Palm trees are incredible, but they may also get troublesome sometimes. You may have to chop them off for plenty of reasons.
They may get rotten or infested, grow too large, need a lot of maintenance, or cause issues during storms.
For whatever reason, if you are thinking about how to cut down a palm tree with a chainsaw- this 101 guide is for you.
There are many experienced tree removal professionals out there. But, if money is tight or these services are unavailable in your area- a best chainsaw will be the best tool to do the job yourself.
This beginner’s guide explains; a step-by-step palm tree-cutting process, safety measures, and the right tools and techniques. I hope it will give you a better understanding of what it takes to do the task on your own. So, let’s get started.
How to Cut Down a Palm Tree With a Chainsaw? The Complete Guide
Plan the Right Cut
Before starting with the process, it is important to use the right method to ensure that the tree falls safely and in the direction you want it to. Otherwise, it may fall in the opposite direction and cause property damage. Even worse, it might fall in a direction where it may crush you and the people helping you.
Here are two types of cuts that help in directing the fall.
- Use a top cut: Make an undercut at the base of the tree, and then make a second cut from the top of the tree at an angle. This should create a wedge shape which will help guide the tree in the direction you want it to fall.
- Use a back cut: Make an undercut at the base of the tree and then make a second cut from the back of the tree at an angle. This will help to weaken the tree in the direction you want it to fall.
Simple and Easy Steps for Felling the Palm Tree with a Chainsaw
Now let’s look into the steps you need to take for cutting down the palm tree. Palm trees are easy to cut down with gas chainsaws when the right equipment and techniques are used.
Here are some simple steps for felling the palm tree with ease.
- Plan the Fall Zone: Plan the fall zone before making the cut to avoid any potential damage to life and property. The area directly beneath you plan to cut should be clear of objects. For instance, there shouldn’t be any large rocks, stumps, or other obstructions in the direction the tree is going to fall in.
- Prepare Your Chainsaw: Ensure that your chainsaw is sharp and well-lubricated with bar oil. You also need to check safety features (bruise guard and scabbard). This will serve as an added precaution against kickbacks or other injury risks during use.
- Wear Protective Gear: Palm tree cutting can be tricky, so never underestimate the importance of safety gear needed for the task.
Here’s a list of safety gear you must invest in for tree-felling.
- Chainsaw gloves
- Safety glasses
- Long pants
- Heavy-duty chainsaw boots
- Chainsaw helmet or hard hat
- Position the Chainsaw: Now it’s time for making the cut. To begin, position the chainsaw so that it is cutting parallel to the ground and at an angle to the trunk of the palm tree.
- Place the Wedges: Place wedges between the tree and the saw blade; it will help to guide the tree in the direction you want it to fall.
- ‘V’ Shape Notch: Identify a ‘V’ shape notch towards the top of where you would like to cut. The ‘V’ shape should be ⅔ in depth, do not press too hard onto one side as this can cause asymmetrical breaks.
- Cut Down at the Bottom: Start cutting at the bottom of the tree. Making shallow cuts about 2 inches deep. Don’t cut too deeply or you could risk damaging the chainsaw blade.
- Cut the Trunk: As you cut the palm tree trunk with a chainsaw, move it up in sections, making sure to keep the chainsaw level and at an angle to the trunk.
- Make the Final Cut: Once you have gone around the entire trunk, make a final cut at the top of the tree, ensuring that it goes all the way through. This will ensure that the tree falls safely.
Dos and Don’ts of Cutting down a Palm Tree Using a Chainsaw
Felling a palm tree with a chainsaw can be dangerous, especially if you are an amateur. Mishandling of the tool or any other negligence may cause drastic damage.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts that you must take into consideration before getting started with the task.
- Check the Tree Cutting Laws
No matter if it’s on your private property, you may still need to get a permit for palm tree removal. Make sure you go through the laws about tree removal in your state so that you and your surroundings are safe from any potential loss.
- Cut Away From Your Body
When making cuts with the chainsaw, hold it away from your body and aim it away from yourself.
- Take your time
Cutting down a palm tree can be dangerous, so it’s important to take your time and use caution. Don’t rush the process and make sure you’re aware of your surroundings at all times.
- Create an escape route
Make sure to plan an escape route before cutting down the tree. There should be a clear path to use if there is an unexpected reaction to the chainsaw.
- Dispose of Waste
Once the job is done, you need to clean up the surroundings. Palm trees are not green waste as they don’t compost. So, all the palm tree waste including the trunk goes into the blue bin.
- Cut with an Inappropriate Chainsaw
Don’t Cut palm trees with a chainsaw that is not designed for the job. Go for one with a strong engine and preferably automatic oiling and a self-sharpening mechanism.
- Ignore the Weather Conditions
Never attempt to cut a palm tree when the wind is blowing or when it is raining.
- Cut Above Shoulder Height
Avoid cutting above shoulder height as this can cause fatigue and increase the risk of injury.
- Cut if You Don’t Have an Injury
Avoid cutting a tree if you already have an injury as it may go worse while you are cutting the tree.
- Stand In Line
Must not stand directly in line with the chainsaw when cutting.
How to Use Chainsaw for Cutting Down a Palm Tree? FAQs
Can You Cut a Palm Tree with a Chainsaw?
Yes, you can! You need to pick the right chainsaw with a strong engine. Preferably 50 cc or above, also it would be a plus if it has a self-sharpening system.
Are Palm Trees Easy to Cut Down?
Palm trees are easy to cut as they are softwood. But they are filled with mud, water, and dust, so they can quickly dirty your chainsaw. You must go for one that is easy to maintain and sharpen. For sharpening, you can use a chainsaw sharpener.
What is the best tool to cut down the palm tree?
Keep these points in mind to choose the best chainsaw for felling the palm tree.
- Look for automation chain locks, hand guards, and vibration reduction.
- Choose the ones that have powerful anti-kickback safety mechanisms to avoid fatal accidents.
- Preferably go for a gas-powered chainsaw as they easily cut down large-sized trees. However, battery-powered and electric ones will be good enough for small trees.
Palm tree cutting requires proper gear, the right equipment, and appropriate techniques, depending on the size and condition of the tree. Make sure you consider all the safety measures before felling the tree.
Assess the tree’s length, width, and surroundings. Once done, plan the cut and go for the easiest cutting technique. This makes the tree fall exactly in the direction you intend it to fall.
Position the chainsaw to cut parallel to the ground; identify a ‘V’ shape notch and start cutting at the bottom. Avoid cutting too deep or your chainsaw might get damaged.
Choose a suitable chainsaw. For instance, gas-powered with minimum kickback and the best fail-proof mechanism. Palm tree cutting causes a lot of mess, so be sure to choose a chainsaw that is easy to maintain.
Check for the regulations and acquire the necessary permit (if required). Plan the fall zone to make your surroundings safe from any potential damage. Also, create an escape route for emergencies.
Be considerate of the weather conditions, it shouldn’t be too windy or rainy. Also, avoid cutting the tree if you have any injury that may go worse from doing the task.