Should Homeowners Fell Their Own Trees?

Street, shade and ornamental trees are clear assets, which not only raise the value of your home, but also lower your energy expenditures by blocking the harsh summer sun and cold winter winds. However, trees can also represent significant liabilities, particularly when they require pest treatments or removal.  

When faced with a dying or diseased tree that requires removal, many thrifty homeowners elect to fell the tree themselves. While this allows the homeowner to avoid the costs of professional tree removal, any realized savings can disappear if the tree falls on your home or property – a surprisingly common result of amateur tree removal. Even worse, mistakes made during the process of tree removal can lead to serious injuries or even death.

Other reasons that tree removal should be left to the professionals include:

  • Tree removal usually requires the use of a chainsaw. Chainsaw work is incredibly dangerous, and it should never be attempted by those without the proper training. Additionally, few amateurs have the necessary safety equipment, including hardhats, face shields and chaps. The use of this type of safety equipment is legally mandated in some jurisdictions.
  • Amateurs rarely have the correct ropes – and the knowledge necessary to rig them properly – for tree work. Ropes help to provide some insurance against the tree falling in unexpected directions, and they enable skilled arborists to lower cut branches gently and safely.
  • While professional tree workers typically remove trees by climbing to the top and cutting them down in small pieces, most amateurs are limited to felling the tree from the ground. While this may be an acceptable approach for isolated trees, growing far from other objects, it is inappropriate for trees located near your home. Amateurs who climb above the ground in the process of felling a tree (whether by climbing the tree or using a ladder) are at high risk of falling.
  • Amateurs lack the experience and knowledge to ensure that their trees fall in the direction in which they intend. This can cause them to become snagged in the branches of other, nearby trees. This represents a very dangerous situation that demands the help of professionals.
  • Often, trees fall unexpectedly during the process, which endangers everyone in the vicinity. In fact, one particularly dangerous phenomenon – called barber chairing – occurs when a tree's weight snaps the trunk suddenly, causing the tree to shift and fall in unpredictable ways.

Given the high stakes of the endeavor and the potential for disaster, tree removal should be left to the professionals in most cases. Contact a company like Kramer Landscaping Co for more information.