Pruning a tree can be dangerous. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, a lot can go wrong. Even if you think of yourself as skilled with power tools, using a chainsaw on a tree can be a recipe for disaster for the do-it-yourselfer. There are many reasons why you shouldn’t prune trees yourself—here are just a few.
Removing tree limbs from above shoulder height can result in severe injury or even death. What may look like a small branch to the untrained eye could be very dense and heavy. If a tree branch falls on you, you could sustain a permanent injury or even be killed. Moreover, trees and tree limbs don’t necessarily fall where you expect them to, and sometimes removing a limb can destabilize the whole tree. You might think you’re just pruning, but more of the tree might come down than you expected. You might even cause the entire tree to topple—possibly with you in it.
In addition to the dangers that falling limbs pose, trying to reach the branches in the first place can pose its own dangers. Ladders can fall over, branches can break, and power wires may be closer than you think, threatening electrocution. If the thought, “How am I going to get up there?” passes even momentarily through your head, you have another prime reason not to prune the tree yourself.
Professionals use ropes, climbing harnesses and hardware, bucket trucks, extendable saws, and teams of several workers to spot and safely manage the descent of limbs they remove. They also wear hard hats, safety goggles, and gloves, and they have insurance to cover their workers and your property. Generally, if you must get even a step off the ground to prune a tree, don’t do it yourself.
Tree Health, Aesthetics, and Organic Waste
Cutting a tree too close to its trunk can cause decay. Damaging the bark collar, which is the thickened area where a branch attaches to the trunk, invites insects and diseases to attack the tree at that point. Plus, when you try to prune a tree yourself, you can’t really see the results of what you’re doing. You’d have to climb up and down several times to check your work, risking falls and injury every time. And for younger trees, professionals know how to structurally prune them to keep them healthy and looking great as they grow.
Have you thought about how you would get rid of branches still brimming with green leaves or all the extra time it would take to cut a large branch into manageable pieces? Unless they’re already quite dead, branches don’t turn into firewood instantly. Newly cut, live wood takes at least three months of seasoning before it’s ready to burn as firewood. Cutting, splitting, stacking, and seasoning the wood may take a lot of extra time before you can use it in the fireplace or fire pit.
Our professional tree service in Austin can identify the types of trees in your landscape and which ones may need pruning or removal for health and safety.