If you want to cut down a tree on your property on your own, you are going to need to know how to make a proper notch to fall your tree. A proper notch is key if you want the tree to fall in the right direction.
#1 Study the Make-Up of the Tree
First, you need to study the make-up of the tree. Identify where there are any dead branches on the tree; you may want to try to cut and remove those branches before you cut down the entire tree.
Step back from the tree and pay attention to how it leans, and where the tree is carrying the majority of its branches and weight. Then, look at what is around the tree. For example, sloped ground may impact the way the tree leans and would come down when cut. Watch out and see if there are any hazards you need to be aware of as well, like power lines, fences, or nearby buildings.
Use this information to determine what direction the tree will most likely fall to.
#2 How the Notch Should Look
Second, you need to understand what a proper notch looks like before you start to make one. A proper notch is angled, creating almost a V in the trunk of the tree. The notch is designed to be a couple of feet up the tree's trunk, at the height that you want the stump to be. The notch should go depth-wise about 1/5 of the way into the tree. The entire point of the notch is to create a space where you can make the felling cut.
#3 Planning the Notch
You want to carefully plan where the notch will go. The notch should on the fall side of the tree. You don't want the notch to be too high up, but it should be at a comfortable working height as you will be using a chainsaw and don't want the notch to be too low.
Use caulk to mark where you want the notch to go. This will help guide you as you make the cut.
#4 Cutting the Notch
When you actually cut the notch, you are going to want to make the cut on the top of the notch first, then make the bottom cut. If you make the second bottom mark perfectly, you'll meet up with the top notch, and the wedge that you just cut should pop right out of the tree. However, if your cuts are not perfect, you'll have to extend each cut further, starting with the top cut, so that the wedge can pop out.
Before you decide to cut down a big tree on your property on your own, make sure that you know how to make a proper notch in the tree. The notch goes on the side of the tree that you want to fall and helps guide the tree to the ground. For more information on hazardous tree removal, contact your local tree removal professionals.