O’ Christmas Tree, O’ Christmas Tree, How lovely are your branches
even when the branch smacks you in the face as you carry it to your car.

As you begin gearing up for Christmas (I am sure most of you are already done just bear with me), we want to provide you with some safe tips for cutting down your own Christmas tree to ensure you make it home safely to enjoy that beautiful tree in your living room.


First, we need to show up to the forest or farm prepared to cut down a tree. As you can see, I have come equipped with the necessary tools.

Tree Cutting Preparation

–  A saw to cut your tree
Long-sleeved shirt and work pants to protect your extremities
Gloves for hand protection (favorite team logo optional)
–  Hat to help you stay warm (a person loses 7% of their body heat through their head alone)
–  A furry friend to deter other holiday hunters from claiming the tree you spotted from 300 yards out (also optional)


Proper form in the wilderness will reduce the amount of effort spent cutting down your tree. The less effort used in cutting the tree the better.

How do we do this? Well, just remember elbows IN thumbs UP!

–  Keeping elbows in ensures you’re using your lats and deltoids to slice through that tree like butter
Keeping your thumbs up avoids rotator cuff compression and irritation by the back and forth motion!
Make sure your palm is resting on the butt of the saw with your wrist in neutral position in line with your forearm. Too far up on your hand and you’ll place too much stress on your wrist!
Always, ALWAYS cut your tree so that it falls away from you.



Your tree is cut and lying delicately on the floor of the wilderness. After giving gratitude to the tree angels, transport your prize to your vehicle. Here are some helpful tips to get you back with little inconvenience.

–  Carry your tree with 2 hands… unless you drove out to the forest for a Charlie Brown tree.
–  One hand near the base and the other hand near the center of the tree. Find the center of balance and keep the tree even as you carry, limiting chances of the tip catching the forest floor and you following it to the ground.
–  Ideally, carry the tree with a partner but if solo, be sure to use an alternating hand grip. Having a hand on each side of the tree will help ensure you stay in an elbow in, thumb up position, allowing you to carry that monster 20 yards or 200 yards! We also recommend if you are carrying 200 yards to stop and take breaks.



About Omar Fercha, LAT, ATC

Omar is a Portland, OR based Athletic Trainer with Work Right NW. He has 10+ years of experience working with youth to Division 1 athletes. Four years ago he brought that experience to the sidelines of the industrial athlete. In his free time you can find him hiking with his wife, dogs, and brand new baby.

Be sure to check out our other blogs for further injury prevention education and tips from Work Right NW!