Tree removal expert witnesses may write reports and opine on tree pruning, the safety of nearby trees, and tree removal, among other topics. The Tree Care Industry Association reports that winter storms with high winds, ice and snow, put tremendous pressures on trees growing near houses or power lines. In their wake, property owners face the task of clearing trees and downed limbs. TCIA offers these safety tips to help avoid personal injury or damage to property during storm clean-up.
When deciding whether to try removing a tree yourself:
Consider the size and location of the tree. If it is more than 20 feet tall or you would have to leave the ground to take it down in pieces, call a professional. Even small trees bent under tension can be extremely hazardous.
Carefully inspect the tree and the surrounding area for anything – utility lines, structures, vehicles, shrubs – that might get hit or interfere with the tree felling or removal.
Examine the shape and lean of the tree. Inspect the trunk for decay, weak spots or hanging limbs, and for any metal or concrete in or around the tree. If so, the tree is unstable and extra precautions are needed while removing that tree.
Note the location of other people in the area. Children should not be left to wander anywhere near the drop zone.
Plan an escape route from the falling tree before cutting.
Do not use a chain saw for tree removal unless you have years of experience handling one. Even professional tree care personnel face risk of injury using chain saws. Tree removals are very unpredictable. Don’t take unnecessary chances!