There is a certain art to trimming and removing full size trees. That art comes with years of experience working with trees and all types of landscaping. One can use hatchets, axes, hand saws, and chain saws. Below is a definition of tree removal.
The actual removal of a tree five inches or greater in DBH by digging up or cutting down, or the effective removal through damage which causes or may reasonably be expected to cause a tree to die, including but not limited to damage inflicted upon the root system by machinery, storage of materials, and soil compaction; changing the natural grade above the root system or around the trunk; damage inflicted on the tree allowing infection or infestation; pruning in a manner which does not comply with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) a 300 Pruning Standards; girdling; paving with asphalt, impervious concrete or other impervious material.
Tree Removal. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved January 4, 2014, from http://library.municode.com/html/12399/level2/ARTXIIDE_PT12.01.00DE.html