Caught on Camera: Tree-Cutting Fails and Mishaps

When do-it-yourself tree-cutting goes wrong, trees can fall anywhere besides where they are intended.
7:04 | 02/14/15

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Transcript for Caught on Camera: Tree-Cutting Fails and Mishaps
Lovely landscaping can really increase the value of your home. But this is one case where do it yourself may not be that smart. Here's Matt Gutman. Reporter: This grove of Douglas firs is laying waste to somebody's house. What's up with that? To understand -- I'm scrambling up the side of this 85 foot white oak. Climbing just use one foot at a time to meet up with mark Chisolm. Reporter: Yeah, im great! Reporter: Three time world climbing champion and a spokesman for Stihl chainsaws -- Welcome to my office. Reporter: This is where you work, huh? What do trees have to do with real estate anyway? You buy property you're going to have trees and they are usually close to your house and everything else. You got to have the ability to maintain your property. Reporter: Trees can be the ultimate real estate nightmare. Oh, my god! Reporter: Just one bad storm can send them crashing down almost anywhere. It happens regularly. Just this past week -- The tree came down with such force it shook the neighborhood. Reporter: A tree toppling in a windstorm outside Washington, D.C. Captured on a 911 call. It's actually falling on my home right now. It just fell on my home. Reporter: But hiring someone like mark to cut the trouble down in advance can cost up to several thousand dollars. Too expensive for Juan morales of Lakeland, Florida. They wanted $2,000 per tree and I was like, oh, no. Reporter: He saved a fortune renting this equipment. Unfortunately, professional expertise was not included. My brother had the boom lifted as high as it would go. I got scared because he was way too close to the tree. At that time I started yelling at him. Get out! Reporter: I heard that tree snap. Wow. Reporter: Juan was actually lucky, no major damage to the house. The Hagen family in Brighton Michigan? Not so fortunate. The big chainsaw is on the porch. Reporter: That's Elizabeth doing the somewhat skeptical play by play as her husband Craig does his best Tim Allen from "Home improvement." People build confidence over time. They say, this went where I wanted, this went where I wanted, I can do that one too. Oh, my gosh. Reporter: The winds must have changed. Oh. That's painful to watch. That was not good at all! Reporter: No, it wasn't. The Hagens had a good $1,000 worth of damage. Trees hit houses. They're all over the internet. Trees crashing into large homes, small sheds, and whatever else. Oh, no. Oh! Told you it's going fall that way. Reporter: The good news for all you apprentice Paul bunyans if you destroy your house with a tree, insurance is supposed to pay. However, if you miss the house itself and only destroy the front yard you're on your own. When it's not your house it's oddly compelling to watch. There goes your power, fool. Reporter: But mark says it isn't funny. A lot of people get hurt or killed doing this. It's a big problem. Reporter: What are they doing wrong? A lot of people come up to a tree and they say, "This has got to be simple, you just slice right through it, right?" Yeah and that's a mistake. Reporter: Mark says cut straight through and the tree just falls where gravity takes it. For control you need to start with a "Face cut" in the front of the tree, a "Back cut" in the rear, and never, ever cut through the middle called "The hinge." You can teach someone how to do this in a day? Yes. Reporter: Mark is going to show me on this 45-foot white pine already slated to be removed. Stand back. Got it turned on? There you go. Timber! Told you you could do it! Reporter: An hour later -- I've safely felled my first three dead trees. But there's more to this than just proper cutting. How do you know which way a tree is going to fall? Well, you've got to assess the tree as a whole. Reporter: According to mark, if you can't judge how the tree is leaning, leave it to someone who can. Reporter: Done properly, you can be incredibly precise. These two guys in Packwood, Washington, figured it out to perfection. Precision almost hard to believe. That is worth another look. 60 feet of pine through a three-foot opening. Beautiful. Thank you, god. Reporter: Then there's Ryan Anderson of Middleton, Idaho, whose property we showed you earlier. I want to pile up toothpicks when we're done. Reporter: He wanted to build a new home where his old one was standing. To cut the demolition costs he figured why not just use those giant Douglas firs? How often do you get to see a tree fall through and cut a house in half? We had six trees fall. There it goes. There it goes! Hearing the windows break, the wood crack, seeing the branches fly, it was a ton of fun! Reporter: Back in the woods, it's time for my final exam, and I need a target. Keeping with the real estate theme, we opt for this majestic mansion dollhouse. You're saying I can hit that dollhouse with this tree? You can. I'm not saying it's going to be easy. Reporter: Here we go. Oh, no. I missed! I missed! No! No! Take two. Reporter: I'm giving it one more shot. Same thing as before. Good grip. Let her rip. Let's see what you got. Reporter: Whoo! You did it! Reporter: Bull's-eye! You couldn't do more damage

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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