The tree is about 45 feet tall and over 38 years old. (This was determined much later.) So we started by cutting a few of the lower lying branches. These were relatively simple and I used the old rickety wooden ladder and a simple saw. We then decided that we would tackle the upper 1/3 of the tree.
Now the upper part of the tree leans toward the pool. We tied a rope to the upper part of the tree, which my mother and father were pulling towards the other side of the yard away from the pool. My brother held the rickety ladder and I went up the tree with the chainsaw. I am now 20 to 25 feet in the air with a chainsaw in one hand and a rickety ladder in the other. Now we had discussions of making a wedge cut into the tree, but I thought we had decided just to make a diagonal cut up the tree. This was again a mistake in judgment.
The chainsaw was making a quick incision into the tree. There was then a large cracking noise over the sound of the chainsaw. I looked up and saw that the tree was careening down towards me. My parents pulling was useless and now death was looking at me with bark in it's eyes. I let go of the button on chainsaw and deftly moved to the right of the falling tree. It just grazed me and gave me some minor scrapes. About 8 feet of the tree went into the pool, while the rest of the tree hung on for dear life. The chainsaw got stuck in the tree. Once my family noticed I was still on the rickety ladder their main concern was for the pool fence. Of course I could have been on the rickety ladder in shock with my hand cut off and no one would have noticed, but that is alright. I am not bitter. :)
Although we ended up winning the battle with the tree in the end it definitely won the first round. I would suggest to everyone that unless the tree is under 20 feet tall get a professional to cut down the tree. With that being said it did feel good to accomplish something dangerous without killing myself. Evil Knievel I am not. Super Dave maybe.