The Steps Arborists Take to Remove Trees Safely
Ever wondered how the pros cut down trees?
In a way, tree removal is an art form, requiring skill and patience to complete properly while maintaining safety at all times. So unless you are a trained arborist, tree cutting is not a DIY job.
Professional arborists and tree cutters must know the ins and outs of every tree they work on so they can make cuts safely without putting their own safety and the safety of others at risk.
So if you’ve ever wondered how the pros work their magic, here’s a look at arborists and their expertise needed to cut down trees safely.
WHAT IS AN ARBORIST?
An arborist studies the bio-mechanics of trees and is trained in the art and science of planting, caring for, and maintaining trees.
Arborists are knowledgeable and trained with the proper techniques to care for a variety of tree species.
This knowledge and training covers:
- Reactions to pruning;
- De-compartmentalization of decay; and,
- All the practical aspects of tree surgery
An arborist maintains trees and woody plants to keep them safe, healthy, and attractive. Most arborists specialize in a particular area of tree care, such as planting, pruning, cutting, or disease control.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Depending on their particular domain or area of expertise, arborists will:
- Examine and treat trees for diseases and insect infestations
- Identify hazardous trees and other tree-related problems
- Plant and transplant woody trees
- Manage tree nutrient and water supplies and consumption
- Prune trees
- Support trees and broken branches by securing braces and cables
- Remove trees
- Remove tree stumps by performing stump grinding
HOW DOES AN ARBORIST CUT DOWN TREES?
An arborist will cut down a tree with the following steps:
First, the arborist will inspect the tree to determine how cuts will affect the structure of the tree. The arborist looks for cracks and decay. They will also examine the tree’s stability and root system.
Determine a Removal Plan
Depending on the height of the tree and the size of the trunk, climbing alone might not be the safest option for tree removal. So an arborist will have to determine the best plan of action.
They can either climb the tree and let the tree branches and trunk pieces fall. Or they will have to lower each piece down with a rope. Other options include using a crane or a bucket truck. However, tree climbing is the preferred option whenever possible.
An arborist must prepare the area where they will be working, including the site around the tree and the path they will be using to haul the tree pieces after cutting.
Site preparation involves removing anything that could be damaged by falling tree pieces, including landscape features, patio furniture, potted plants, and anything else that is at risk of damage.
Before climbing the tree to begin cutting, the arborist will put on all necessary safety gear.
This safety gear includes:
- Chainsaw protection pants made of nylon that will jam chainsaws
- A hard hat
- Saddles and harnesses
- Climbing spurs
- Safety glasses
Tree Climbing and Harnessing
The arborist will then begin to climb the tree using the spurs and the two harness systems—a lanyard and a work-positioning system meant for safety and to help move past branches.
One harness attaches to the arborist’s side and connects to a loop around the tree trunk, while the other attaches to the arborist’s front.
As the arborist climbs, they pull the ropes tight. And they will have the tools, such as the chainsaw, clipped to their belt.
Cutting, Climbing, and Repeat
When the arborist reaches a branch to cut, they will unclip the chainsaw that is secured with a line in case it falls.
The arborist will cut the branch, either whole or in sections, and let the pieces fall. Otherwise, if there are obstacles on the ground, the pieces must be tied and lowered slowly to a crew on the ground.
Branch Placement (Leaving Some Uncut for Stability)
While climbing and cutting, an arborist will leave some branches uncut for stability. Trees are more stable with branches, so if all the branches are cut off, the tree could wobble unpredictably.
When the arborist is high enough, they will cut a notch in the trunk and let the top part of the trunk fall.
Descent & Cut Remaining Branches and Trunk
As the arborist descends, they will cut the remaining branches and trunk segments. Once the arborist reaches the ground, the tree will be gone, except for the stump and roots.
WHY YOU SHOULD LEAVE TREE CUTTING TO THE PROS
There are many safety risks involved with cutting trees, including cuts, falls, head injuries, and even the threat of electrocution from overhead power lines.
These injuries are severe and sometimes fatal, so you should never attempt to cut down a tree on your own. Instead, you should leave this work to the pros who have the right gear, knowledge, and experience to cut down your tree safely and efficiently without risking damage to nearby people or property.
Tree cutting is a dangerous job. And a lot of time, preparation, and training goes into safely cutting trees, making this job one that only professional arborists should handle.
So if you are interested in cutting down a tree on your property, contact your local professional arborists who can handle this job for you, ensuring you and your property stay safe while efficiently removing your tree.