Are you a do-it-yourself type of homeowner? You don’t like the idea of outsourcing tree work. It may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, did you know that the costs of tackling tree care on your own can run high? Well, you could face property damage, hospital bills and a ruined landscape, none of which are cheap. The truth is that most homeowners don’t have the necessary tools or know-how to safely handle tree work on their own. Each year, many people get severely injured and even killed attempting to do this work without experienced help.
We think there are three major reasons why you should leave tree work to the professionals. They are, in no order of importance.
- Lack of knowledge and training. Safe tree work requires an extensive knowledge of tree physics and biology. This can take years of study and experience to acquire. For example, felling a tree in a controlled manner is not as simple as cutting through the trunk with a chain saw. It requires establishing a drop zone, making precise cuts and sometimes guiding the tree safely to the ground, using ropes as leverage. When a homeowner attempts to do this, they can get severely injured or killed if a tree falls in an unexpected direction. Up-ended root balls are also unpredictable. Severing the trunk of a fallen tree from an up-ended root releases tension to the tree. This tension may be strong enough to pull the stump and the root ball back into the hole, trapping anyone or anything nearby beneath it. Other hazards may be invisible to the untrained eye like rotten trunks and limbs, pest and fungal infestations and other diseases and defects that can only be treated by an experienced tree care provider.
- Poor situational awareness. Even homeowners who know their way around trees may still fall victim to nearby hazards. Electrical wires are a common situational hazard when doing tree work. Many trees grow near power lines and have their branches, leaves and limbs entangled in live wires. Each year, lots of people are injured or killed when they come into contact with an energized line, either directly or indirectly. Navigating this hazard is tricky, even for professionals, and should not be attempted by homeowners under any circumstance. Attempting do-it-yourself tree work is bad enough in and of itself, but some homeowners go a step further and try to finish the job alone. This further impairs situational awareness. If you try and do all the work yourself, you are putting yourself in unnecessary danger. If you insist upon doing tree work without a professional tree service like Austin Tree Service, we must insist that you have at least one other person working with you. Even our professional tree care providers work in teams.
- Improper use of tools. Homeowners often use incorrect, faulty or complicated tools when attempting do-it-yourself tree care. These may hurt themselves and others while attempting tree work. For example, chain saws are incredibly dangerous and easy to misuse. A common mistake is to use a dull chain saw. This forces the operator to use excess pressure, causing them to lose control of the situation and the tool. Many homeowners also use the chainsaw to cut branches on the ground. This can result in kickback and painful injuries when the bar tip hits the dirt or other foliage. Misused ladders are another source of injury. Using a ladder that is too short, set on unstable ground or supported by a faulty limb can easily result in a fall from the tree. Ladders can be sometimes knocked out by the same limb that you just cut. In general, tree work requires tools that the average homeowner doesn’t have like stump grinders, wood chips and aerial lifts.
Knowing how dangerous tree work can be, don’t you want to reconsider doing it yourself? We, at Austin Tree Service have the experience and tools to take care of your trees, no matter what the problem. Give us a call today at 512-341-8888 for more information.