DIY Enthusiasts Beware!
There are plenty of DIY tasks for the enthusiastic homeowner: window cleaning, power washing, and deck staining to name a few. But one task not recommended to try yourself is tree pruning.
Though it may seem simple, tree pruning is actually extremely complicated, technical and dangerous. Homeowners have been injured and even killed by falling limbs, faulty equipment, or general carelessness while attempting “do-it-yourself” tree work. Here are the reasons why it is best to leave your tree pruning to the professionals.
Tree Pruning is a Dangerous Job
The equipment alone is dangerous, what with tall ladders, sharp hand saws, and powerful chainsaws.
Combine these tools with height and the physical labor needed to utilize the equipment and it becomes obvious why pruning trees has a high injury rate. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics lists tree pruning as one of the most dangerous jobs in the workforce, so it is easy to imagine the dangers that await an amateur.
One of the main factors contributing to this danger is the inability of the average homeowner to distinguish a rotted branch from a healthy one. If a person transfers their weight onto a rotten branch, it could give way causing serious injury or damage to property and to the tree itself. Further, tree pruning requires the use of sharp tools at elevated heights. Special safety precautions to coordinate the use of a chainsaw while standing on a ladder are not common knowledge for the average homeowner. Arborists have the tools and safety equipment needed to prune trees effectively and safely.
Trees Are Unpredictable
Tree stability can be unpredictable and their limbs are liable to fall in an unpredictable manner.
Once a branch is cut, it may fall in such an unexpected way as to cause grave injury to someone nearby, crush the roof of a car, or seriously damage another structure. Arborists are trained to properly assess, plan, and carry out pruning projects without causing property damage. Additionally, arborists are insured and bonded, so any unforeseen costs to your home are covered.
Poor Pruning Techniques May Cause Future Damage
Trees require consistent, expert pruning for proper health and strength.
Trees that have not been properly pruned are often weakened and can become hazardous. A strong gust of wind could blow down a branch or a whole tree that has not been well pruned. An unfortunate example is “tree topping,” the highly discouraged practice of trimming off a significant portion of the tree’s crown under the myth that it will encourage additional branches to grow. The result is a sadly deformed tree that is severely weakened. It is more likely to develop disease and rot, becoming an unsightly hazard.
The smart homeowner recognizes personal limitations and the dangers of DIY tree pruning. Having a certified arborist do the pruning actually protects you, your home, and the tree.