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  • : frank beswick
  • : The blog of Frank Beswick. It deals with my interests in religious, philosophical spiritual matters and horticulture/self-reliance
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April 29 2011 6 29 /04 /April /2011 10:39

The article outlines the important safety concerns involved in deciding to cut down trees, when you should cut one down or ask for professional help and how to ensure that you use the proper safety equipment and clothing. It explains how you will go about felling a tree in a safe way.

Safety matters

Basic principles

Tree felling is dangerous. The bigger the tree size or height, the more dangerous the felling process will be. First of all, assess whether you have the skills and tree cutting equipment to fell a tree safely. If not,hire someone who has the required skills.

Tools, training and related safety measures

The equipment will include chainsaw, bow saws and possibly an axe. If you are using a chainsaw, get chainsaw training and wear the right clothing: a protective suit, earmuffs, gauntlets and a safety helmet. This is because in untrained hands, chainsaws can get out of control and injure their users.

Necessary precautions

The larger the tree, the more proper climbing gear is needed, and you must be proficient in using it. Taking a course in tree climbing skills is useful.

Health safety

Furthermore, when felling trees, have someone with you, together with a first aid kit and a mobile phone. Carry tools in a safe way. If you drop an axe on your foot, you can be seriously injured. Wear boots with steel toecaps. You may need ladders for small trees.

The felling process

Thinking ahead

When felling, consider where the tree will fall and what/who it might hit on the way down.

Ensure that the area is secure from pedestrians and animals. Firstly, using the bow saw, trim all branches so that you are left with the trunk. Clear away the branches so that they will not cause anyone to trip.

Then, using a chainsaw or axe, cut a V-shaped wedge in the side of the tree in the direction that you want it to fall, so if you want it to fall northwards, cut the wedge in the north side.

Then start cutting on the opposite side. It is possible to attach strong ropes or cable to pull the tree in the direction in which you want it to fall.

More complex jobs

Smaller trees can be felled in one piece, but larger ones are felled in sections, the top being removed first. Tree surgeons rig up a complex array of ropes to ensure that these sections are brought down in a controlled way. Some use a crane. The fallen tree is then cut into sections. Stumps are hard to pull out, so some people leave them and others apply a stump killing powder.

Tree rings from a felled tree with scallop effect tree trunk.1 Tree felling for heathland regeneration at Bickerton Hill (SJ 496 52

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