If you’ve got a pesky tree making trouble, but you’re not sure what to do about it, you’ve come to the right place. Before you fire up your chainsaw and try your hand at tree felling solo style, read through these safety tips.
Felling trees the safe way
Felling trees may look simple, but not every job is straightforward and the tree doesn’t always fall where you want it to go!
Here are a few quick safety tips for felling trees the safe way.
Study the tree
You know the saying, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?” It’s a saying for a reason. Take a few minutes to study the tree you’re thinking of removing in order to assess the potential hazards and dangers.
If you notice any of the following, do not cut down the tree yourself. You will require a professional’s help to remove the tree safely.
- Dead branches—if you notice broken dead branches that are still attached, or ones that are supported by other branches, consider this a hazard. While cutting the tree these branches will likely come loose and fall. The risk? They’ll damage property or worse, they’ll fall on you.
- An obvious lean—if the tree is leaning heavily in one direction then this is the direction the tree will fall. In all likelihood, this is not where you want the tree to fall, but without proper equipment you’ll be unable to adjust the lean or load.
- Nearby power lines, buildings, fences, etc.—if there’s anything you don’t want damaged when the tree comes down then skip the step where you try and do it yourself and call a pro.
Estimate the felling zone
You may be tempted to eyeball where you think the tree will land on the ground, but there’s a better way to estimate your tree felling zone using an old lumberjack’s trick.
Take your axe and hold the handle at arm’s length. Then, close one eye and move until the top of the tree you want to remove is even with the top of the axehead, and the bottom of the tree is even with the base of the axe handle. Now look at where you’re standing. This is a rough estimate of where the treetop will hit after falling.
Wear safety gear
Don’t just wear safety gear, wear the right safety gear. This isn’t optional. When it comes to felling trees and running chainsaws, anything can happen. There are a few essential items you should always don when dealing with trees and chainsaws.
- Loggers helmet—this will protect you from falling branches.
- Earmuffs—to protect your ears.
- Face screen—to protect your eyes.
- Safety glasses—an extra layer of protection to keep dust out of your eyes.
- Kevlar chaps—these will stop a chain from cutting your skin if the bar suddenly drops against your leg.
Use felling wedges
If you’re dealing with a larger tree, more than 15 inches in diameter, you will benefit from using a felling wedge or two. These help prevent your saw from getting pinched by the tree, if it leans back while you’re cutting.
Start with making a notch cut and then begin a felling cut, stopping once you’re far enough through to get the wedges behind the bar.
At Precision Tree Services, we make customer education a part of our service. Why? Because we care about you and your safety. In fact, our goal is to arm you with so much education that you are equipped to spot potential tree hazards and know when you can manage it and when it’s time to give your local Supertreero (that’s us) a call.