If you have a dead tree on your property, then you should cut it down. It's not safe to leave a dead tree standing. It can come crashing down during a heavy storm or even during a strong wind. The most prudent course of action is to hire someone to cut it down, or else cut it down and get rid of it yourself.
If you have a chainsaw, and access to a wood chipper, then you can do the job yourself. Here is a overview of how to do it.
Cut It Down
The first step is to cut down the tree. In order to do this you will need to make a directional cut. This cut ensures that the tree falls in the direction you want. If you simply cut through the tree haphazardly, it can fall in any direction.
A directional cut consists of three parts: The top cut, the bottom cut, and the back cut. The first two form a wedge. The wedge should be cut on the side of the tree where you want it to fall. The wedge cut should not extend more than halfway into the tree. The back cut will meet the wedge and cause the tree to fall. Here is an illustration of the tree cuts. And here are some specifics on the cuts.
Top Cut: Cut downward into the tree at a forty-five degree angle.
Bottom Cut: Cut horizontally into the tree below the top cut. The two cuts should meet and create a wedge shape.
Back Cut: From the rear of the tree, slightly above the bottom cut, saw through the tree at a horizontal angle towards the wedge cut. This will cause the tree to fall.
Remove The Branches
Once the tree has fallen it is time to trim the branches off. You can use the chainsaw for the large limbs, and use a small hand saw for the small ones. The large limbs can be cut into small logs. The smaller limbs and branches can be set aside for chipping.
Cut The Trunk Into Logs
The most important thing to know is that you cannot cut through the trunk in one pass. You will need to make two cuts. The first cut is made on the top of the trunk. Next, the trunk is rolled over and a second cut is made. This way you don't have to worry about the chainsaw hitting the ground.
When cutting, brace the trunk with your foot so that it doesn't roll. It is helpful if there is another person standing by to apply extra pressure on the tree as well.
If the tree is not too big, you should be able to roll it over by hand or with a prybar. If it is large, then you will need a special tool called a peavey.
If you have a fireplace, you can burn the logs yourself. If you don't have a need for firewood, then post an ad online. Many people need firewood, so they will gladly come and cart it away for you.
Chip The Branches
The last task is to get rid of the branches. The best way to do this is to use a wood chipper. If you don't own one, you can rent one for the day. They are easy to use and are the best way to get rid of the branches. Make sure to use eye protection in case bits of wood get spit out while you are chipping.
The best wood chipper will turn all of the dead branches into small wood chips. These are great for putting in your garden as a walkway, or around the base of trees.