Cutting Down Trees

As winter approaches, we have had a number of storm fronts move through the area with a lot of wind.  A portion of our property is adjacent to neighboring farm fields so there are no wind breaks to slow down any strong winds.  We often have a variety of small branches come down after a typical storm.

Recently, we had a larger tree snap near the ground during a storm.  The broken tree was left leaning against another tree and looked likely to fall to the ground during a subsequent storm. Unfortunately the tree was hanging over our pasture fencing so if it fell all the way to the ground, it would have smashed the fence. We couldn’t just leave it alone to fall down on its own.

Broken Tree Partially Standing.

Broken Tree Partially Standing.

The tree snapped right near the ground. The trunk splintered apart but was still partially attached.

Close-up of the broken tree.

Close-up of the broken tree.

We don’t have significant tree cutting experience or heavy tools (like a chainsaw), so we decided to try to take care of it the old fashioned way: we got out our ax and started chopping.


We managed to break the tree trunk free from its stump by chopping the remaining splintered links. Next, we began to cut the trunk into more manageable sections.

However, as the tree was still alive, the wood was green and difficult to chop through – that and we don’t have significant experience using an ax so not every strike hits in the planned spot. After 20 to 30 minutes of chopping, we had only made a small dent in the thickest part of the trunk. In addition, we had no sure way to control the bulk of the trunk to make sure it didn’t fall on the fences or on us.

Close-up of an ax cut.

Close-up of an ax cut.

We needed a new plan. We decided to use a much more powerful tool to handle the tree.

The tool was a phone!


We made a call to a local tree service and they stopped by within a couple of days and cut the tree down without any harm to our fences (or ourselves). They also cut down another tree that was dead but that could have fallen on our fences over the winter as well. The price was very reasonable.

The trees after a visit from the tree service.

The cut trees on the ground after a visit from the tree service.

We’ll continue to try to tackle bigger tree projects on our own over time, especially for trees that don’t threaten any buildings or the fences, but we now have experience with a local tree service in case we can’t handle something or simply don’t want to.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *