need to revisit the tree to make a deeper falling cut, make sure that you don't walk into the path of the lay.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

MORE FROM APRIL

Treating Dandruff

Affecting people worldwide, with no distinction to social class or region, dandruff can be damaging to self esteem and ...

Discover More

Storing Your Gardening Tools

If you don't have a shed or a garage to store your tools, consider using the space under your back deck or the crawl ...

Discover More

Building Gingerbread Houses

If time is limited, and if you're on a budget, consider making your gingerbread house using graham crackers. Use a can of ...

Discover More
More Gardening Tips

How to Transplant a Tree

Transplanting a tree is a little more involved that digging a hole and plopping it in. A few extra considerations come ...

Discover More

Basic Principles of Pruning

Pruning is one of the most basic methods that you have of taking care of your plants, shrubs, and trees. However, not ...

Discover More

Removing Dead Wood

Dead wood on your tree can be unsightly, and can also make fruit trees not grow as well. You do not need to remove dead ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 8?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured gardening tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)