Safe work habits are very important, especially for dangerous jobs like cutting trees. They're nice to have in a yard, as trees add shade and a lot of aesthetic value. But those trees also come with a hefty responsibility of ensuring that they’re all well-maintained, trimmed, and cut, when needed. Some experts can do a good job at it, but hiring professionals all the time may also be expensive. It's one of the compelling reasons why many homeowners strive to learn how to cut down trees.
If you insist on cutting the trees in your outdoor space all by yourself, it’s worth learning how to do it in the safest way possible. It's a big project on your own, and a risky one at that. Your safety should never be placed on the line, in exchange for saving a few bucks here and there. To start, here are five tips you may want to apply:
1.) Assess The Job That Needs To Be Done
The cutting of trees is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. When done haphazardly and inaccurately, it can result in unwanted accidents. It is the main reason why it’s very important to assess first the job you’ll have to do, before even starting on day one.
First, you’ll have to check the weather on the day you intend to cut trees so you can prepare for the weather conditions. Ideally, you’ll want to make sure that the weather is pleasant enough. It's not too cold, nor too hot. Most importantly, the winds aren’t too strong and it can also be a safety risk or hazard.
Second, go through any electrical lines nearby. Make a plan of action so you can be certain not to risk touching any of those electrical wires. You can be seriously injured should the tree fall in the wrong direction.
2.) Wear The Right Safety Gear
Safely cutting down trees isn’t something that’s achieved only with the right skills. Rather, it also necessitates wearing the right safety gear. You just never know when an accident can happen, as even the most cautious can still be at risk. The best that you can do is to ensure you have the appropriate gear to keep you protected, in the event of an untoward accident.
Some of the basic safety gears that you need to have are safety glasses, a tree climbing harness, protective headgear, ear muffs, and a face screen.
If you’re using a chain saw, many professionals also recommend using additional leg protection gear such as Kevlar chap. It’s capable of stopping a chain saw immediately should the bar accidentally drop to your leg.
3.) Use Felling Wedges
Felling wedges are effective at preventing your saw from pinching you during a cut. These can be bought in almost any outdoor power equipment store that also sells chain saws. They're quite inexpensive, giving you even more reason to buy this extra gear, in the name of safety.
4.) Learn All You Can About Cutting Trees
It pays to read through as many sources as you can about cutting trees before you even get started. Then, study each piece of equipment you’ll be using carefully too. Go through the dos and don’ts as well as the safety instructions from the manufacturer.
If you do have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the equipment manufacturer for some clarity. Likewise, friends, colleagues, and family members who have also tried cutting down trees in the past can be a very trustworthy source of advice.
5.) Rent A Bucket Lift, If You Have To
If you have branches that are high up, then you’ll need assistance to reach that height. Ladders can give you that, but they’re not necessarily the safest, especially when you're working alone. A better piece of equipment to use is one that professionals also trust: the bucket lift.
With bucket lifts, you can reach even as high as around 100 feet. It’s safer than a ladder, as you've kept safely within the ‘box’ or ‘fence’ of the bucket that lifts you. It’s expensive to buy and not necessary, especially when this is only for personal use. Renting one is a good enough solution.
If you’ve ever tried trimming tree branches by yourself in the past, be aware of what a challenging task it can be to do. All the more so that this challenge becomes greater when dealing with something bigger, such as cutting down bigger branches, trunks, or even the entire tree as a whole.
It's a big work to master, yes, but it’s also one that can be done safely. The tips above are only the beginning of ensuring a safe tree-cutting process. Start now with preparing so you know for sure that you have what you need and what to do next.