We provide simplified proofs for the asymptotic distribution of the number of cuts required to cut down a Galton–Watson tree with critical, finite-variance offspring distribution, conditioned to have total progeny $n$. Our proof is based on a coupling which yields a precise, nonasymptotic distributional result for the case of uniformly random rooted labeled trees (or, equivalently, Poisson Galton–Watson trees conditioned on their size). Our approach also provides a new, random reversible transformation between Brownian excursion and Brownian bridge.
"Cutting down trees with a Markov chainsaw." Ann. Appl. Probab. 24 (6) 2297 - 2339, December 2014. https://doi.org/10.1214/13-AAP978