How & When to Cut off Dead Branches With a Chainsaw

Dead branches are known to be unhealthy for trees as they inhibit the proliferation of branches to a great extent. These dead branches can lead to damage during severe weather changes for both the trees as well as nearby property.

According to the NSDC – National Storm Damage Center‘s current report, fallen trees are estimated to cause about $1 billion worth of damages to properties annually. 

It is better to remove dead branches from trees right off the bat, and can be done all-year round. It ensures the good health of trees and helps to prevent any accidents.

Below you can find some essential advice to help you understand the techniques for cutting off dead branches.

Reason to Cut the Unwanted Branches of a Tree:

There are many reasons to prune (cut branches of) trees. It is not only good for tree health but also enhances tree growth if done right.

Another reason is to encourage fruit and flower production. Moreover, it can help to prevent pest or fungus infections as the airflow improves due to pruning.

Besides this, trimming the tree for looks gives a proper shape and a more excellent look to your tree, or to a garden as a whole.

When to Trim the Tree?

Many people don’t know when to trim the tree. If you are also one of them, you should know that the ideal time for tree trimming is during the dormancy period of the year. In other words, during winter, late fall, or early spring.

However, since we are talking about dead branches, this can be done all year round.

Removing branches (that have not dried up) from trees during dormancy is the ideal way to minimize the risk of disease onset and pest infection in cuts. 

On the other hand, pruning before the spring season aids the promotion of vigorous and healthy growth. However, the pruning should not be done during extreme weather conditions.

In short, the healthy time for trimming is the early spring or late winter. In softer climates, you need to trim the tree during winter while it is 100% dormant. 

Techniques to Cut Dead Branches.

As you know, improper pruning methods are not good for trees’ health, and they increase the onset of disease to a great extent.

For proper trimming, there are tips and tricks which you should know to cut the branches. 

  • Discover the branch collar before cutting

After you have decided on the limb for cutting, the first thing to do is to locate the collar of the branch. It is the area from where braches are projecting out from the tree.

When pruning regular, healthy branches, It is essential to know that you need to slash the outside of the branch collar. The reason is that the cut edge will heal properly. But never cut the branch collar, otherwise, it will lack the functionality of making good and healthy callus. 

  • Make your cuts at a downward angle

You need to cut it at a downward angle. The reason for doing this is that during rain, water will not settle into the cuts. If you cut at an upward angle, water persists, and it causes rotting of the callus. To cut smaller branches, whether healthy or dead, I have started using a mini chainsaw. Really exceptional piece of equipment when it comes to pruning.

  • Avoid trimming branches too far away from the stump

One should know that while trimming the branch and leaving a long stub, restrict the tree to make proper callus around the cut. So, it would help if you always took care of this point. 

Tips for cutting the dead branches:

  • A good Inspection is an essential thing:

Never jump right onto the tree to cut thick branches. First, you must find the right branches which you should cut completely. After this, pinpoint the right site. You should only need to trim the rotten, diseased, or damaged branches. The cutting of damaged branches should not harm healthier ones. 

  • No Substitutes for the righteous tools

One could not negotiate which tool would go better for cutting the tree’s dead branches. The only thing you should know about the tool is that it should make a better cut and remove branches properly. In this way, you can consider the mini chainsaws that come with fine teeth for branch removal and cutting. 

  • Ineffective Methods can be dangerous for the plant:

Sometimes, the cutting of dead branches can be wrong. Removing the limb nested inside the tree, mostly known as lion tailing with dead branches, causes significant damage. Consequently, a structural imbalance will occur, and it can cause damage that will never recover.

  • Know when  and how to contact a professional tree removal company

If you use improper methods for cutting off other branches, it causes massive damage to your tree and results in the weakening or dying of the tree. You not only put your tree a risk but also the surroundings during harsh weather. The solution is to contact your nearby professionals to get help.


Cutting the dead branches of a tree is a challenging task. But I hope after reading the entire article, you know how to cut these branches with the help of a mini chainsaw. So, remember that if you have the proper tools and follow the above steps, you can easily cut the dead branches.

Scroll to Top