Homeowner Tree Care Accidents: Why You Should Call a Tree Trimming Professionals

In 2014, the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) compiled a study recently that involved 37 accidents that occurred to homeowners doing their own tree trimming or other tree care, and that were reported in the media.
 
Now, it’s important to understand that the fact these accidents made it into the news makes them atypical. Most homeowner tree care accidents aren’t reported and aren’t especially newsworthy. That’s surely why 25 of the accidents (60 percent) were fatal. The chance of death while trimming your own trees is not as high as one might think. Still, we can see what kind of things can happen if you don’t exercise proper caution and good safety procedures.
 
Twenty-seven of the accidents involve the injured person being struck by something:

  • 19 by a falling tree
  • 6 by a tree limb
  • 1 by a cable or guy wire
  • 1 by a chainsaw

Eight of them involved falls:

  • 6 falls from a tree
  • 1 fall from a front-end loader
  • 1 fall from a ladder

The remaining two accidents involved electric shocks, one of which was fatal.
 
There are two main reasons to seek professional help with tree care. One is the quality of care and knowledge provided by professionals, which it’s hard for someone who isn’t a tree-care professional to provide without extensive study. The other involves tree hazards.
 
Trees and tree-trimming equipment are potentially quite dangerous, and it’s easy to ignore this fact because, after all, a tree isn’t a grizzly bear. It isn’t going to chase you and try to kill you. The danger from a tree lies in its height and its weight. The danger from tree-trimming equipment is what you’d expect from any power tools, particularly something a cutting tool with an exposed blade such as a chainsaw.
 
Cutting down or removing trees is particularly hazardous. The tree can fall in an unpredictable direction, injuring you or someone else. Pruning can also be dangerous, particularly topping large trees, as tree branches can be deceptively heavy and can fall from quite a height. Climbing trees or ladders, as with any work that involves elevation, presents a danger of falling, and trees themselves are a particularly uneven and potentially dangerous platform that, unlike a ladder, wasn’t designed with climbing in mind.
 
One important detail from these newsworthy and often fatal accidents is that most of the victims were working alone. If you must do your own tree care, then always have someone to assist you and point out potential hazards.