Safety Tips for Pruning/Trimming Trees

If you live in the Southeast, it’s pretty much a given that you have at least one tree in your yard. Like bushes, trees have branches that, if left to grow, can sprout in all sorts crazy directions that are unhealthy both for the tree and the landscape. And like bushes, proper tree care includes trimming and pruning. As with any task, it is important to keep certain safety tips in mind when trimming. No matter how thick the branches or how numerous the foliage, follow the following steps to help keep yourself safe this trimming season:

Be Aware of Power Lines and Electricity Cords

Power lines are often put in place before trees reach the height to interfere, or are built regardless of their proximity to trees. In these cases, OSHA recommends that you hire a professional. Cutting through a power line or electrical cords can result in, at best, taking out the local power supply and, at worst, electrocution. Being aware of your surroundings and knowing the path that you intend to trim along will help you determine whether or not you are qualified to trim your particular trees.

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Steady Yourself if you Are Climbing

Most trees can be fashionably trimmed from the ground. In some cases, however, taller trees also need to be trimmed. There are a few steps that anyone in this scenario should keep in mind. First, never free-climb a tree with the intention of trimming. Trying to balance while snipping the branches can be a dangerous act. Second, if using a tall ladder, make sure it is secure to the tree. The taller the ladder, the more unstable it is. In addition to keeping yourself from being injured by falling, securing the ladder makes it easier to keep a hand on your tools. Third, keep your electrical cords (if you’re using any), ladder-ropes, or harnesses from your cutting tools. Cutting through them can result in electrocution or losing your balance.

Be Aware of the Branches You Are Trimming

By and large, the tree branches you will want to prune are smaller and relatively harmless. However, if you find yourself in the position of having to trim large branches (maybe four or more inches in diameter), it is worth attaching a rope to them to ensure that they do not cause damage to you or your property. Attaching a rope will allow you to lower the heavier branches down without causing harm. Pruning can be done properly by the resident but always proceed with caution and call the professionals if you are unsure.

There are, of course, many other things you should know about your trees if you plan on doing work on them. To learn more, continue checking back here on our blog!

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