Glorious, Great and Grounded: A Tree Blog

Two tips for safe tree felling

Tree felling can be quite dangerous. Here are two tips that should be kept in mind when performing this type of work.

Check the weather forecast when planning a tree felling operation

The weather can have a significant impact on how safe or dangerous a tree felling operation is; as such, it is vital to check the forecast for the day on which you will be cutting down a tree, and to then take steps to mitigate the risks associated with the type of weather that is expected to occur on that date.

For example, strong winds can affect the direction in which a tree falls. A particularly powerful gust of wind could potentially cause the tree you are cutting to fall towards you instead of away from you.

As such, if windy weather has been predicted for the day on which you will be doing your work, you should locate an escape route that will allow you can flee to safety if the wind causes the tree to topple towards you. If there is no route that you could use to run away from the falling tree in this situation, you may need to create one before you begin (by, for example, cutting through some nearby hedges to create a small pathway).

Similarly, heavy rain can affect visibility and make it much harder to safely operate your chainsaw. If rainfall has been forecasted, you should invest in a pair of waterproof safety goggles that have a tight seal around their edges. This will ensure that rainwater does not accumulate between your face and the lenses and thus obstruct your view of your equipment.

If high temperatures have been predicted, you should bring along several bottles of ice-water and be prepared to take more breaks than you usually would so that you can rest and rehydrate.

The reason for this is as follows; performing physically strenuous work outdoors on a very hot day could put you at risk of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. If you develop either of these conditions whilst climbing the tree with a chainsaw, you could fall to the ground and the chainsaw could severely injure you or someone nearby.

Make sure that the area around the tree is free from people and valuable objects

Before cutting down a tree, it is essential to ensure that the area surrounding the entire tree is free from both people and valuable objects.

Do not simply clear the patch of ground on which you expect the tree to fall, as there is a chance that the tree may not fall in the direction you originally wanted it to. If this happens, the tree could inflict major damage on objects it lands on and severely injure nearby people.

Make sure to put things like plant pots, gardening equipment, portable outdoor furniture and barbecue equipment several metres away from the tree.

Additionally, immediately before you begin your work, check that there is no-one sitting or standing nearby; if there is, you should ask them to move to a safer area before you start the tree felling operation.