Tree Trimming 101: Safety Precautions You Should Take

Tree trimming is not a simple yard task. If you plan to trim one or two branches of a tree in your backyard, it is best to think twice about doing it. Remember, if you do not know what you are doing, you might put yourself in danger – ranging from sprained wrists to fractures or even worse.

Generally, tree trimming involves climbing and pruning, often with portable tools such as trimmers or chainsaws. Professionals, such as those seen in, might even utilize an aerial lift to access the tall branches, which puts them in danger for falls or even electrocution if close to power lines. The main causes of death while tree trimming includes falls from heights and electrocution. With this in mind, extra training is necessary before working at heights or near any power lines.

Remember that trimming trees can be a risky task, even if you follow safety tips. If you lack the skills or are simply eager to take on a safe route, you can consider the professional services of one who specializes in tree trimming or tree lopping to get the job done.

There are several considerations before you decide to climb the tree in your backyard, including the types of tools you will use, the preparations, and many more.

Let us take a look at several safety tips if you want to do tree trimming at home.

Assessing The Tree

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In your yard, each tree is unique with its specific features or characteristics. With this in mind, the initial step before tree trimming is a thorough assessment.

The first task is to measure the height of the tree. Use this as a basis for deciding whether it is small enough to cut using a standard ladder or if there is a need to use harnesses, a climbing rope, or even an aerial lift. Ensure that you inspect the tree for any elements that might pose a hazard as you climb, such as cracks, hollow areas, and other potential issues.

As you climb the tree, you should cut off or break any dead limbs. Avoid using any weak, split or dead branches for support. Try placing your hands and feet on separate limbs of the tree while climbing, and move steadily. Do not rush while climbing the tree as you’re putting yourself in danger.

Another factor to consider is to make sure that the weather is good. Remember that even minor rain or wind can make the task even more dangerous. If you’re going to start the job on a sunny morning, you should still monitor the weather as it can quickly take on a different turn by the afternoon.

Lastly, make sure that the area is free from potential hazards, such as branches that are about to snap or any nearby electrical wires.

Wearing The Appropriate Protective Gear

Before tree trimming, make sure that you have the proper protective gear. Remember that this activity will expose you to wood particles, insects, and other debris. From top to bottom, you must wear the following:

  • Helmet or hard hat that is non-conductive
  • Safety goggles or facial mask for protection against wood particles, dust, or insects
  • Work gloves, ideally made of leather
  • Close-fitting clothing that covers most of your skin
  • Boots with good traction and slip-resistant soles
  • Thick pants
  • Ear protection if you are going to use a chainsaw or trimmer
  • Leg chaps and gauntlets if using a chainsaw
  • Fall protection harness

Do not forget to remove any jewelry and tie up your hair if it is long. With the proper protective gear, you’re protected against potential injuries while trimming the tree. Always ensure that you’re prepared for the task.

Safeguard The Area

Always prioritize safety during tree trimming. If the tree extends over the road or sidewalk, place signs and road cones so that passersby are aware of what is going on. Wear high visibility clothing such as a yellow jacket. You can also request your partner to stay on the road and inform anyone who passes by.

Do not forget to consider the speed limit of the nearby road and its shoulder width to decide on the type of signs and cones to place within the area. You don’t want your early warning device to be too small or too large for its location.

Securing Your Partner

Baobab tree

During tree trimming, it’s important to have a partner. Having your partner on the ground while you’re up on the tree is a precautionary measure should something go wrong like getting stuck in a branch, the ladder breaks or getting an injury while up in the tree. Remember that the last thing you want when a mishap occurs is to be all alone.

Before working on the task, get a partner, and make sure he or she will stay around throughout the task.
You and your partner should have first aid and CPR training should an emergency occur. Getting training on these life-saving courses will surely come in handy during emergencies.

Be Careful Around Power Lines

Beautiful Forests

As much as possible, please avoid contact with power lines as it can be extremely dangerous or even deadly. Metal tools or equipment that you have can potentially conduct electricity if any part touches the overhead power lines, even those that are down. The key is always to assume that any power lines are active and deadly.
Lastly, do not attempt to de-energize a power line unless you are a qualified professional. If there is a need to move close to power lines to finish the task, it is best to inform the utility company and request for de-energization or safeguard the lines before doing anything else. Remember that most accidents associated with tree trimming often involve power lines.

Whether tree trimming or tree lopping is part of the landscape maintenance in your house, you should be ready to handle the task and stay safe at the same time. By observing the proper safety precautions during tree trimming, you can readily manage the job properly while getting the best possible outcome in keeping your yard in good shape. It is also a good idea to look for professionals to have these things done for you. Read more and learn about a company who’s an expert in tree trimming.

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