Dealing with fallen trees and branches.
As we are anticipating a rough winter, we learn from last year the implications of fallen trees and branches. The weather is currently unpredictable so preparations for the worst are more reasonable than being underprepared.
First of all, why do trees & branches fall?
There are a lot of reasons why trees and branches can fall, if you know about them you may be able to act before a fallen tree causes damage to your property or buildings. Prevention is often a lot easier than cleaning up.
- Natural causes- Trees will decline as they age, therefore branches may sometimes fall naturally. Ensuring you are up-to-date with your pruning may allow you to catch these branches early particularly if the tree is in a sensitive area and overlooks a building.
- Tree health- trees are also susceptible to diseases, infections, and illnesses often caused by the critters living within them, this can cause trees to rot or for their branches to fall.
- Weather conditions- Probably one of the most common causes of branches and tree breakage, is severe weather conditions such as high winds and lightning. All of which are not preventable.
When it comes to adverse weather conditions, Scotland is no stranger to them. This is why it is essential to be prepared for the worst outcomes. This means having appropriate knowledge and tools at your disposal for when the worst of the weather makes its way over to use.
What do you need to know?
There are a few different things you need to know about fallen trees and branches. One of the main topics is who is responsible.
When a tree falls on your property, a road, or in your path you have to know who is responsible for the cleanup before you just go and get your chainsaw out.
The main principle around it is the landowner of where the tree falls is responsible for it. Yes, that means if your neighbor’s tree falls onto your garden, you are the one responsible, if it is due to weather conditions, or damage caused by tree neglect then they will be the ones responsible.
Therefore, what happens when a tree falls on the road? The council responsible for the upkeep of the road will be the ones responsible. This is why it is essential that ahead of the bad weather, you know who to call if a tree does make its way onto a road near you.
For more information regarding the legal responsibilities surrounding fallen trees check out this blog on fallen tree responsibility by the GCGRP
When it comes to the time when a tree falls, you will be thankful that you made preparations. This can include felling before bad weather and knowing which trees are the least protected to monitor where there may be issues.
Preparation can then go one of two ways. If you’re someone who isn’t confident using a chainsaw or are unskilled, then the best thing to do is trust the professionals. This would mean ensuring you have the contact information of a skilled tree removal company if the tree is down to you, otherwise, you should make sure that you know who to contact within your local council, should the need arise.
What if you do have the skill?
If you have the skills and knowledge to remove a tree and are confident using those skills then there are a few steps you should ensure are followed.
- Right tool for the job. You need to ensure that you have the right tools for the removal of the tree in question. This means that if you have a domestic chainsaw lying about, trying to tackle a particularly large tree with this is not the best idea. Safety is essential and you need to ensure you are tackling only what you and your equipment can handle.
- Well maintained equipment. If you are planning on tackling a fallen tree yourself then you have to ensure that the equipment you have is up to the task, this isn’t just ensuring that you have the right power of chainsaw for the tree size but also that the equipment is maintained. Taking equipment out after winter storage can lead to a lot of issues if the equipment has not been stored correctly. Frequent servicing of machinery is key to ensuring safe working, read our blog for more information.
- Safety equipment. Whether the tree you are tackling is large or small, having appropriate safety equipment is essential. This time of year is one of the highest for accidents particularly when it comes to the use of power tools. Another essential aspect is ensuring that the safety equipment is maintained to a high standard to ensure that it is working to the best of its ability. For more information regarding the maintenance of safety equipment, read our blog
What do you do with the wood?
Well, the good news is that if it falls on your land, although you have to deal with it, you also get to deal with how you use the wood obtained from it. Particularly this winter when a lot of people are turning to heat their homes with fireplaces, this additional firewood may be beneficial, if you don’t use it as firewood you can always give it to a neighbor who does, or even sells the wood provided that the tree itself was healthy.
Need a new saw?
If you often have a lot of trees to clear particularly for those with a large area of land to cover then disposal can be time-consuming, make it simple with Oxdale log splitters and a range of Greenmech chippers available for both sale and hire.