Equipment for Cutting Trees


Cutting trees, whether trimming or taking them down, can be an expensive endeavor. Large trees that require extensive cutting, where power lines or other obstacles are nearby, need to be done by an accredited professional tree service with proper credentials. However, when dealing with smaller trees, or those that require only minor trimming, doing the work yourself may save hundreds of dollars. This is entirely possible to do, but you must be sure to have the proper equipment.


  • Good, sharp chainsaws are a must for cutting trees. For smaller trees, only one chainsaw, with a 14-inch bar may be needed. For bigger trees, larger chainsaws will be required to cut through the thick lower trunk as well as thicker branches. All blades need to be kept sharpened and chains oiled well to ensure they are in proper working condition.

Ladder or Lift

  • On trees that are not too tall, an extension ladder can be used to reach the upper branches but should be secured with ropes for safety. Trees of greater height will require a lift, which should be used only by qualified operators. Lifts may be available at your local rental store. Unless you are an experienced lift operator, a professional tree company should be employed to cut larger trees.


  • Rope is used to tie off ladders for safety and to tie off high branches for controlled drops instead of allowing them to free fall and risking damage to objects below.

Safety Equipment

  • Proper safety equipment is a necessity when cutting trees. Wear a hard hat, safety goggles, hearing protection and a good pair of work gloves to prevent unnecessary injuries.

Truck or Trailer

  • While you may want to keep the larger pieces of wood to cure, split and stack for heating, a truck or trailer will be needed to haul off all of the smaller branches and tree debris.

Pole Saws and Tree Loppers

  • Pole saws and tree loppers have cutting implements for smaller branches at the end of a pole, extending the reach of the tree cutter. Tree loppers are useful for branches of ¼ to ½ inch in diameter. Anything larger is likely to bend the blade. Much more useful are pole saws, which still lend the tree cutter an extension of his reach and can handle larger branches as well as small ones. Pole saws may be hand operated. There are chainsaws that are referred to as pole saws and are much more quick and efficient than the hand versions. While these tools are nice to have, they are not a necessity, as tree cutting can be completed without them.

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  • Booth, Greg; RAI Enterprise Tree Service; Canon City, Colorado
  • Photo Credit tree felling image by Alison Bowden from
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