How to Cut a Fallen Tree with a Chainsaw – Safest Way

A fallen tree can be dangerous and messy for your backyard beauty! So, you should cut that through, clear up the way, and collect some firewood. To do the job safely, you should learn how to cut a fallen tree with a chainsaw.

Well, in this article, you will learn to cut through a fallen tree like a pro. Just follow our step by step guide and avoid improvising anything.

Safety Precautions

how to cut a fallen tree with a chainsaw
  • Always keep in mind, “safety is paramount”. Do not try to gamble with safety while you are operating a gas chainsaw or an electric chainsaw.  You should take extra care of your hand, foot, body, head, and eyes.
  • It is recommended that you do not cut the tree alone. If it is impossible to get another sawer, then keep at least one attendance with you. The place of the sawing should be within the eyesight of the attendance.
  • Before you start your cut, make sure you have all the essential gears. Wear them to avoid any unwanted accidents. A list of the essential gears is given below:

Essential Sawing Gears

  • Full-sleeve Shirt
  • Logging Boots
  • Protective Gloves
  • Forestry Helmet
  •  Safety Goggles
  • Chainsaw Chaps
  • Cant Hook

Steps of Cutting a Fallen Tree with a Chainsaw

Below are the 5-steps that might help you to learn the cutting process. We have tried our best to keep these steps as easy as they could be. Happy reading!

Step-(1): Preparation & Calculation

Wearing safety gear belongs to the preparation step. Please, do not take any shortcuts here for your betterment.

A fallen tree can be either small or large and the way of falling/leaning to the grounds can be different. So, you have to take the preparation of cutting based on the conditions. Furthermore, you should plan and calculate the logs, branches depending on their usages. Say, you want to collect some firewood of 3 feet long. In this case, you have to make the cuts not exceeding 3 feet.

Again, imagine that you want to collect some logs to make furniture in the future. Here, you have to cut the tree into pieces that would match your furniture requirements. Well, the size and shape of the tree should match with your requirements. You cannot use premature trees for making any furniture.

Step-(2): Appropriate Cutting Stance

As a chainsaw user, you might know the term “kickback”. A kickback happens for several reasons. The kickback may result in a lethal accident if you remain unaware during your cuts. So, you have to be aware of the kickback and take appropriate stances depending on your cutting angle.

During the cuts, if the bottom of the saw bar contacts with the log, it pulls you toward the log. On the other hand, if the top of your saw blade connects with the log/branch, it throws you back. So, you cannot be unaware of these pulling/pushing effects of the chainsaw. You have to be prepared for either case.

What to do then? Just make a boxer’s stance during your cuts. If you are a right-handed person, bent your knee and place your left foot forward keeping your right foot backward. Always keep an eye for the blade of the saw and your boots/foot’s movement.

Step-(3): Cutting a Fallen Log

Any felled tree has some saw pinching areas that may pinch the saw during the cuts. It happens due to the compression and tension of the log. The upper part of the log has compression and the lower part has tension due to the leaning angle. So, your saw might be trapped if you cut through these areas. Avoid the areas and use hammer and drift in case your saw gets pinched.

To cut the tree, make two separate angles for a single cut. At first, cut the top half and then the bottom half of the same place to join the cut. This way will give you some relief from your saw pinching. But, if the log’s diameter is smaller or convenient for your saw bar, you may cut through directly. That is, starting from the top and finishing to the bottom.

Step-(4): Cutting Fallen Tree Branches

Limbing a tree would be easier if you can cut through all the branches the tree has. At first look for the smaller branches, those have a diameter below 3 inches. After that, head on to cut the bigger ones one by one. To cut the fallen branches, just make a tentative length and mark them. Then, cut through the branches maintaining an angle that won’t hurt you or make you fatigued.

To cut the fallen branches, cut through both sides in two independent shots. Each time try to overlap the other side’s cut. Thus, it will ease your cutting effort. Now, collect all the branches and put them away from your cutting areas. Pile them up maintaining good order so that they don’t produce any hazard during transportation.

Step-(5): Cutting a Bent Tree with Sapling/Branches

Sometimes a fallen tree may have sapling or branch under it. The bent branches will have a significant amount of energy stored in themselves. The standing part of the tree is pulling the bending part/branch of the tree. As a result, tension is there stored as energy inside the bent branch. Cutting these logs/branches will surely produce tremendous recoil force.  The force will make the tree spring upward or bow downward. Most importantly, it has enough energy even to kill you. To avoid any incident, you have to be extra careful.

To cut the bent sapling/branch, tie the top/narrower portion of the branch with the ground or other safe points. This will save you from unwanted jarking off of the tree branch. Then, make a cut close to the joining area of the straight and bent portions. Now, make several parallel cuts on the downside of the branch. After that, make a vertical cut to join those parallel cuts. Be extra watchful for this sort of cutting.

If the fallen tree is very large and you don’t have that much experience in cutting down, don’t do it on your own. Get someone experienced and pay them to cut through without giving a second thought. Your life is more valuable than anything else, isn’t it? Don’t forget to use the best shop vac for woodworking to clean the wood dust.


Woodworking is neither easy nor difficult. If you know the safe and sound ways of using your chainsaw, you are simply fine to cut through. But, any half-hearted effort and knowledge should be avoided. Remember, any machine can be our friend or foe depending on the way of our handling. We hope that you have enjoyed our coverage on “how to cut through a fallen tree with a chainsaw”. If you have any further queries, feel free to comment.

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