Pulling a Tree Out with a Winch – Is it Possible?

On our website, we have frequently pointed out how important winches are for your off-road adventures. Without a winch, recovering your vehicle when stuck is a cumbersome experience. However, there are a lot of things you can use a winch for besides pulling your car out. 

In principle, a winch is a device that has a rotating drum winch a cable or a rope with it. So if ever you have applications that need pulling or lifting, getting a winch is the right call. You really don’t want to hurt your back in doing all the painstaking physical hard work. Unless you are in need of a workout!

So when some of you asked if you can use a winch for pulling a tree, then the answer is easy. Of course, it’s a resounding yes! 

So today, we are going to teach you how to pull a tree down with the help of a winch. 


Safety Measures

But before we do that, you need to follow some safety guidelines first. Please note that you should not underestimate a falling tree. It weighs hundreds of pounds, and it will cause injuries or possibly kill a person if done improperly.

That said, here are the basic safety guidelines you need to follow first. 


1.) Wear The Proper Safety Equipment

Felling a tree is not something anyone should underestimate. Even if it looks simple to you, there is more to felling a tree than meets the eye. 

To fell a tree, you need to wear proper safety equipment. Get a logger’s helmet to protect your head from falling branches. Wear earmuffs and Safety Goggles, or better yet, a face screen to protect yourself from wood dust and splinters flying towards your face and eyes. Finally, a kevlar chaps to protect yourself if ever you drop your chainsaw. 

2.) Estimate the Fall

A tree is tall, and sometimes, it can be difficult to estimate how far it drops. Check out the tree if there are any irregularities. Check if one side is uneven or if there is a diseased part. And most importantly, check if one side of the tree is heavier than the other. 

Once you’ve checked all the boxes, proceed with estimating how far a tree will fall. For a general estimate, you need an ax for this procedure. Get an ax and hold the ax at arm’s length, and close one eye. 

After that, walk as far away from the tree as necessary. Only stop walking once the top and bottom of the tree align with the ax’s top and bottom. The place where you are standing right now is where the tree will fall. 

But before you do this step, make sure that you trim the tree beforehand, which we will discuss later on. 

3.) Plan Your Escape Routes 

Before you start cutting down a tree, take time to make sure that the area is clear. Remove any obstacles or debris that might get in the way if ever you need to escape. You should have at least two clear paths of escape if ever a tree suddenly falls. 

4.) Have A Lookout

When cutting down a tree, a lookout will be very useful and helpful. 

A person typically can’t hear anything because of the noise of a chainsaw. Because of that, they might become a victim of falling branches. A lookout in these situations can tap your shoulder signaling you if any danger arises. 


Cutting The Tree

Now that we have laid out the safety measures, you are now ready to chop some trees down. Simply read the rest of the articles to know-how. 


1.) Trim The Tree 

When I say to trim the tree, it’s more like actually making the tree bald. You need to climb up the tree and shave off all the branches. This step is needed since if you cut down the tree immediately, the collapsing tree might hit some wires or anything standing in the way. 

You can do this step with a chainsaw, but make sure that you are secured tightly. Otherwise, you might fall and cause yourself injuries.

Likewise, shaving off the tree makes the whole process easier for you. It’s less weight for your winch to pull, and it’s easier to organize the chopped-off wood too. 

2.) Tie Top Part Of the Tree

After you have trimmed the tree leaving nothing but the main trunk, tie the tree with the winch cable. It will be useful later on. 

3.) Start Cutting The Base of The Tree

Start by planning a notch and cut it. Your notch should be 1/5th of the trunk’s diameter, and it should have a 60-degree angle on the top side, and another 30-degree angle at the bottom. Sort of making a Pacman shape out of the tree. 

Next, you want to start cutting the other side of the tree with a chainsaw. But before you do, go buy some felling wedges. Felling wedges will help you prevent the chainsaw from getting pinched during the cut.  When you cut, don’t go all the way through the tree. Make sure that you stop before even coming close to the notch.

4.) Pull The Tree With A Winch

Simply pull the tree with a winch after you have made the cutting. Your winch shouldn’t have any trouble with pulling it down since you have made several cuts already. So any winch will work for pulling the tree down. 



Remember that cutting down a tree is not something to be trifled with. Be very cautious and follow each of the steps above. That said, a winch is useful in many applications, even when you are just cutting down a tree. 

Do you have any more thoughts on this topic? Do you want to share some tips? If so, feel free to comment on them down below. Likewise, we have a lot of blogs and reviews that you might find useful later on.