How To Cut Load-Bearing Branches from a Tree

Trees are usually cut for lumber or for firewood purposes. Some trees need to be cut down if they are sick, dead, or infested with pests.  If you have a tree in your backyard that you think needs cutting down, then you have several options.

First is that you can cut off the branches one by one, by climbing up a ladder and sawing off each big branch into manageable pieces. You can then cut off the branches into smaller parts once they are on the ground. In this case, then the trunk is also gradually cut from top to bottom, so that they will fall in manageable pieces. The stump is then removed using a stump grinder or remover.

A second option is that you can fell the tree in one cut, along the base. A risk here, though, is how to control where the tree falls. If this is the case, then you will need to cut off branches if you intend to use it as a firewood. You might also want to cut branches off a dead tree that has fallen by itself.

Cutting branches from a fallen tree is not always easy, especially if the branch is load-bearing. A load bearing branch means that it is supporting the trunk of the tree up from the ground. The difficulty here is that once you make cuts on the load-bearing branch, the weight of the tree will keep on pushing down and it might pinch your saw. This can cause damage to your saw’s chain or bar.

Cutting load-bearing branches from a fallen tree will therefore require some extra effort and patience. The trick here is to let the tree slowly settle down while you are cutting through the load-bearing branch.

What you need

  • Chain saw
  • Safety equipment
  1. Turn on your chainsaw.
  2. Make a small cut through the upper part of the branch (the part facing the top part of the tree).
  3. Make a small cut through the bottom part of the branch (the part nearest the roots).
  4. Again, make a small cut through the upper part. By this time, the tree would already be slowly settling down with its weight. The important thing is that you don’t let your chainsaw get stuck in between.
  5. Make another cut through the bottom part, this time gradually slowing the speed of your chainsaw.
  6. Making sure that the tree has settled with its weight on the other branches, complete the cut from the top part of the branch.

Again, the important thing here is to cut the branch gradually, and let the weight of the tree settle while you make the cuts.

Some safety reminders:

Remember to wear safety equipment when using power tools. Wear safety goggles and a mask, to prevent sawdust from irritating your eyes and lungs. You will also need to wear protective boots, to prevent injury from falling lumber.

Also, be considerate when cutting down trees. There’s nothing wrong with gathering firewood from a fallen tree. But if you will be cutting down a tree specifically for this purpose, then try to reconsider.


Share this article!

Follow us!

Find more helpful articles: