Because of the size, weight, and unpredictability of tree limbs, it can be dangerous work to cut down a tree, even more so if you don’t do it for a living. This is why anyone thinking of cutting down a tree themselves must do it with a well-equipped team at their side.
Tree removal cannot be taken lightly. It involves strategy, knowledge, and the proper equipment to both cut the tree and protect property and people from the perils of a natural force: gravity.
Dealing With Gravity When You Cut Down A Tree
It’s something we all take for granted, but when you cut down a tree, you have to take gravity into account. This is because gravity takes over once a cut has been made. If you don’t take control in the first place, you won’t have control when the limbs start falling, and it can quickly become a dangerous situation. The person making the cut won’t be able to tell when a tree is succumbing to the forces of gravity, and they’ll be dependent on someone to spot for them.
Encouraging a tree to fall where you want it, especially in suburban areas, takes expertise and right equipment, like cranes and pulleys. Without these, the tree may fall on power lines, your car or home, or worse, other people.
The Proper Equipment
In case our lesson on gravity wasn’t strong enough, tree trimming and removal is serious, dangerous business, and it often requires the right experience. It also requires the right equipment, taken care of in the right way.
Tree trimming professionals will use a chainsaw to make the biggest cuts, and this piece of equipment should only be used if it’s in top condition. But professionals have more than just the chainsaw to help them remove trees and branches safely. These tools often include:
- Pole saws
- Extendable saws
- Ropes and harnesses
- Hardhats, safety glasses, and work gloves
For professionals, the Occupational Health and Safety Act requires both proper training on how to safely use equipment and the use of safety gear. If you’re doing the tree removal yourself, you should follow them, too!
The plan of attack should take into account more than just the height and breadth of the tree – what kind of tree it is and its health also matters. A trained arborist should examine the tree before any work is done to it, because they can properly detect diseased, decaying, or dead wood that can make a tree very unstable. These weaknesses make cutting a tree dangerous without proper training, and companies specializing in tree felling services will know when a tree is diseased or dead, and will use tools like a crane to stabilize and remove this wood properly without collateral damage.
These tools require more than one person to operate, but even general work with tools requires safety in numbers. If you don’t have proper safety equipment, proper cutting tools, and a number of people helping you, you shouldn’t even consider cutting down a tree!