Top 9 Safety Precautions To Take When Cutting Down Trees

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Top 9 Safety Precautions To Take When Cutting Down Trees

Top 9 Safety Precautions To Take When Cutting Down Trees

Having trees on your property has lots of advantages. They help reduce cooling costs during summer, reduce noise pollution, purify surrounding air, and elevate your curb appeal. Unfortunately, the lifespan of trees is also limited. There will become diseased, dangerous, or damaged due to extreme weather conditions. When you experience any of these, you know it’s best to cut them down.

Cutting down trees is always best when done by professionals since they’re equipped with the right tools, techniques, knowledge, and protective equipment. But, if your budget is restricted and you have no choice but to perform this undertaking yourself, it’s crucial to know the necessary safety precautions.

Here are some of the crucial steps to take before cutting down trees:

  1. Prepare The Site

One of the basic steps is to prepare the site where you will be cutting trees. This will ensure the place will be safe for you to work in. It’s crucial to ensure that the area doesn’t have anyone nearby; this applies to all your family members, kids, and pets. Tell your loved ones to go inside your house while tackling the tree-cutting activity. Consider two escape routes in the opposite direction of the tree’s intended fall.

Ensure that each escape route is clear of obstacles so you can escape easily and prevent injuries. It is best to put your cutting tools and devices as far away from your escape route as possible. It should also be far from the area where the tree will fall. Effective site preparation can help you fulfill cutting the tree safely and securely.

  1. Inspect The Tree

If you want to cut a tree, you should first observe it. You can do this by performing an inspection and climbing the tree while wearing tree climbing gear. While you may be sure that it requires cutting, there might be details that you fail to inspect.

Look for any dead or dangling branches on the tree. Loose limbs can cause severe injury or death to the person cutting the tree. It’s essential to remove those loose branches first and remove sharp edges that can cut the worker’s skin.

It’s essential to observe the surroundings too. Chances are some other houses, gates, windows, and power lines can be affected when your tree starts falling. When you experience such risks, it’s always best to go for a professional arborist or tree cutter instead. Doing so can ensure the tree won’t fall in a way that will endanger other people.

  1. Prepare All Necessary Tools And Equipment

Tree cutting requires special devices, machines, tools, and equipment. It’s best to create a checklist of all these before you begin the activity. Prepare all the tools and make sure they are in good working order. You must match the tool or cutting equipment that’s effective in handling the tree to its size.

For instance, you can go for small chainsaws for smaller-sized trees. However, a medium chainsaw is preferable if the tree is already around 15 inches in diameter. Check your equipment and see to it that the blades are lubricated enough to run smoothly.

Whether you’re using fuel or electricity to power up your equipment, ensure that these resources are available in the location. Aside from your advanced devices, prepare manual tools like sharp axes, knives, mallets, and wedges.

Place them in an area accessible for you to reach when cutting the tree. Also, another important note is that tree cutting equipment needs knowledge and training to operate. For instance, chainsaws are dangerous equipment, and you need the right skills and training to use them safely and effectively.

Reading how to use a chainsaw is not enough, so it would be best to have proper training done by an expert or a friend who knows how to use it. Chainsaws come in different ranges and capacities, so use the right one to cut the tree faster.

You will need to determine which tool would be most beneficial for your project based on its size. Other tools you need are ladders, ropes, pruning shears, hooks, hammers, hatchets, blades, saws, and more.

  1. Use Personal Protective Equipment

Safety and health are at risk from using the cutting machinery itself. Chainsaws are very dangerous, and a tiny error can lead to severe injuries and even death. Any part of the human body that gets in the way of machinery will also be easily harmed. Therefore, it’s wise to wear your personal protective equipment. Aside from ensuring safety when handling this dangerous cutting equipment, the right PPE also helps you stay protected against wood, trees, branches, and twigs.

Besides being responsible for their own safety and well-being, operators should be aware of how their actions could affect others in the area. You need to ensure everyone partaking or helping you cut the tree is equipped with the proper protective equipment. You must wear a helmet, leather gloves, work boots, eye protection or goggles, and even ear plugs.

Consider investing in a harness and tree climbing gear if you intend to climb the tree. It’s imperative that you also dress correctly. Before wearing the helmets and other PPE, ensure that your base clothes are not loose or overly fit. Some fabrics can get in the way of your task and make you uncomfortable and bothered.

Check yourself from top to bottom and assess whether you’re protected enough in case accidental injuries happen. You should choose comfortable, slip-resistant shoes rather than sandals.  You will then be able to move around without the risk of falling and slipping.

  1. Check Any Affected Power Lines

The homeowner does a large part of the project of felling trees. And it will also be your responsibility if there are nearby establishments that will be affected. Check the power lines of your neighbors and other nearby properties.

Ensure the tree won’t interfere with nearby power lines before cutting it. If, in any event, the tree has fallen on a power line, you should contact the utility provider right away so they can manage to remove the tree on their own in a safe way. Because there may be electric currents from loose wires, you should not touch or risk removing them yourself.

  1. Be Aware Of The Risks Of Getting Bitten By Tree Insects

One of the safety precautions when partaking in cutting a tree is to warn yourself of the risks involved. For example, the tree might come with insects, pests, or animals living inside.

They might be disturbed, triggered, and agitated, leading them to attack you and your family. They can bite and lead to health consequences. Especially if it is a small child or animal that has been stung, it can result in a fatal reaction. Hence, to avoid this, inspect the tree and know the proper steps to take in case this happens.

  1. Decide The Cutting Method

Finally, it’s essential to decide the cutting method to be used. The most common one is through the three-cut method. This is where the cutter will perform the first cut, an undercut, and the last cut where you want the tree to fall. Cut through a third of the tree’s trunk horizontally. As for your second cut, it should be below the first cut. This cut should be made at an upward angle.

When making the last cut, it should be on the tree’s opposite side, where the tree will be falling. The cut should be horizontal and done above the very first cut. Always remember not to cut more than half of the tree. When every cut has been successfully done, and you think the tree is now ready to fall, you can run to your escape or safe route.

Decide The Cutting Method

  1. Study Which Direction For Falling Is Best

While cutting the tree is essential, it is also important to observe where the tree will fall. Determine the direction of the tree’s fall by carefully examining it. As trees rarely grow vertically, you may be able to determine their precise location based on how it leans.

Also, consider the other factors that will make the fall more flourishing, like the wind or other weather details. Remember to measure the height and width of the tree and match it according to the space where it will fall to.

  1. Hire An Assistant Or Lookout

When going over the many steps of cutting a tree, it’s always best to have a hired assistant or lookout who will be on the side of the tree while you and others cut, measure, and perform necessary steps. You need different eyes to check and estimate how and where your tree will be falling. When they can observe on the side, they can suggest ways and techniques as to where the trees should fall in.

Choose to hire someone with experience and someone you can trust while they stand several feet behind you. They are responsible for monitoring the top of the tree and alerting you when it begins to fall. You will receive the signal to take your planned escape route when they finally alert you with their hand signal.

Conclusion

Age, weather, and disease can lead to trees dying or being damaged. You can use the above guide to ensure your safety when chopping down a tree on your own. Ensure you are skilled in handling the cutting equipment and don’t forget to wear high-quality protective equipment. And when you’re not confident in partaking in this task, remember that it’s always best to leave it to the professionals.

Whatever the problem is with your trees, some experts can tackle cutting the tree and removing them from your property. Lastly, you can start choosing the right tree if you ever want to replant them in your yard once again.

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