Another important facet to home maintenance is yard maintenance. While people tend to think this is a purely aesthetic thing that isn’t always the case. In some situations it can be crucial to take care of overhanging branches and make sure that no trees are getting ready to demolish your home come the next big storm. While this might be a job best left to a professional it’s also very manageable with a bit of equipment and some research. Of course safety is going to be very important when it comes to operating a chainsaw and other tools at dangerous heights so here we’ll go through some of the basics on how to maintain trees safely and without incident.
One of the first steps to tree trimming is going to be preparation. It’s important to identify what you want to accomplish, how you can do it, and any obstacles that might be in the way. There are a couple of ways to conquer the basic obstacle of getting up a tree to where you need to work. Of course professional options like cherry pickers and bucket lifts exist and are optimal for this kind of work but not the only options. Old fashioned climbing with a harness and support ropes will also suffice. In terms of preparation it’s important to outfit yourself and any helpers with basic safety equipment including: gloves, boots, eyewear, a hard hat, and hearing protection if operating a chainsaw. This is also a good time to inspect your rope for flaws if you are climbing. It’s also important to rope off your work area so that bystanders won’t get clunked by falling debris. Additionally, if working near power lines it’s very important to inform the power company and get the lines shut off or grounded for the duration. Lastly, pick a nice day that you won’t have to worry about bad weather or high winds.
Once you’ve gotten past some of the basic obstacles and you’re on your way to trimming there are some basic guidelines that you can follow to make sure that your everything goes smoothly. If you opt to go the climbing route be sure to test and check for stability as you go. Avoid sickly or dead branches be sure to climb with a safety line and harness. Also never climb with tools. Work with an accomplice that can get tools to you once you’ve reached where you want to start trimming. Always be aware of how a branch will fall and plan accordingly. In some circumstances you may need to attach to make sure a branch doesn’t fall where you don’t want it to. It helps to have a basic idea about woodcutting and know how to coordinate where you make your cuts so that the branches respond as planned.
Finally keep your common sense about you and don’t do anything that makes you uncomfortable. Don’t hesitate to call a professional if it’s a serious job that you’re not feeling up for and always remember to put safety first.