Tree Cutting Adventures

Tree Cutting Adventures Guided by Your Safety Management Plan--Call to Action!Even around the house, you need a safety management plan for major do-it-yourself projects. If you decide to cut a tree in your yard, do more research than this man did. In the video below, you’ll see how to re-landscape your yard and remodel your home in just 36 seconds.

From a safety standpoint, this homeowner threw away the manual. His ladder isn’t the right size and it isn’t positioned correctly. He clearly didn’t plan the direction of the tree’s fall or make the cut correctly. Luckily he did have a friend around.

Why Remove A Tree?

Trees provide shade, focal points, greenery and fruit for the homeowners. Cutting one down is a major decision, but homeowners following common sense and a basic safety management plan may need to get rid of a tree.  You might want to remove one if your tree is:

  • growing into the electrical wires coming into your home
  • pushing against the house, getting under siding, gutters or roofing
  • rotting and in danger of falling
  • blocking your view or your neighbor’s view
  • dropping so many leaves that it becomes a nuisance to you and your neighbors
  • not producing fruit any longer

How To Safely Remove A Tree50 things you must know about safety leadership

Step one. Decide which direction the tree is going to fall. The major factor is how tall it is and where you make the cut. You need a large clear area free of any buildings, landscaping or other amenities.

Planning is the most vital part of any safety management plan, and it’s no different around the house for a major job like removing a tree. Spend a lot of time determining the direction of the fall. You don’t get a second chance.

Step two. Get rid of the smaller branches that you can reach from a ladder.

Step three. Cut a notch in the tree trunk in the shape of a V. You need to make the cut at a 70 degree angle facing downward. Do this on the side of the tree that is in the same direction you want it to fall. Make it fairly deep, about 80% of the trunk’s diameter.

Step four. Make another notch in an upward direction until you meet the first cut, letting the notch fall away.

Step five. Go to the opposite side of the tree from the first notch. Cut straight into the trunk, horizontally, not at an angle. Cut almost all the way through the trunk.

Step six. Quickly move out of the way and watch it fall. Calling out “Timber” is optional.

The Advantages Of Hiring Professionals

fctc-online-bannerIf you have a relatively small tree, a good ladder and know-how to use a chainsaw, you should be able to handle the cutting with the help of a friend. But in many cases it is safer and actually more cost-effective to hire a skilled tree cutter to do the work. In these circumstances, invest in a professional:

  • If the tree is rotting, you can’t predict accurately how it will fall. You, your home, other trees and landscaping, fences and neighboring yards can all be in danger.
  • If the tree is very tall, you need a professional with the right ladders to cut it section by section. A very tall tree can take out buildings and fences across several lots.
  • If there is very little clear space, you need an experienced tree cutter to handle the complexities of getting it down without harming the surrounding area.

In these circumstances you will avoid hurting people, damaging homes, garages, other buildings, fences and landscaping by hiring a professional. You will also avoid lawsuits from angry neighbors. Investing in professional tree cutting can save you money and keep you safe at the same time!

~Mary Hannick

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About the Author

safetyBUILT-IN is the safety-leadership learning and development division of SCInc. We believe sustainable safety performance is best achieved through a core-values based safety culture, and that culture must be driven by leadership. Our safety-leadership programs are competency-based, and focused on performance outcomes. We believe in building capability and ownership into our client organizations—as well as sustainability into our programs—so that our clients can continue running those programs long after we’re out of the picture. Our emphasis is on building better leadership presence, better leadership communication and better leadership coaching by first building relationships of trust with people and learning how to engage them on the level of their core values and beliefs.