Tree trimming isn’t as easy as it sounds, and if you don’t know what you’re doing, you risk causing yourself some serious damage – anything from sprained wrists to broken bones, or worse. There’s a reason why most people hire professionals to trim their trees, and that’s because it’s a tiresome and dangerous job.
There are a lot of nuances you have to know before you should even climb your tree, including the types of tools you need, the necessary preparations, and more. We’ve prepared our top tree trimming tips to help guide you on your DIY tree trimming.
1. Study And Assess
No two trees are alike, and no two situations are alike. You might have experienced trimming a tree in the past, but that doesn’t give you the experience to forego the crucial assessment phase.
Firstly, you should measure the height of the tree, and use this to make your first decisions. Is the tree short enough to trim with a regular ladder, or will you need climbing rope, harnesses, or even (in extreme cases) an aerial lift? You should also inspect your tree for anything that might endanger your climb, such as hollow areas, cracks, and other potential problems.
Secondly, make sure the weather is good on the day of your tree trimming. Even the slightest wind or rain could turn this already-dangerous job into one that is certain to get you injured.
And finally, make sure that your area is clear of hazards, such as limbs that are already snapped off or electrical lines that are perilously close.
2. Safeguard The Area
Proper tree trimming is all about prioritising safety first. This means that you are responsible for yourself and anyone else who could possibly be hurt from a fallen branch. If your tree extends over your yard and onto the sidewalk or road, make sure that anyone who passes by is aware that you are up there.
Place down some signs and road cones, and wear high visibility clothing, such as a yellow jacket. If you can, try to have a friend or partner to stay on the road and inform anyone who passes by.
3. Secure Your Partner
Speaking of which, a partner is absolutely essential. Having someone on the ground while you’re up in the tree can save your life when something goes wrong. There are countless ways a tree trimming job could go wrong – your ladder might fall, you might get stuck in a branch, you might hurt yourself while up in the tree, or you might strike a power line which will require immediate help.
The last thing you want when something goes wrong is to be completely alone, with no one in sight. Secure a partner, and make sure they stay around for the entire duration of the job.
4. Load Up On Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
If you think you’re going to safely trim your tree wearing your usual blue jeans and shirt, you’ve got another thing coming. Drive down to the local hardware store and stock up on their personal protective equipment. This includes:
- Lineman’s gloves, preferably leather
- Close-fitting clothing that covers most of your skin
- A hard hat, non-conductive
- Goggles for eye protection
- Ear protection if you intend to use a chainsaw or other high-power tools
- Steady, slip-resistant shoes
- If using a chainsaw, make sure to be wearing gauntlets and chaps
- And most importantly, fall protection harness
5. Don’t Mess Around With Power Lines
Power lines are a serious matter, as many people die due to electrocution during tree trimming projects. Remember: avoid contact with power lines at all costs. Doing otherwise could be fatal or extremely dangerous.
Any metal equipment you may have with you (pole trimmers, power tools, ladders) could potentially conduct electricity if any part of it touches the overhead power lines, even those that have been downed. A good rule of thumb is to naturally assume that any present power lines are energized and deadly.
And finally, don’t try to. De-energize power lines unless you are a qualified professional trained to do so. If it is necessary to move around or close to power lines to complete the job, then it is necessary to inform your utility company and have them de-energize or safeguard the lines before you do anything else.
Our Best Tip: Keep Yourself Safe And Call the Professionals
Tree trimming can be an exceedingly dangerous job, no matter how many tree trimming tips you might know. If you would prefer the safer solution, then call us at Aussie Tree Solutions and let us take care of your tree for you.
We’ve trimmed thousands of trees for countless clients in and around Brisbane, and know everything there is when it comes to safe and clean tree trimming work. Contact us today for an obligation-free tree trimming quote!