How To Cut A Tree Down In Your Garden

Overgrown trees can cause potential problems to your home and neighbours, especially in bad weather.

Large branches can come loose and cause damage to your home, and loose debris can become a hazard to your family and neighbours.

Here at Gustharts, we can tell you all you need to know about cutting down a tree in your garden and how you can do it yourself.

Table of contents

What are the laws and regulations for cutting down a tree?

You should seek advice from your local council or the relevant department in the government if you are unsure about the laws surrounding tree cutting. For those who own their home, permission is not required to cut down a tree unless it is in a conservation area or subject to a Tree Preservation Order (TPO).

You must get the landlord’s permission if you are renting, and neighbours have a right to cut overhanging branches even if the tree trunk is in your garden. You are liable for any injury or damage to your neighbours and their property from cutting down your tree.

If you do not have permission to cut down any trees which require it, you could face serious consequences. If you cut down a tree subject to a TPO or in a conservation area, you could be fined up to £20,000, prosecuted for felling with no licence or ordered to replace any protected trees which have been destroyed.

When should you cut down a tree?

Before cutting down a tree, you should know when it needs to be cut down. You should keep an eye on trees in your garden, as leaving it too late to cut could seriously damage your property and neighbours.

The tree is too close for comfort

If the tree is situated very close to your home, the roots could cause the foundation to uplift. Any branches that are touching the side of your house could lead to mould growth and should be trimmed back as soon as possible.

The tree is weakened or dead

If you notice dead tree leaves or branches, it may be time to consider cutting down your tree. Dying branches are more likely to fall, which could cause serious damage to surrounding properties and people. If you can see no new growth on your tree, this could be a sign that it is dying. Dead trees should be removed immediately, even if they are structurally sound. Dead trees can become a home for bugs which could lead to other plants and bushes becoming diseased.

The tree’s structural integrity is weakened

A tree with a hollow trunk or that is beginning to lean to one side could weaken the tree’s structural integrity. A tree with a weak structure could potentially fall and cause damage to surrounding buildings. If you notice any damage to a tree after a storm, you may have to cut it down. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may be able to only prune the branches. However, if the damage is severe and could cause imminent damage, it may be best to cut the tree down.

What equipment do you need?

Having the right tools to cut down a tree is essential and can make the job much easier. Hiring a tree arborist is often the best way to cut down a tree, but if you want to cut it down yourself, you need the following equipment:

  • Chainsaw – This is needed to cut down large trees.
  • Ladder – If you are cutting down a tall tree, you will need to rope it down. A ladder is required to attach the rope.
  • Rope – A rope is crucial for roping the tree down in the desired direction.
  • Axe – If the tree is small, you may be able to cut down the tree with just an axe.
  • Loppers – A lopper is useful for trimming back branches
  • Protective gear – You must protect yourself with a hard hat, gloves, boots and eye and ear protection.
  • First Aid kit – You should have a kit as a precaution for any potential injuries.

Petrol or battery powered chainsaws?

There are two main types of chainsaws that you can use – petrol and battery powered. Petrol-powered chainsaws are better to use in remote areas but will be more environmentally harmful due to the emissions that are given off. Petrol-powered chainsaws require petrol to function, which could limit the use of each time you use it.

If you are considering buying a chainsaw, a battery powered chainsaw is a great option. They offer a number of benefits that can make them a better choice for your needs.

Here are some additional benefits of using a battery powered chainsaw:

  • Reduced maintenance – Battery powered chainsaws require less maintenance than gas-powered chainsaws. There is no need to change the oil or spark plug, and the chain does not need to be oiled as often.
  • Longer service life – Battery powered chainsaws can last longer than gas-powered chainsaws. The batteries are typically designed to last for several years, and the motors are less likely to overheat.
  • More environmentally friendly – Battery powered chainsaws are more environmentally friendly than gas-powered chainsaws. They produce no emissions, and they use less energy.

How to cut down a tree in your garden

Knowing how to cut down a tree yourself can be extremely useful, and not hiring an arborist specialist can save you money. If you want to cut down a tree yourself, follow these steps:

Step 1:

Ensure you have all the necessary tools and safety equipment to cut down your tree.

Step 2:

Use a garden lopper to trim back any thin branches, and use a chainsaw to cut down any thick branches. This will make the tree easier to manage when pulling it down.

Step 3:

Before topping the tree, you will need to tie a rope around the main trunk to enable you to let the tree fall in your desired direction. You may need to use a ladder to wrap the rope around a higher point of the trunk if it is a tall tree.

Step 4:

Create a cutting notch on the side of the tree in which direction you want it to fall. The cutting notch should be about one-fifth of the trunk diameter and placed just under the halfway point of the tree. Create a felling cut on the opposite side of the cutting notch. The felling cut should be even with the apex of the cutting notch. 

Step 5:

Pull down the tree using the rope that you previously attached. Ensure you are out of the way of the tree to avoid injury.

Step 6:

Use a chainsaw to remove the remaining tree stump.

What to do once you have cut down a tree

Once you have cut down your tree, you should clear away any debris. Loose debris could cause trip hazards and cause your plants to become diseased. Use a garden shredder to dispose of your debris, which can make mulching material to help your garden grow. Tree stumps can be chopped down and used for firewood or placed in the garden shredder.

Tidy up your garden with Gustharts

Cutting down your tree is essential to avoid any damage to surrounding property and neighbours. Gustharts stocks various garden machinery to help you cut down your tree safely and effectively. If you are looking for more machinery to take care of your garden, why not browse the latest hedge trimmers or straight hand saws?

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