Arbor Works professionals operate their specialized tree removal equipment next to a road

Unraveling the Mystery of Tree Services

Ever found yourself staring at a towering tree in your backyard, wondering whether it needs to be cut down or removed entirely?

Or perhaps you’ve been puzzled by the terms “tree cutting” and “tree removal” used interchangeably by local tree services in MetroWest, Massachusetts.

If so, you’re not alone.

In this blog post, we’ll demystify these terms and help you understand the difference between tree cutting (or felling) and the more technical method of tree removal.

By the end of this read, you’ll not only be able to make informed decisions about your trees but also impress your local tree removal service company with your newfound arboricultural knowledge.

So, let’s dive in!

Understanding The Difference Between Tree Cutting and Tree Removal

Tree cutting and tree removal are two primary services offered by tree companies.

While they might seem similar at first glance, they are quite different in terms of the process and the situations where they are applicable.

The Process of Tree Cutting

A tree that was cut down by Arbor Works

Tree cutting, also known as tree felling, involves cutting down the tree from its base.

Although tree cutting is not as complex a task as tree removal, it is not a task for the untrained.

It requires the right equipment, skills, and appropriate safety gear.

Without these, tree cutting can be dangerous and may lead to unwanted accidents or damage to property.

The technique of tree felling is a precise one.

It typically involves making a notch cut at a 90-degree angle, which penetrates about 20% of the tree trunk’s diameter.

Following this, a ‘felling cut’ is made from the back, designed to guide the tree to fall in a specific direction.

Given the inherent risks of this task, it’s crucial for the team to maintain a high level of awareness and position themselves safely.

Even though the cuts are designed to direct the tree’s fall, unexpected issues can arise.

Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that all valuable items, including homes, vehicles, and people, are safely out of the tree’s potential path.

Note: In our experience in the Eastern Massachusetts area, there are very few situations in which a tree can be safely felled. For this reason, here at Arbor Works, we primarily rely on the more technical process of tree removal (see below).

The Process of Technical Tree Removal With Specialized Equipment

On the other hand, tree removal involves the strategic dismantling of the entire tree. It often involves the use of specialized equipment, such as a bucket truck, a crane, and spider lifts.

A tree service professional will also typically climb the tree with specialized rigging to carefully assist with lowering the cut parts of the tree.

This technical removal method is employed for trees that are too close to power lines and structures or those deemed hazardous to human life because of their condition.

Tree removal is a meticulous process that requires an arborist to climb up the tree and lower down branches or trunk segments slowly to ensure the safe transition of pieces down to the ground.

Factors Determining the Choice Between Tree Cutting and Technical Tree Removal

A tree being removed by Arbor Works

The choice between tree cutting and tree removal depends on a number of factors.

These include the tree’s location, its size, its health, and the surrounding environment.

For instance, if a tree is located a good distance from power lines, structures, vehicles, and other obstacles, tree cutting might be the preferred option.

This method allows for the quick removal of the tree with minimal use of specialized equipment.

Conversely, if a tree is too close to a building or other structures, or if it’s deemed hazardous due to disease or damage, tree removal might be the best course of action.

You can learn more about how to identify a dead or dying tree here.

This method ensures that all parts of the tree are strategically and safely removed, reducing the risk of accidentally causing property damage or endangering the safety of nearby homes.

You can learn how to tell if a tree poses a risk to your home here.

As noted above, we rarely use the tree-cutting (or tree-felling) method in Eastern Massachusetts due to the risk of property damage.

The Cost Difference Between Tree Cutting and Tree Removal

When it comes to cost, the difference between tree cutting and tree removal is minimal.

However, in rare situations, tree cutting can be less expensive than tree removal.

This is because tree cutting involves fewer steps and less time compared to tree removal.

However, it’s important to note that the final cost of both of these tree services can vary widely depending on the size of the tree, its location, and the complexity of the job.

While tree cutting might seem like a cost-effective option, it’s important to consider the surrounding environment and consult with a professional arborist about the best method for your tree situation.

You should also keep in mind that even if there is a situation in which tree felling is feasible, the tree service company will still need to cut down and remove the wood from the felled tree.

The wood processing and removal service will require much of the same equipment used in technical tree removal, which means your final cost for cutting down a tree will actually be similar to a technical tree removal when all is said and done.

The Dangers of Cutting Down Trees

A tree that fell on a home

Cutting down trees, whether for tree cutting or tree removal, can be a dangerous task.

It involves the use of heavy equipment and requires a high level of skill and experience.

Without the proper training and equipment, tree cutting can lead to accidents, injuries, and property damage.

For instance, a tree might fall in an unexpected direction, causing damage to nearby structures or power lines.

Or, a person might get injured by a falling branch or by the equipment used for the job.

Therefore, it’s always recommended to hire professional tree services for any tree-cutting or removal tasks.

The Importance of Professional Tree Services

An Arbor Works professional climbing a tree

Professional tree services have the knowledge, experience, and equipment needed to safely and efficiently carry out tree-cutting and tree-removal tasks.

Professional arborists are trained to assess the condition of a tree, determine the best course of action, and carry out the job in a safe and efficient manner.

Hiring professional tree services not only ensures the safety of the job but also saves you time and effort.

Plus, they can provide additional services such as stump grinding or removal, tree pruning, and land clearing.

At Arbor Works, we take pride in our team of highly trained, skilled, and hardworking arborists.

