How To Cut Tree Limbs Over A House

In this article, I’ll be showing you how to cut tree limbs over a house.

I’m sure we all love the freshness, the coolness, and the shade that our trees provide. However, that pleasure can turn to pain when the branches start growing over your roof.

Keep reading!

Challenges That Come With Cutting Tree Limbs Over House

Cutting off tree limbs is a lot of work on its own, but cutting them when they are over your roof is a whole different ball game.

Trust me, it won’t be a walk in the park. There are quite many challenges that you have to deal with.

Let’s take a look at a few of these challenges.

Cut off branches falling on your roof

When limbs hang over your house, it’ll be quite tricky cutting them off in such a way that they don’t fall on the roof.

If they do, there may be damages to your roof tiles.

Power cables and other wires

If the branches of your tree have grown into power cables, then that will be a huge problem when you want to cut them off.

I don’t advise you to make any attempts to cut your branches yourself if they are entangled with power cables as you risk being electrocuted. In an instance like this, your best and safest option is to call on the pros to get it done.

Causing the whole tree to lean

If the branch you’re trying to cut off is too big, then there’s a chance you may cause the whole tree to lean over as you try to cut it.

If you don’t get the techniques right, you may end up with a leaning tree, and this is another hazard on its own.

Your safety

While you’re up there cutting the limbs, remember that these are fairly heavy branches that may fall in any direction, even yours!

Cutting without putting yourself in danger is something you’ll have to figure out. I’ll give you some safety tips along the line.

Are you planning to cut a branch that stands upright? Here is how to.

How To Cut Down A Tree Limb Over A House

Now that we’ve accepted the fact we will be faced with challenges when cutting the tree’s limbs over the roof, what do we do? Do we back out of the job or do we continue?

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it, right?

Tools You Will Need To Cut Tree Limbs Over Your House

Moving on, we will need some tools to get the job done. The right tools will make the job easier, the wrong tools will do the exact opposite.

Here’s what we’ll be needing –

  • A ladder that can reach the highest point of the tree (an extendable ladder will do)
  • Thick nylon ropes (about 15 to 25 feet)
  • A saw (a cordless electric chainsaw preferably)
  • Safety gear (gloves, non-slip boots, hard hat, goggles, harness)

Alright, we’ve got all our gear in place so it’s time for the main event, cutting the tree branches over your home!

Don’t fret, I’m here to walk you through the process.

Follow these steps and you’ll do just right!

Step 1: Make Several Knots With The Nylon Rope

You would like to be able to control the fall of the branches when they are cut off, therefore you will need the ropes.

Make several tight knots on the branches and on the tree itself. If the branch is on the heavy side, then you need to make more strong knots around it to make sure they are firmly secure.

The bigger the branch the stronger the rope you will need and the more knots you will have to make.

Step 2: Locate The Branch Collar

This is the next thing you need to do because it is where you will make the first cut.

For those who don’t know, the branch collar is the point at which the branch grows out of the tree. It is characterized by a ridge circle where the bark has more thickness than the rest of the branch.

Step 3: Proceed To Cut Towards A Downward Angle

This is where your chain saw comes in, remember, I recommended using a cordless electric chainsaw. They are super sharp and they make very precise cuts.

They are also suitable for cutting thick branches, which is most likely what you’ll be dealing with over your roof.

Proceed to cut at a downward angle, keep the saw facing the ground. By doing this, water won’t settle into the tree’s wound. If water settles into the wound, the tree would start to rot.

Remember to put your gloves on before you cut, just so you don’t get blisters on your hands. Also, be advised to use the best chainsaw for cutting branches, just so your job will be easier.

Step 4: Leave Just A Little Big Of The Tree Branch

A long stub will make it harder for your tree to develop a proper callus. For this reason, it is advised that you don’t leave too much of the branch with the rest of the tree.

Step 5: Take The Branch Down

At this point, you’ve successfully cut off the tree branch. They should be held firmly by the ropes so they won’t fall on your roof.

Now you have to bring the tree branch down and to do this you’re going to be needing some extra sets of hands on the ground to help you guide the branch down.

You have to apply caution when doing this. Make sure the ground is clear of anyone who has no business being there. The help on the ground should also put on protective gear.

Is It Better To Cut Overhanging Branches In Pieces?

A lot of people wonder which is the best approach to take when cutting tree branches over your house. To cut it from the branch collar or to cut it up piece by piece.

The truth is, both approaches can work, you just have to apply different techniques to achieve your goal.

Cutting Overhanging Branches From Branch Collar Vs Cutting Piece By Piece

I’d like us to weigh our cutting options here since we’re looking for the best way to cut tree limbs over your house.

Cutting the overhanging limb from the branch collar has its advantages. One of them being that it is faster than cutting the branch up a bit by bit.

Another advantage of cutting a limb from the collar is that you’ll have less mess on the ground to deal with, as opposed to cutting in bits and having pieces of tree branch all over the ground.

As for its disadvantages, well cutting the branch from the collar means you will have one heavy branch to deal with. If the branch is of good weight, then it would be harder to take down.

Another disadvantage of cutting from the collar is that you will need extra hands and tools on the job.

You will need a strong rope and some well-tightened knots to hold the full branch in place after it is cut. You will also need extra hands on the ground to place it down.

Lastly, if the knots aren’t firmly tied, the heavy branch may get loosened and fall into your roof, causing damage or injury.

As for cutting the branch up in bits, some advantages come with that approach too.

First of all, you will not need ropes, knots, or extra hands to bring the branch to the ground. You can cut them into small pieces, pick them up and throw to the ground.

Another advantage of cutting overhanging branches in bits is that the process is safer. Since you’ll be cutting off small chunks, then there’s no way your roof or property will be damaged from a falling branch.

Some disadvantages come with this approach. First of all, it is time-consuming. Unlike cutting from the branch collar which requires just one cut, this requires multiple cuts. You could need as many as 8 cuts to get the job done.

Another disadvantage of this approach is that after the job is done, you will have a harder time disposing of several pieces of wood on the ground.


Use a very strong and sturdy ladder. This is one the most important tools for a job like this, how else would you get above the roof of your house?

The ladder you’re using should be able to support your weight, the weight of your chainsaw and safety gear, and the weight of any piece of tree branch you may want to bring down with you, COMBINED!

You should also put on all the necessary safety gear before you start the job.

Lastly, not everyone is cut out for this kind of work. If you feel you can’t do it then don’t argue with yourself, go ahead and call on the experts to help you out.


I hope the information provided in this article, how to cut tree limbs over a house has been helpful.

Stay safe!

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