Tree cutting guide

Gardening & Landscaping

DIY Guide: Cutting Down A Tree Safely

March 3rd 2023

Cutting a tree is a difficult task if you do not have the correct tools to do the job. Whether there are unwanted additional trees on your property that are obscuring light, or dead trees that pose a safety risk, it is essential that you have the proper, robust equipment for the efficient removal of trees. 

Here at HSS, we understand that contractors can be expensive, so we want to make this often-difficult task easy and safe for you to do by yourself. You can hire our specialist equipment for as long as you like to ensure your tree-cutting is done as safely as can be.

Hire with confidence and ensure your garden or grounds are maintained safely and to a high standard. You can hire chainsaws, long-reach pruners, and hedge trimmers, plus much, much more to ensure the job is done properly.

If you have a large tree cutting or hedge project and you'd like some fast and trustworthy advice, then contact us today to find out more!

DIY Tree cutting guide

Need help cutting a tree in your garden? We’ve got you covered

If you need assistance with safely cutting trees in your garden, then look no further than HSS Hire. From chainsaws to petrol-powered and cordless hedge trimmers, tree owners will be able to safely and efficiently remove any unwanted or obstructing trees from their premises using our equipment. 

When cutting down a tree, you must have the correct safety gear as well as the correct tools, so a hard hat, gloves, and ear protection are essential — and, it’s important to fell the tree in safe environmental conditions. If the tree is on a high-elevation site, you should assess the surrounding area to ensure it is safe to be cut down.

The following is a guide on how to safely cut down a tree with our specialist chainsaws.

Inspect the area

Start by inspecting the area around the tree, and make sure there are no structures, power lines or pets within a radius equal to the height of the tree.

Decide which way the tree will fall

Your left shoulder should be against the tree, and with the chainsaw, make a 70-degree cut on the side facing the direction you want the tree to fall. Cut to a depth of about a quarter of the tree's diameter. 

Create the notch

Then, make a second cut by turning the saw sideways, cutting horizontally to meet your first cut. This is called the notch. Be sure the two cuts meet. 

The felling cut

Now it’s time to make the “felling cut”. Move to the opposite side of the tree and make a horizontal cut slightly above the previous cut. 

Saw until you have enough room to insert a wedge into the cut to keep the saw from binding. 

Insert the wedge

Insert the tree-felling wedge into this cut, pointing at the direction you want the tree to fall. 


Drive the wedge in and finish the cut, being sure not to touch the felling wedge with the blade. Don't cut through the trunk. Leave about 10% of the width as a hinge. When the tree begins to fall, move away down your escape path.

UK Laws and legislations to be aware of

As a homeowner, it’s important to understand that there are several laws and regulations relating to cutting trees down on your own property. Typically, if a tree is on your own property on the balance of probability, you will not need permission to remove it unless the tree is in a Conservation Area, or subject to Tree Preservation Orders (TPO).

If the tree is protected by a TPO or is in a Conservation Area, you will have to contact the local planning authorities to request an application of consent, which will allow you to work on trees that fall under this category. Please note, you do not have to do this if the tree is dangerous or dead. If the local authority has not decided on an application for consent within 8 weeks from the day it is received, then you may appeal on grounds of non-determination. 

There are many reasons why you wish to remove a tree from your property. For example, in urban areas, low-hanging trees that droop or sag can cause trouble for people, property, and possessions. Not only are they an eye-sore, but they can also obstruct vision, sunlight, and possibly interfere with vehicular and pedestrian traffic. 

Trees are also susceptible to branches snapping, breaking, and falling off during adverse weather conditions, which can cause damage to property. At HSS Hire, we can offer you effective, fast, and safe tree-cutting equipment so you can get the job done. Whether it’s trimming the garden hedge with one of our trimmers or larger-scale tree surgery and crown lifting with a logging pruning saw or a conventional chain saw, HSS has the right tool for the job. That’s guaranteed.

Disposing of the tree safely: Our top tips

Once the tree is safely down, you can begin to break down the tree. Start by sawing off its branches. Once the branches are off, saw through the trunk, creating logs, and continue to break up the original tree into smaller pieces to be disposed of or used as firewood. You will then be left with a tree stump and the tree’s root system, which will also need to safely be taken care of using specialist equipment.

Tree stumps and roots can be as burdensome as the tree itself. Roots can disturb hard surfaces like patios, walkways and driveways and sometimes infringe on the foundations of buildings. Even after a tree has been cut down, the root network and stump will remain, which can be unattractive. 

At HSS, we can offer the tools needed to dispose of unsightly tree stumps and roots, such as chainsaws and stump grinders: the most efficient way to remove the remainder of the tree, whilst also creating some fresh wood mulch in the process! 

Why spend hours digging out a tree stump when you can use a high-powered stump grinder to do the hard work for you? With HSS tools for hire, the removal of a pesky tree stump and root system couldn’t be simpler.

HSS Tree cutting guide

Browse our tree-cutting and chainsaw equipment section available to hire

Is there a tree causing an obstruction on your property that desperately needs to be removed but you don’t have the equipment to do it? Then look no further than HSS Hire.


HSS Hire is the UK’s original tool and equipment hire company, specialising in top-of-the-range equipment that guarantees you can get the job done quickly and safely, all without the additional cost or stress of employing someone else to do it for you. 

We understand that hiring contractors can be expensive, unreliable, and time-consuming – and, we recognise that you’ll often want to do the job yourself. By hiring specialist, secure, state-of-the-art tools from us, you can get your tree-cutting job done yourself efficiently and – most importantly – safely. With HSS, we offer the best tools on the market at highly competitive prices. 

With safety our number one priority, we can offer you the tools you need for tree cutting quickly and affordably. Save precious time and money when you rent our specialist chainsaws and high-powered stump grinders to remove an invasive, dangerous, or disruptive tree once and for all.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse our tree-cutting and chainsaw equipment section available to hire today. If you have a large tree-cutting or hedge project and you desperately need the tools to get the job done, contact us today for some fast, friendly, and reliable advice!

Tree cutting guide

About the Author

Irfan Rehman

Irfan is a member of our E-commerce team. He loves everything DIY and writes and posts about home and garden projects.

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