Animal Crossing: New Horizons utilizes a lot of crafting and an axe can also be crafted.
You can use an axe to chop trees to get wood, hardwood and possibly other stuff.
Here’s how you can get a flimsy axe recipe in Animal Crossing: New Horizons (ACNH).
Submit creatures to Nook
To get the lowest level for axes, i.e. flimsy axe, you need to give creatures to Nook.
Just submit any creature you found, both bugs and fishes included.
In the first or second submission, Nook should hand over a DIY axe recipe to you.
Craft the axe
Once you have the recipe, use the work bench to craft a flimsy axe.
You’ll only need five tree branches and a stone. Stones can be taken from the ground.
Once you have the axe, you can start hitting the trees to get wood and hardwood.