How to Cut Down Trees Too Close to a House

Disease or damaged trees or trees that are simply growing out of their designated areas often must be cut down to maintain the aesthetics of the landscape. Trees that are growing too close to the home can cause plumbing damage or scrape the outside walls. Removing these trees requires making proper cuts, so they don't fall on the house. Prevent a disaster by taking the appropriate steps and making the right cuts, so that your tree falls in a safe area.

House exterior in autumn
credit: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Step 1

Determine the height of the tree. Remove any obstacles, such as cars, bird baths or container plants, from the area. Check the lean of the tree to help you determine which way it is going to fall.

Step 2

Cut the top lateral branches to reduce the possible damage it may cause if it falls the wrong way. Use a ladder and have a friend support the bottom as you cut the top branches with a pruning saw.

Step 3

Trim off any densely growing branches around the bottom of the tree to give you better access to the trunk.

Step 4

Wrap a pull line around the top of the tree to pull it in the right direction. Tie a piece of rope at the top of the tree.

Step 5

With a chainsaw, make a V-shaped notch on the side where you want the tree to fall. First, make sure your cut is parallel to the ground. Make one slanted cut above this cut and one slanted cut below, creating a notch with a 90 degree opening.

Step 6

Make your back cut from the back of the notch cut. Cut slightly above the point of the notch cut. Have a friend pull on the line while you are doing this to give the tree direction to fall away from your house.


Faith McGee

Faith McGee has eight years experience conceptualizing and producing print and web content for a myriad of real estate conglomerates. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from California College of the Arts. McGee has developed persuasive copy that has received many accolades from real estate companies and publications.