How to cut down a tree that’s been stuck by lightning*


Step 1: Call your neighbors who you know have had a tree cut down and ask them who they used.

Step 2: Call that guy. Have him come over and give you a quote.

how to cut down a tree

Step 3: Do some hustling to acquire said money (blog designing is my hustle). Agree on a negotiated price.

Step 4: Make a date and get that guy to that tree down before it falls on your house (or your neighbors as much as you would like that, until you find out you have to cover it because you knew the tree was dead). I digress.

Step 5: Take a lot of pictures. So you can do it next time (yeah, right?)

The guy put on some foot things and a rope around the tree and started climbing up. He wasn’t a small man.

how to cut down a tree

As he climbed, he cut off branches. With a chain saw. That he had hanging from his waist.

how to cut down a tree

And, kept cutting and throwing the branches down. While he climbed, his assistant cleared the branches.

how to cut down a tree

And climbed. (Step 2a. Make sure the guy has insurance…man he’s way up there).

how to cut down a tree

Stop to take a cute picture of your kiddo. Baby. Yes. Baby. Not toddler. She has to be walking first, I think before I can call her a toddler. Notice the breath on the window….she may or may not have been kissing the window.

how to cut down a tree

Holy cow. He’s really high up there. And, fast.

how to cut down a tree

Before I knew it, he lobbed off the top of the tree. If you look closely, you’ll see that it’s two trees with one base. Very odd tree. Very lightning friendly. Just the back one.

how to cut down a tree

Then, I looked out from my “office” window and saw this one falling, and it didn’t bounce. It just stuck there in the ground. I think it was holding on to a last chance at being a living tree. “I’m not going down without a fight!” (They had to knock it down with their tractor-thing).

how to cut down a tree

The next part they hooked up a rope and guided it down. It was pretty cool. He cut a wedge on the side it was falling towards. 

how to cut down a tree

Then as he started to cut the opposing side, and the guy with the rope pulled, down the tree came. 

how to cut down a tree

With a THUD. 

how to cut down a tree

Our whole house shook.

how to cut down a tree

Oddly enough, nobody yelling “timber!” I thought that was a requirement. And, that silly tree was still stuck in the dirt. “Don’t give up on me!”

how to cut down a tree

I skipped taking pictures of the other big parts and went for the big kahouna. The reason we had to have this beast cut down in the first place. They had rigged it up good. With a pulley around one tree and then attached it to the tractor.

how to cut down a tree

And did the same thing with the wedge on one side and the cut on the other side. But this time, they also pulled with the tractor (somebody correct me…what is that thing?).

how to cut down a tree

Again, I heard no yelling of “timber!!!!”

how to cut down a tree

But it came down.

how to cut down a tree

With another thud. And, the guy with the chainsaw, the same one that was up in the tree, is looking like a pretty bad dude right there. “Yeah, I just cut down this tree!”

how to cut down a tree

We ended up leaving part of the stump (like 3 feet) so the girls could use it as a table. But, let’s be honest. They are going to climb up on it and jump off of it. Let’s hope I don’t regret it.

Then, they cleaned it all up and hauled it away. 

I think she has “supervisor” written all over her!

how to cut down a tree

 *Like I know anything about cutting down trees. Sorry if you came here looking for that. I hope you got a laugh instead.

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  1. Nate has a book that calls those things skid steers. Although I’d never heard that term, he gets really excited when he sees one. Turns out they are everywhere.

  2. Lol love that she stood there watching them. He sure was high in that tree kinda scary goodness.

  3. Haha The kiddo seemed quite entertained by it all. I’d find it fascinating too but would never do it. That’s a little too high up for me.

    1. Oh heck no..I’d never do it! I did climb a telephone pole once at one of those climbing camps. But, I had a full harness and rope attached to me.

  4. I felt like I was there. My Dad used to cut down trees with his friends and to get fire wood for our stove.
    Can’t wait to see the table your family can create from the leftover wood.

    1. We couldn’t keep this for firewood:(

      Oh, and we just left a really tall stump attached to the ground for an outside table…no bringing that in. We aren’t that handy or crafty.

  5. I am just curious, how much did that cost? I have some quotes for some of my trees, but I think they are quite high. I was quoted about 5k a tree, and I have (gulp) 7 that need to come down. Needless to say, it isn’t happening any time soon.

  6. grandma pat says:

    you are right he was way up there. That tree was darn tall. Later in life we will have to ask the “supervisor” if she remembers how to cut a tree down.

  7. Oh gosh! You wouldn’t catch me up in that tree. I have roofers here right now taking care of storm damage. You wouldn’t catch me on the roof either. 🙂

    1. I’ve actually helped with a couple roofs with Habitat. It wasn’t scary then..but I wasn’t a mom. Everything is like a million times scarier now!

  8. thanks for the smile…I loved seeing your little supervisor making sure they were not slacking off 😉

  9. We have had several trees removed from our yard and nobody yelled “timber” when those came down either! It’s like the tree guys have forgotten how to have fun! 🙂

  10. There’s a lot more to that than I thought there was. DANG!!!!!! And the fact your whole house shook is freaky. Imagine what would happen if a tree fell on a house. 🙁

    1. There have been quite a few trees down here, too, so I know how scary it can be. Terrible if it would have fallen on the house!

  11. I wouldn’t mind knowing who you used, I’ve got like 4 that need to come down. I’m hoping to do that this summer.

  12. Oh my goodness, this post had me cracking up. Although it is a rather fun process to see them cutting down trees. They have to do it like that in our neighborhood. It’s not been done on our property, but I’ve watched neighbors. It’s rather interesting.

    1. This is the first time I’ve ever watched it…super impressive.

  13. I live in the country. When a tree gets hit by lightning here, people cut it down themselves and then post “free firewood” anywhere they can and it’s like vultures to a carcass to see who can get it first. Haha!

    Loved your commentary!


    1. I wish we could have used this for firewood, but they said it was no good:(

  14. All I could say is wow! We had a tree get struck some years back, but luckily it fell the other direction

    1. We’re lucky this didn’t fall, because we probably would have had to pay for the damage.

  15. awwww this makes me remember when we brought our big tree down…


    you can tell we are stay at homes bc this is like a BIG event for us!!

    1. Oh, totally a huge event! I was a little bummed the big girls had to miss it.

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