Trees are one of the defining features of an outdoor space, and proper maintenance is key to keeping them healthy and safe. However, tree trimming can be dangerous work, which is why it’s often best left to professionals.
Unfortunately, novice tree trimmers are prone to making mistakes that could put their safety — and the safety of others — at risk. Here are a few of the most common mistakes made by inexperienced DIYers and how professionals avoid them.
Not Wearing Protective Gear
Safety gear is a must whenever you’re handling sharp tools — such as saws, pruners, and clippers — near trees. This means wearing a hard hat, protective gloves, eye goggles, closed-toe shoes or boots with slip-resistant soles, and long pants to prevent scrapes from twigs and branches. A professional may also wear hearing protection when working with loud machinery and a harness when working from elevated heights.
Failing to Inspect the Tree Before Starting
Before beginning any pruning project, a professional arborist inspects the tree for signs of damage or stress that could indicate the need for special safety precautions. This includes inspecting the roots and checking for dead branches and weak spots. Inspections also involve looking for signs of disease, pests, or animal activity that could compromise the tree’s safety.
Not Setting up a Clear Work Zone
Professional tree trimmers set up a work zone around the tree, making sure to keep bystanders and vehicles at least 20 feet away from any falling limbs or branches. They also identify any nearby obstructions, such as power lines or buildings. And they take steps to protect those obstructions from potential damage. If necessary, they may even use flags or other signals to alert traffic to the presence of workers.
Whenever possible, professionals avoid taking on tree-trimming tasks alone. It’s always best to have at least one other person on hand both to provide assistance and serve as a spotter — someone who keeps an eye on the tree trimmer in case of an emergency. This helps reduce the risk of serious injury if something goes wrong while they’re up in the tree.
Climbing the Tree Unsecured
Professionals never climb a tree without being secured with ropes and other safety equipment. They always use a sturdy, supportive ladder when climbing short heights and secure it with braces to prevent tipping. For taller trees, they rely on aerial lifts or cranes to carry them safely to the branches that need trimming.
While tree trimming is often a difficult job, it doesn’t need to be dangerous — especially when left to the professionals. By leaving tree trimming to the experts, you can ensure that your trees are properly maintained without putting yourself or others at risk. If you’re in need of professional tree trimming and pruning services, contact West Coast Tree Co. in Thousand Oaks, CA, today.