How arborists cut down trees

By JohnBarnes

Tree removal can be described as an art form. It requires patience and skill to do the job correctly while maintaining safety. Tree cutting is not something you can do yourself unless your are an arborist. If you’re facing extensive damages to your yard and home because of fallen trees or branches (either your own or those of your neighbors), you can depend on GO NOW AAA Tree Service. We won’t just help you take care of cleaning up, removing hazardous or fallen trees or assist with emergency tarp installations.

Tree cutters and arborists need to be familiar with the details of each tree so that they can safely cut it without putting others’ safety at risk.

If you have ever wondered what arborists do, this is a look at their skills and how they safely cut down trees.

What is an ARBORIST?

An arborist studies the biomechanics and cares for trees.

Arborists have the knowledge and skills to care for many tree species.

This knowledge and training includes:



Reactions to pruning


De-compartmentalization of decay; and,

All aspects of tree surgery

Arborists care for trees and other woody plants in order to keep them healthy, safe, and attractive. Arborists are trained in specific areas of tree care such as pruning, cutting or disease control.

What do they do?

  • Arborists can be classified according to their specific domain of expertise.
  • Treat and examine trees for insect and disease infestations
  • Identify dangerous trees and other tree-related issues
  • Transplant and plant woody trees
  • Tree nutrient and water supply management
  • Prune trees
  • Secure braces and cables to support trees and damaged branches
  • Take out trees
  • Using stump grinding, you can remove tree stumps


The following steps will be followed by an arborist to cut down a tree:

Tree Inspection

The arborist will first inspect the tree and determine how cuttings will affect its structure. The arborist will inspect the tree for cracks or decay. The arborist will also inspect the tree’s stability, root system, and health.


Plan your move

Climbing alone may not be the best option to remove trees, depending on the tree’s height and the size of its trunk. An arborist will determine the best course of action.


They have two options: climb the tree, or let the trunk and branches fall. They can either climb the tree and let the trunk pieces fall, or they can lower each piece with a rope. Another option is to use a crane and a bucket truck. Tree climbing is the best option whenever it’s possible.


Site preparation

An arborist should prepare the area in which they are going to work, including the area around the tree and the path that they will use to transport the tree after it is cut.


Site preparation is the removal of any items that may be damaged by fallen tree pieces. This includes landscape features, patio furniture and potted plants.


Safety Gear

The arborist will wear all the necessary safety gear before climbing up the tree to start cutting.


This safety gear contains:


Nylon chainsaw protection pants that can jam chainsaws

A hard hat

Saddles and harnesses

Climbing spurs


Safety glasses

Harnessing and Tree Climbing

The arborist will then climb the tree using the spurs, the two harness systems (a lanyard and work-positioning system) and will use the spurs to aid in safety.


The arborist attaches one harness to his side, which connects to a loop around a tree trunk. The other attaches on the arborist’s front.


The arborist will pull the ropes tightly as they climb. They will also have the tools such as the chainsaw clipped to their belts.


You can cut, climb, and do it again.

The arborist will cut a branch by unclipping the chainsaw, which is usually secured with a line to prevent it from falling when they reach it.


The arborist will either cut the branch in whole or in sections and then let it fall. If there are any obstacles, the pieces should be tied and then slowly lowered to the ground by a crew.


Branch Placement (Leaving Some Uncut for Stability).

Arborists will not cut all branches while climbing or cutting trees. This is to ensure stability. The branches make trees more stable, so if the branches are all cut, it could cause the tree to wobble.


If the arborist is sufficiently high, they will make a cut in the trunk and allow the trunk’s top to fall.


Descent and cut remaining branches and trunk

The arborist will trim the trunk and branches as they descend. The tree will be removed from the ground once the arborist has reached it.



Cutting trees poses many safety hazards, including falls, cuts and head injuries as well as the possibility of being electrocuted from overhead power lines.


These injuries can be fatal and severe so it is best to not attempt to remove a tree by yourself. You should instead leave the work to professionals who have the knowledge, tools, and experience necessary to safely and efficiently cut down your tree without causing damage to property or people nearby.