7 Safety Measures to Take When Cutting Trees

Trees are a gift from nature that does everything from providing your yard with shade to lighting the sky up with brilliant shades of color come fall. But over the years, the weather, condition and age of a tree can cause it to lose its luster and die. You may even need to cut it down to avoid damage to your home and environment. While it may seem like an easy task to accomplish on your own, you’ll need to plan and prepare for its removal. The following are 7 safety measures you want to consider when cutting down trees. 

1. Assess the Job 
Cutting trees is a task that should be taken seriously. Before you begin, you want to assess the job at hand. First, check the local weather to determine the outdoor climate and conditions. If the forecast calls for ice, wind, rain or fog, you probably want to postpone the job to another day. Sun and limited wind are ideal conditions for climbing ladders and using sharp equipment. In addition to the weather, you also want to assess the trees, branches and ground for any hazards. Take special note of any electrical lines in the vicinity of your work, as you could be seriously injured if the tree falls in the wrong direction and onto a power source. You may also cut out power to your neighboring community with your miscalculations. Most utility companies require the work to be performed by a trained tree cutter when within 10 feet of an electrical line. Gold Coast Land Clearing offers residential and commercial clearing services hosted by a team of seasoned professionals. When you’re unsure of the scope of the work, and you want the job done right, it’s best to call in the experts.
2. Dress Properly 
Once you’ve assessed the job, you want to also dress properly. There are some necessary essentials that will make the job easier and provide protection when cutting trees. A hard helmet or loggers hat keeps her head safe from falling limbs. With debris flying everywhere, you also want to wear safety goggles and a face screen. The noise of the chain saw can also be deafening, so you must wear earmuffs or earbuds. If you drop the chainsaw bar against your legs, Kevlar chaps provides layers and layers of protection to your lower body. You can protect your upper torso and hands by wearing long sleeves and sturdy leather gloves. The right foot gear is equally important so ditch the sandals and opt for boots that are comfortable and slip-resistant. 
3. Have the Required Tools 
Tree cutting can be a major undertaking, dependent on its condition and size. If you’re looking to handle the job on your own, you want to help eliminate the dangers of the project by having the required tools on-hand. A chainsaw is probably one of the most useful tools as it can cut through branches, and the body of the tree easily and without complication. Gas-powered chainsaws are powerful, but they require skill and training. While the electric saws are less noisy, they may lack the power you need. The size of your project will help you determine which tool would be most beneficial. If you’re not fond of tall ladders, a pole chainsaw helps to eliminate branches that are higher up. You can avoid noisy equipment that emits fumes altogether by using a high-quality pruning saw. The teeth on the blade are sharp enough to help get the job done for smaller projects. The grip of the tool may even provide a better fit for your hands and fingers. A breaking bar, winch and wedge are other tools that can safely add force and aid with the felling of the tree. 
4. Protect the Area 
Whether you’re working with a friend, family member or co-worker, you want to ensure everyone’s safety. You also want to provide protection to people passing by. Before you begin cutting, you want to provide protection by marking off the area where you’ll be working. In case trees, limbs and other debris falls, you won’t have to worry about injuring others. If you’re working on a busy roadway or street, wear bright colored clothing, so you are visible to motorists. Display orange construction cones around your work site, so drivers can navigate safely around you. 
5. Prune Twigs and Branches First 
Once you have the proper gear and tools, and you’ve cleared the area safely, you’re ready to start. Begin by pruning twigs and branches. This alleviates the debris from falling on your head as you're cutting the tree. Always work from the top and downward. Clean up as you go along and keep your work space neat and clutter free. Although you may want to move along quickly, it’s important to take your time to ensure a safe work environment. 
6. Decide on a Direction 
Study the tree carefully to ascertain the direction the tree will fall. Trees rarely grow vertical so you may be able to tell the exact location by the way that it’s leaning. You’ll also want to consider the direction of the wind and speed. After assessing the height and width of the tree, clean the area around the tree where it is intended to fall. Have an escape route planned in either direction so you can retreat safely as it falls. 
7. Enlist the Help of a Lookout
When the trunk is free of branches, you’re ready to fell the tree by choosing a proper technique. You’ll want to take the trees slope and size into consideration when deciding on a technique for cutting. When keeping the proper dimensions and thickness of the tree in mind, you’ll be able to cut the proper notch. The cut should start with the top and then finish with the bottom. This will make inserting the wedge easier into the tree. Decide on a trusted and experienced individual who will stand several feet behind you. Their job is to watch the top of the tree and alert you when it begins to fall. Using their hand or a stick, the touch will signal you to make your planned escape route. 
Dead or damaged trees caused by age, weather or disease are bound to happen. If you're looking to take on the job of cutting down the tree on your own, you'll find the above guide beneficial when ensuring your safety.

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