Whether you’re pruning tree limbs or removing a hazardous tree, safety is of the utmost importance. Today we outline general safety tips and tree removal safety recommendations.
Please note, these are general guidelines and recommendations and are not to be understood as complete steps and directions for felling a tree.
When it comes to tree removal we highly recommend hiring a professional service such as Mountain West Arbor Care. Removing a hazardous tree is a highly dangerous task. When you add in extraneous hazards and conditions (powerlines for instance) the level of danger is heightened.
Common tree care and removal dangers include:
- Falling from heights
- Cutting and chipping equipment accidents
- Pesticide and chemical exposure
- Blunt force trauma from falling limbs and trees
Tree Care Safety Equipment
The type of equipment needed will depend on the type of tree care being performed. That being said, it is generally a good idea to have some core basics for any type of tree care service.
- Heavy duty gloves
- Safety Goggles
- Hearing Protection
- Hard Hat
- Work boots/shoes
- Heavy/thick clothing
Before beginning any type of tree maintenance both the tree and work site should be properly inspected for hazards to ascertain exactly what you will be working with.
- Check the tree for dead and/or rotting wood
- Check the tree for broken branches
- Inspect for weak limbs.
- Ensure there are not hazardous wind conditions
- Be aware of powerlines. If pruning or tree removal is necessary around power lines than hiring a professional is absolutely critical. Do not proceed. This is incredibly dangerous and specialized work.
- If felling a tree, examine the area of the fall and ensure there are no obstacles or other hazards.
When it comes to tree removal there are extra inspection steps that should be performed.
- Is the felling zone clear?
- Is the tree leaning in a direction? This will have an impact on the direction of the fall.
- Proximity of other trees.
- If there is wind, which direction is it blowing? Note the top of the tree and the direction it moves in the wind. This can impact the direction of the tree fall.
- Inspecting the area of the cut for rot. Interior rot can affect the direction of the tree fall.
- Does the tree need a rope guide to direct the fall?
Once you’ve completed your inspections it’s time to take down the tree. The traditional way of felling a tree is by performing an undercut and a back cut.
Undercut: The first cut you make. The undercut is made on the side you want the tree to fall. Starting at about waist height, you make a horizontal cut about one-third way through the tree. Next, make an angled cut above the first. Ensure it is high enough above the first cut to result in a 45 degree wedge of wood.
The back cut: This is the felling cut. On the opposite side of the tree, about two inches above the base of the undercut, begin making a horizontal cut. Keep cutting until the tree falls. It should fall before you’ve cut all the way through the tree. It’s important to keep your back cut uniform to avoid the tree falling in an unexpected direction.
The Take Away
Tree care safety is of the utmost importance. Whether you’re performing general tree maintenance or felling a tree, a basic set of safety gear is recommended. This includes a hard hat, safety goggles, gloves, and work boots.
Removing a hazardous tree is an incredibly dangerous task and it is highly recommended that you hire a professional service. Common dangers associated with hazardous tree removal include electrocution, falls, and cutting equipment accidents.
Mountain West Arbor Care, staffed with ISA Certified Arborists and trained preventative tree care specialists, has decades of combined experience when it comes to hazardous tree removal. Contact us for all of your tree care and hazardous tree removal needs.