We are proud to have ISA (International Society of Arboriculture)-certified arborists on our team, ensuring that we provide top-rated tree services in Acton, Massachusetts, and the surrounding MetroWest area.

Our commitment to excellence and our deep understanding of arboriculture allow us to deliver services that not only meet but exceed our client’s expectations.

So, when you choose Arbor Works, you’re choosing a team that values quality, safety, and customer satisfaction above all else.

The Challenges of DIY Tree Removal

While the idea of saving money by doing tree removal yourself might be tempting, it’s important to understand the challenges and risks involved.

Tree removal is not as simple as just cutting down a tree.

It involves careful planning, precise execution, and proper equipment.

Determining the Right Tree Removal Method

Firstly, without the right knowledge and experience, it can be difficult to determine the best method for removing a tree.

You might end up causing more harm than good, damaging your property, or even injuring yourself.

The Use of Specialized Equipment and Tools

Secondly, tree removal involves the use of heavy equipment, such as chainsaws and cranes.

Operating these tools without proper training can be dangerous.

Additionally, you might need the necessary safety gear, increasing the risk of accidents.

Tree Removal Takes Time

Lastly, tree removal can be a time-consuming task.

Without the efficiency and expertise of professionals, you might end up spending more time and effort than you anticipated.

The Importance of Land Clearing in Tree Cutting

Land clearing is a crucial component of tree cutting.

It involves removing trees, stumps, bushes, stones, and other obstacles from an area to create a safe environment for tree cutting.

Without proper land clearing, the tree might fall on a structure, vehicle, or person, causing serious damage or injury.

Additionally, obstacles on the ground can make it difficult to move the cut tree, slowing down the process and making it more labor-intensive.

Land clearing is also essential for large-scale tree-felling projects, such as property development.

It provides a flat canvas for the project, making it easier to plan and execute the construction work.

The Services Offered by Professional Tree Services

Two Arbor Works employees operating a wood chipper

Professional tree services offer a wide range of services to cater to your tree care needs.

These typically include:

Professional tree services have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to carry out these tasks safely and efficiently.

They can assess your situation, recommend the best course of action, and carry out the job to your satisfaction.

Trust the Experts for Your Tree Care Needs

A tree being removed by Arbor works employees

Understanding the difference between tree cutting and tree removal is just the first step.

When it comes to actually carrying out these tasks, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

They have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to do the job safely and efficiently.

Whether you need tree cutting, tree removal, stump grinding, or land clearing, professional tree services can provide the solutions you need.

They can assess your situation, recommend the best course of action, and carry out the job to your satisfaction.

Bonus: The Difference Between Tree Pruning & Tree Trimming


When it comes to tree care, two terms often come up: tree trimming and tree pruning.

While they may seem similar, there are subtle differences between the two that can significantly impact the health and aesthetics of your trees.

Tree Pruning

Tree pruning involves selectively cutting branches from deciduous trees, flowering trees, and fruit trees to promote healthy growth, maintain safety, and improve tree structure.

The process involves removing broken, diseased, or dead branches, as well as removing live branches to shape them or reduce the risk of property damage.

Tree pruning benefits include encouraging tree growth and maintaining a strong structure.

By cutting branches that are dead, damaged, or diseased, you allow the tree to focus its energy on new growth.

Pruning also improves air circulation and sun exposure, which contributes to healthier and more vigorous growth in young trees and mature trees alike.

This process is more precise and may take longer or be more labor-intensive than tree trimming, accounting for cost differences.

You can learn more about how much tree pruning costs here.

Tree Trimming

On the other hand, tree trimming is more about maintaining the tree’s overall appearance and functionality in the landscape.

Tree trimming may remove parts of the tree for reasons other than the health of the tree.

Both tree pruning and tree trimming have their place in tree care.

They both contribute to the health, safety, and aesthetics of your trees.

However, it’s essential to understand the differences between them to ensure that your trees receive the appropriate care they need.

At Arbor Works, our team of certified arborists is well-versed in both tree pruning and tree trimming.

We understand the unique needs of different tree species and can provide the appropriate care to ensure your trees thrive.

Whether you need tree trimming, tree pruning, or tree removal services in MetroWest, Massachusetts, you can count on us to deliver top-notch service.

Why Choose Arbor Works for Your Tree Services in MetroWest, Massachusetts?

Arbor Works employees taking apart a felled tree.

At Arbor Works, we understand that every tree and every property is unique.

That’s why we offer customized tree services tailored to your specific needs.

Our team of certified professionals is committed to providing high-quality tree care services to residential and commercial clients in the MetroWest area, including Concord, Acton, Sudbury, Wayland, Weston, Stow, Maynard, Boxboro, Littleton, Westford, Groton, Ayer, Shirley, Lancaster, Bolton, Hudson, Marlboro, Lincoln, Waltham, Framingham, Natick, and Wellesley.

We have a proven track record of delivering excellent service at a reasonable price.

Our tree service team is fully licensed and insured, and we use specialized equipment to ensure the job is done safely and efficiently.

Plus, we offer an environmental consultation before starting every job, so you can rest assured that we are taking the best course of action for your specific situation and your personal vision for your property.

Whether you have a single tree that needs pruning, several trees that need to be removed, or a large property that needs land clearing, Arbor Works has got you covered.

We take pride in our work and strive to ensure that our clients are 100% satisfied with our services.

So, why wait?

If you need professional tree services in MetroWest, Massachusetts, please fill out our contact form today or give us a call.

We look forward to helping you with all your tree care needs!