Cutting down a tree isn’t as simple as it sounds, there’s a lot to be aware of before you start chopping away. Before you start, this guide will help make sure you’re prepared, for both your own safety and the safety of those around you.
Make Sure You Wear Safety Gear
With the risks that come with sharp tools like axes and chainsaws, as well as the danger of a tree falling on you, safety gear isn’t something to take lightly when doing this job. A helmet with a face screen and ear protection is the standard uniform of any discernible tree cutting pro. The face screen will protect bits of bark and twigs from whacking you in the face, whilst the helmet will protect your head if you fall – or something falls on you. It’s important to protect your ears from the loud whirring of a chainsaw.
Wearing a long-sleeved shirt while you take on this task will add a simple layer of protection from scratches. Solid boots with steel toe caps will do the same for your feet. You can also get chaps or chainsaw trousers from specialist stores to protect your legs. A solid pair of chainsaw gloves can be purchased online for £20-£30, it’s worth the price to protect your fingers.
Check That Your Chainsaw is in Good Condition
When you gather all your equipment together, take a good look at the chainsaw you are going to use. If it’s one you’ve had for a while make sure it’s not too old, blunt or rusted and it’s still up to the task. Cutting through a tree is a tough job, so don’t make it any harder or more dangerous than it needs to be by using old, worn-out equipment. If the chainsaw is beyond repair, invest in a new one.
Before you start, make sure you have enough fuel too, running out in the middle of cutting the tree is the last thing you want – and could be dangerous.
Check if the chainsaw needs sharpening too. A way to tell if it’s sharp enough or not is if you get chips or dust from cutting. Chips mean the cutters are sharp, dust lets you know you need to sharpen. There is more chance of dangerous kickback if the chainsaw is dull, so don’t neglect this.
Don’t Do it Alone
You should have someone with you whilst you cut the tree, just to make sure you’re safe. They can stand a few feet away and watch for falling branches, as well as signs that it’s time to stop cutting and clear space for the rest of the tree to fall on its own.
Have a Plan
Don’t just rush in and randomly start cutting, take a step back and think about how you’re going to cut each part of the tree. Doing this will make sure you and everybody else around you stays safe, it will also minimise the risk of collateral damage. If there is even a small risk of the tree hitting any nearby power lines, hire a professional who can avoid these issues instead.
If In Doubt, Call a Professional
If whilst reading this article you’ve suddenly realised there’s a lot more to cutting down a tree than you thought, it might be worthwhile just searching tree surgeon Chelmsford to find a local expert to do it instead.
Don’t Try to Cut Down a Rotten Tree
If your tree has rotted out, then it’s best to call a professional as the felling direction of a rotten tree can be unpredictable. Dead branches are also more likely to shake loose and hit you whilst you are trying to cut the tree down.
Checklist of Gear
- Eye protection/face shield
- Ear defenders
- Chainsaw gloves and trousers
- Steel toe capped work boots
- Chainsaw in good condition, sharpened and fuelled
- Crosscut saw
- Loppers (for chopping off branches)
- Stump grinder (you can hire these)
- Rope (for pulling down parts of the tree you can’t reach)
Now that you have a clear idea of what you’ll need, you can get to work on cutting down that tree. Remember, you can always call on a professional if you don’t think you can do the task yourself.