The Risks of DIY Tree Removal: What You Need to Know

Do you have a tree in your garden that’s more of an eyesore than a thing of beauty? Maybe it’s old, decaying, and starting to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or perhaps it’s still healthy, but it’s grown far bigger than you wanted it to or is in an awkward place, blocking the sun from your living room! There are many reasons to consider tree removal in Lake Macquarie

If you’re adventurous and good with your hands, tree removal would be a good DIY project, but tree removal can be dangerous! A seasoned professional can make it look easy, but many things can go wrong.

Sometimes, the tree bites back. Source: TheBadUncle 

No matter how big or small your tree is, when it comes to tree removal, you need to know how to work with power tools like chainsaws and where to cut. But cutting down a tree isn’t just about using a saw; you need to know about tree biology and even a little physics. If you attempt to carry out DIY tree removal, you could be setting yourself up for a nasty surprise, so before you start, consult an arborist! 

You might still be thinking: ‘I can handle it myself. What’s the worst that could happen?

 As you can see, even so-called pros can make dangerous mistakes. Yes, cutting down trees isn’t for the faint of heart.

Take a quick look on the internet, and you’ll see many stories of people who have thought the same thing and attempted to remove trees, often resulting in accidents, injury, or other serious consequences.

For this reason, I wanted to write this article to consider some of the most common safety risks when carrying out tree removal, why they are so dangerous and show how you can carry out tree removal in the safest possible way for you and your property.

Tool Safety

First, let’s discuss the importance of tool safety when removing trees. You need many tools throughout the process, including hand and power tools like wood chippers and chainsaws. You could be at risk of injury if you don’t have sufficient training in using such equipment.

Training is vital when using chainsaws. If someone isn’t well experienced with their work or does not handle them correctly, the chainsaw can kick back, or chains can snap, causing severe injury and damage.

Because of these dangers, think carefully before carrying out any kind of tree removal or pruning job yourself. A trained tree removal professional will have all the necessary tools and experience to do the job safely and effectively!

The All-Important PPE

In addition to proper training in using power tools, you must also wear the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)! Each tool requires different and sometimes specialised PPE to protect you.

To remove trees, you will need eye protection, safety gloves, height safety harnesses, hard hats, and high-visibility clothing. Lack of proper PPE can lead to serious injury, so it’s important to factor this in before considering any DIY tree removal.

Tree Decay

This one is a little tricky because decay is only sometimes visible to the untrained eye! Yes, you can see the rot in some trees, but others could have internal decay while appearing healthy outside.

Just like the poor guy in the video above, you could be shocked if you attempt DIY tree removal without a good understanding of tree biology! The process becomes even more hazardous if the tree is unstable or internally decaying. Whether you suspect your tree is decaying or not, getting a trained professional’s opinion on tree removal is always best to be safe!

Safety at Height

According to the Australian government Safe Work website, working at height ‘is a high-risk activity, and a leading cause of death and serious injury in Australia.’

You need fall protection from a height of 6 feet or greater. So, even if your tree is relatively small, some kind of fall protection and safety equipment will likely needed. Someone trained in working at height will need to carry out the tree removal; this will ensure that everyone is safe during the tree removal process.

Fall Risks

Of course, there is always a risk of falling when working at heights. As mentioned earlier, anyone carrying out tree removal needs training, should wear the appropriate PPE, and have proper height safety measures.

Additionally, you must watch out for falling debris and branches that could cause injury or damage to your property.

You might not think about how the tree itself may fall! Physics and how gravity affects a tree during removal must be considered. If there is any miscalculation, the tree in question could fall in the wrong direction, resulting in disastrous consequences!

See what I mean? Trees falling in the wrong direction pose a severe threat. A falling tree can destroy property or even someone’s life.  Trees can fall on powerlines, causing power outages and electrocution, which we want to avoid.

A trained professional in tree removal will use careful cutting techniques and other measures to ensure that the tree falls in the desired direction, lowering any risks involved in the process. 

Things To Consider

If you are considering tree removal in Newcastle, consider a few other factors before making any final decisions!

For instance, in Australia, there are many rules and regulations about tree removal that you must understand before cutting down trees, even if it is on your property. So it’s a good idea to look into these rules in advance so you don’t get into trouble! You may also need approval from your local council before removing your tree.

In addition, before a tree is removed, it’s advisable to carry out a full tree assessment. This would include evaluating whether the roots of your tree are causing any structural issues to the surrounding area and whether the tree itself is structurally stable while checking for signs of visible and invisible decay. Someone trained in tree maintenance and biology must conduct these kinds of assessments to ensure an accurate report.

Tree removal is a very involved process, and it is more complex than many think.

So, to sum up, if you’re thinking about carrying out DIY tree removal but aren’t trained, don’t do it! It’s far safer to hire a trained professional than to risk damaging your property.

Ultimately, your safety and that of others around you are always more important than saving a few dollars. So think carefully the next time you consider a DIY tree removal, consider all the risk factors, and stay safe!