Chopping down a tree and bringing it crashing to the earth might seem like a fun task, but with its size comes a formidable safety risk. Properly understanding and addressing the risks involving in tree felling should be thought of as a requirement before picking up a single tool.
Whether you're pulling down a lone tree in your front yard or levelling an entire paddock of lumbering giants, the safety precautions that should be undertaken are the same. Make sure you can put a tick next to each and every single one of the below safety points before you start chopping.
1. Protection Equipment - Gloves, safety glasses, a hard hat and hearing protection should be the absolute minimum when tree felling. Not only will any climbing be a strain on your body, but falling debris can pose a dangerous threat. Make sure to wear your hard hat at all times!
2. Determine The Outcome - Flesh out your plan of attack, including which way you'll be directing the tree to fall, and any potential obstacles that could get in the way. Make sure to take any of the tree's natural lean and weight distribution into consideration when you begin cutting.
3. Pick The Right Day - You might be in a rush to get started on the project, but waiting for the calmest day to start felling the tree is very much recommended. Any situation involving high wind, heavy rain or any other particularly inclement weather is cause for delay. Working at height in such conditions is dangerous, even for professionals!
4. Let The Professionals Do It - If you're tackling anything that you feel is out of your comfort zone, there's no shame in hiring a professional to, at the very least, help you in your tree felling. In fact, when it comes to power tools like chainsaws, it is always recommended to let a trained professional take control.
5. Don't Cut and Climb - Think about it, you're using tools to cut through the woody flesh of a strong tree. These are not instruments that you want to have in your hand while you're climbing. Climb each stage one at a time and either reach down to get the tools or have another person there to help you pass them up.
6. Avoid Powerlines - Never, ever cut a tree down that is within close proximity to a power line. The risk of electrocution is high, and even a small shock can send you hurtling to the ground. Specially trained line-clearance tree trimmers are the only people approved to operate in this environment, and you should seek their expertise immediately.
As with any inherently risky task, keep your wits about you at all times and think everything through twice. Having another set of eyes, ears and hands on site to help you out is also very important and remember that no tree is worth risking anyone's life.
Taking care of trees can be challenging, and sadly, there is a lot of misleading information on the Internet about the best ways to take care of trees. To try to shed light on these shady organisms, I have decided to start a blog. Hi, my name is Mandi, and I have always loved trees. Through the years, I have built tree houses, travelled to the woods to chop firewood for the winter and trimmed trees to help them survive. It is one of my favourite hobbies and something I have devoted a lot of time and research to. If you want to learn about trees, explore this blog, and thanks for reading!