How to Cut Branches With a Chainsaw (A Step-by-Step Guide)

If you buy something through our posts, we may get a small commission. Read more here.

Share It

Dead branches are an eyesore in your home garden. So pruning them is beneficial not just for your tree but for your garden area as well. You can easily cut them using a chainsaw, but it requires skills and great caution. 

For this reason, our professional loggers will explain how to cut branches with a chainsaw properly and safely.

How To Cut Tree Branches Using a Chainsaw: 6 Steps

Cutting or limbing a tree’s branch takes time, effort, and patience. Make sure to be prepared mentally and physically before embarking on this process. So here are six steps to guide you when cutting branches with a chainsaw and the required essentials:

Necessary Tools

To successfully do this, you need to make sure to gather the necessary tools and safety equipment.

chainsaw and protective gear

Step #1: Plan Your Way of Cutting

Make sure to prepare and make a cutting plan before executing it. Locate the branches, low hanging first, then go your way up that you wish to cut. Include in this plan where these branches will fall to cause minimal to no damage to you and others. 

cutting small branches on a tree

Step #2: Start Cutting From the Bottom to the Top

Make sure to start cutting the branches from the bottom to the top. This strategy assures you that branches will not get caught or sheer others once it falls to the ground. This will also clear the area for ladder extensions.  

Step #3: Make the Cuts From Below

Once you are in a secure and sturdy position, you can use your chainsaw safely. Make the cuts from underneath. The cut must be a few inches heavenward from the trunk. 

Step #4: Make the Cuts From the Above

Once you have accomplished the previous step, cut the same depth from the branch’s top. Once completed, the branch will fall naturally down. Make sure not to position yourself directly under the branch so it won’t fall on you.

hands on tree branch

Step #5: Clean Up

When you arrive at this step, you are left with a split and jagged end due to the branch being cut. Now you have to clean up. Just cut from the top using your chainsaw, and make sure to cut close to the trunk. 

Step #6: Repeat the Process (If You Have More Branches to Cut)

Repeat the entire process if you have more branches to cut. And make sure to take the necessary safety precautions when handling your chainsaw. 

Extra Tips For Cutting

Aside from the necessary steps we mentioned above, here are extra tips you would like to consider when cutting branches using your chainsaw. 

limbing a tree

Run the Chainsaw at Full Throttle

Make sure to run the chainsaw at full throttle. The majority of chainsaws have a two-stroke engine [1] and make the best performance when at full throttle. 

Check if The Oiler is Functioning Properly

Make sure to check whether the oiler is functioning properly or not. If an oiler is non-functional, it can lead to overheating and shortens the lifespan of the chain and bar. 

Sharpen the Chain

Make sure to sharpen the chain regularly. Not only will this ensure the accurate cutting performance of the chainsaw, but it can also prolong its life. 

sharpening chainsaw

Why Cut Branches With Your Chainsaw?

Using this powerful tool for trimming assures an efficient and effective process. Hence, knowing how to cut branches with a chainsaw is a very useful skill. A chainsaw can make clean and straight cuts to remove dead or unwanted branches from trees. So we recommend using the best limbing chainsaw for this type of job. 


Trimming, cutting, or limbing branches from a tree using a chainsaw may seem daunting, but it is easy and systematic. Mastering this skill will be useful in clearing dead branches and promoting healthy tree growth– while maintaining the neatness of your home garden. Also, you might want to know the proper ways to cut hedges with a chainsaw, so read this guide next!

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson
Related Articles
Join our community on facebook and get 3 woodworking plans for free!

Join Our Woodworking Community on Facebook And Get 3 Woodworking Plans for Free!