A lot of tree maintenance can be done by the homeowner, but there are some cases where jobs should be left to the professionals. Even if you’re well versed with a chainsaw, there are numerous reasons to leave tree cutting and/or removal to an expert. Here are some potential hazards with DIY tree cutting:
- Getting struck by a falling object – The CDC states that the most common accident when performing tree maintenance is getting hit by a falling branch or limb. Small branches may not be a big deal, but a larger limb to the body can cause significant injury.
- Falling – It’s very common to fall off a ladder or roof when cutting a tree. Proper harnessing is a common practice for experts, but many homeowners don’t prioritize this safety feature on their own property. Falls can be serious, even if you’re not high off the ground. Faulty ladders are often to blame with falling hazards, but slipping off a roof or lift mechanism is also a possibility.
- Electrocution – If trees are close to overhead power lines, there is a genuine risk of electrocution. You could touch a live wire, or a falling branch could hit it and cause issues.
- Cuts and scrapes – Minor cuts and scrapes are expected when working with trees, but there are many events where power cutting equipment or large limbs cause serious cuts sending people to the ER. Additionally, some scrapes can be dangerous, such as splinters and deep scrapes that get infected.
- Equipment malfunctions – Sometimes cutting equipment fails or malfunctions, causing impact injuries. These include a climbing rope snapping, a lift mechanism breaking, or a cutter getting thrown or pinned against another structure.
- Poisoning – Sometimes poison ivy or poison oak grows up a tree’s trunk, and these leaves can be difficult to detect because they probably blend well into the tree. Exposure to these poisonous plants can cause irritation, pain, and burning.
- Stings and Bites – Because many animals make their homes in your trees, there is a risk of those animals getting startled when you disturb them. Stings from bees or hornets can be painful, and bites from ants or other small animals could cause infection. Attacking the tree cutter is a reasonable response from these animals, so be prepared.
- Amputation – Although this is a rare risk, amputations are possible anytime someone uses a power tool and/or heavy equipment. Whether operator error or a malfunction, losing a finger or a limb is a real risk during tree cutting maintenance.
- Eye Injuries – Another common issue, eye injuries from tree maintenance includes sawdust or wood chips going airborne and getting in your eye and/or branches or limbs poking the eye causing cuts or scratches to the cornea. We’ve seen some serious eye accidents from DIY tree removal, especially if people fail to use eye safety equipment.
If you choose to tackle tree maintenance yourself, be sure you’re wearing proper protective gear and that you are trained on how to use the machinery and tools necessary. However, stay safe and make sure the job gets done right by calling the experts at Timber Ridge Tree Service.