How to safely remove a tree?

There are many reasons why you may want to remove a tree, from it blocking the light, to it getting too close to your home, or even just because you don’t like it. You may even have a diseased tree that needs to be brought down. Whatever the issue, the closer it is to your property, or that of your neighbors, the more careful you’ll need to be.

How to safely remove a tree

Of course, the safest way is to contact a tree lopping or felling specialist, for a small fee they’ll remove the tree for you. However, they have special tools, you may not be able to repeat their approach when you try to remove the tree yourself.

Dig It Out

If the tree is small then you may be able to dig it out. This means the tree is short enough to be handled, simply dig a big hole around the roots and pull the tree until it comes out. The great thing about this method is that you can replant the tree somewhere else. However, this approach, although very safe, won’t work with a larger tree. To dig that out you’ll need a bulldozer which is not always an option.

Cutting It Down

The most obvious second choice is to chop the tree down. People commonly use chainsaws for this although it is possible to do it with a hand saw. The trick when removing a tree is to cut a notch out of the tree, this should be on the side you want the tree to fall. The notch reduces the strength of the tree trunk and encourages it to fall into the gap.

How to safely remove a tree - pulling a tree

Once you have your notch you can start sawing the tree normally from the notched side, in a straight line just below the notch. As you get to the halfway point the tree should start to sag. In theory it will drop into the gap created by your notch, encouraging it to fall where you want it to. However, although this is good in theory, there is no guaranteed that it will fall where you want it to. That’s why you need people on hand to help you to remove a tree.


A great way of safely removing a tree is to start cutting its branches first. You’ll probably need a ladder for this and you’ll have to cut above the ladder, not below it. By taking off the higher branches you’ll have more control regarding where the tree is going to fall and reduce the risk of damaging other houses.

In fact, if the tree is massive and there are buildings around, you’ll find it best to chop the tree into smaller sections before trying to bring the main stem down. Don’t forget, when planning to fell trees, it is essential that you have an escape route mapped out first. This is the route you take if anything goes wrong and the tree is heading for you.

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