Almost all people experienced handling trees, from trimming your Christmas trees, cleaning the leaves in your backyard, cutting branches, making swings on tree branches, to cutting an old tree. We all know it takes a specific set of skills to perform these tasks. It also requires safety procedures and equipment. When doing tree trimming, you need to climb and prune the tree. It uses different power tools like trimmers and chainsaws. If you are dealing with a large tree, you may need the help of heavy machinery or even an airlift to reach tall branches. If you are not careful, it will put you at risk of electrocution (if the tree is near a power line) and falling. Electrocution and falling from high trees are the leading causes of death when doing tree trimming. Here are some tips on how to carefully trim your trees according to a local tree surgeon.
Wear proper gear
When doing tree trimming, you need to wear appropriate equipment to protect your body. Protect your hands with proper leather lineman’s gloves. If you are trimming near an electrical post, you need to wear long-sleeved clothes and close-fitting, non-conductive gears. Doing a trimming operation can expose your body to different kinds of dangerous elements like wood, dust, pine needles and insects. You have to make sure that the gears you are wearing are comfortable and safe. You will also need ear protection when operating a chainsaw for trimming. Shoes are also essential to ensure your safety. Use shoes with slip-resistant rubber soles with heels. Chaps and gauntlets are also necessary when doing chainsaw operations. The most important gear when climbing a tree is fall protection gear like ropes, harness and safety nets.
Every job is different
You have to do a pre-work assessment to know what you are dealing with. Every job has different needs, a different technique and different gears to use. If you are dealing with big trees, you may need a crane or an airlift, but if you are dealing with small trees, you may only need ladders and ropes to climb. When using a ladder, you have to secure it by tying the feet of the ladder to a branch. For higher climbs, you need to have harnesses or fall protection like safety nets. Always inspect the integrity of your gears like the ropes, latches and harnesses before you use them. It is dangerous to use damaged equipment when doing an equally hazardous job.
(For more information about guidelines of safe tree climbing, visit http://treeclimbing.com/index.php/climbing/rules)
Always check the news
You need to watch your local weather news before going out to prepare yourself. Sometimes you will experience a wet, windy or icy weather. Call of the job immediately if you experience this kind of weather. It is not suitable for a job that requires climbing a tree. You also have to inspect the area beforehand, check for broken branches, electrical posts or rotten tree trunks.
Protect your co-workers and the people around your work area
Before starting, you have to mark your work area to avoid people nearby, getting hurt. Make a reasonable estimate on how high the tree is, and make sure no one is near your workspace. It is not only to protect other people, but it also protects you from possible lawsuits in case there’s an accident.
Work with a team
It is always a good idea to work with a group when doing tree trimming. You need other people to stay on the ground while you are doing the work up in the tree. In case of emergency, your team should have CPR training and first aid.
Never use tools with high conductivity near electrical or power lines
When you are working near an electrical pole or power lines, you need to avoid using ladders, metal pole trimmers, or tools that can conduct electricity. Even downed electrical poles can still have electrical energy that can injure or kill you. You have to treat electricity as things that can kill you immediately, and you need to be careful when dealing with them.
Inspect the trees you are about to climb
You need to inspect first the area you are working in and the tree you are about to climb. Cut some dead branches; don’t use weak or split limbs for support. If you are climbing, use different branches as arm and leg support, so in case the branch that you are holding, breaks, you are still standing on a good branch, and vice versa. If you think the tree is not safe to climb, you can use cranes or if it is too high aerial lifts. And always remember, you need to be a trained tree surgeon to do this.