Tree Removal Safety Tips

31 March 2016
 Categories: , Blog

Whether you are removing a small tree yourself or bringing a professional tree service to tackle a larger tree, proper preparation and safety is a must. Injuries to yourself or others, or even damage to your property, can be avoided by following a few basic safety tips.

Tip #1: Look For Potential Hazards

The most obvious hazard, of course, is overhead power lines. If you have power lines near enough for the tree to potentially hit as it comes down, don't try to remove it yourself. Instead, bring in a professional. Another less obvious hazard is broken branches that are tangled in the other limbs of the tree. These can come loose as you cut through the trunk, crashing down and causing injury to those below.

Tip #2: Set a Perimeter

Although you will try to control the direction in which the tree falls, keep in mind that rot or damage inside the trunk can make this an inexact science so the tree may fall a different direction. For this reason, use sawhorses or hazard tape to mark off a large area around the tree so pedestrians don't walk into any of the potential fall zone. Move vehicles and other property out of this perimeter zone if you are able to do so.

Tip #3: Plan an Escape Route

You need to be prepared to act quickly if the tree begins to come down in an unexpected manner. Before you begin to cut, determine several different directions from which you can evacuate from the area of the tree if it starts to fall in the wrong direction. You don't want to be trapped in the fall path if things go wrong.

Tip #4: Limb As You Go

If you are bringing down a taller tree or a tree in an area where it is impossible to clear the fall zone completely, you may decide to put on a safety harness and climb up to take it down in sections. In this case, make sure you test branches as you climb to the top and cut off any that are broken or weak so they don't come down as you work. Also, try to keep your weight on the trunk, using the safety harness, instead of trusting it to a branch. Bringing down a tree in this method is dangerous, though, since the trunk can crack beneath you. In most cases it is best to hire a professional tree removal contractor for these more difficult removals.