Tree Felling & Removals
When there are issues with light entering your outside space, one solution may be the removal of trees causing the issue. However, there are many things to consider when deciding on this option.
Remove a tree
Problems with light in the garden are not the only reason to remove a tree. Sometimes trees can become hazardous with them being unstable and/ or having branches over hanging causing danger to buildings, including structural damage, and people. These trees may be unstable due to disease or after weather damage. The tree may also be growing too large for the grounds and you may wish for it to be removed to create more space in your garden.
How is a tree felled?
There is more than one way to fell a tree. The first being where the tree is taken down in sections, this is commonly known as ‘sectional felling’, ‘tree dismantling’ or a ‘tree take-down’. This can be done using a variety of different pulleys, ropes and other equipment which is known as ‘rigging equipment’. This ensures the tree is taken down in a controlled and safe manner, mitigating the risk of any damage to property, garden furniture, lawns and other outside features. In exceptional circumstances a crane can be used if it is an especially large tree or in an awkward position, this can be a very efficient and cost-effective method.
Sectional felling involves working at height and should done by a ‘climber’ from a competent tree surgery company using specialist ropes, harnesses and sometimes climbing spikes. The arborist will have completed many qualifications to ensure they are competent to carry out the works and there must at all times be a second qualified climber on the ground. This climber should be able to perform an aerial rescue if required and have additional rescue climbing kit at their disposal incase of an accident. All equipment used by the qualified tree surgeon should have been tested under the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) (1998). This ensures that all equipment is fit for purpose and has undergone regular, thorough testing to establish safety.
Safety First When Climbing
On occasions, when climbing isn’t possible for example; the tree is in a seriously unsafe condition the arborist may use a Mobile Operated Work Platform (MEWP), sometimes known as a ‘cherry picker’. This is often a safer option and can speed the job up, making it more efficient and financially viable for the client.
All of these methods of tree removal are subject to the Work at Height Regulations (2005). These regulations are in place to guide employers who are in control of any work at height to ensure that the work carried out is correctly planned, supervised and carried out by competent individuals. It also ensures that the appropriate methods and equipment are chosen to make the job as safe as possible, avoiding injury to any party.
The second method to remove a tree is ‘clear felling’ where the tree is cut down by making a series of specially calculated cuts from the ground to ensure the tree falls into a clearing. This method is typically done in forestry and woodland management.
Choosing a professional to remove your tree:
It is essential to contact a professional arborist for your tree removal. There are many reasons why this is necessary, the first being safety. Tree surgeons who carry out tree cutting services regularly, will have a large amount of experience and many safety protocols in place, these include;
- Chainsaw competence qualifications
- Chainsaw PPE
- First aid kits
- Risk assessmentsProfessional training
- Compliance with LOLER (1998)
- Compliance with Work at Height Regulations (2005)
The professional tree surgery company will also have all necessary equipment needed for a safe removal of the tree, including;
- Silky saws
- Felling axes
- Felling wedges
- Climbing equipment
- Rigging equipment
- MEWP/ Cherry picker
Arborists are also extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of tree removal and the legal aspects of felling a tree. It is important to take into account Tree Protection Orders (TPO) and Conservation Areas when thinking about removing a tree from your outside space. Both of these would need either a planning application or notification. Masons Tree Surgery will carry this out on the client’s behalf as part of the service provided. Sometimes felling licenses will also need to be applied for, depending on the amount being felled and if it is in a non-domestic setting. Masons Tree Surgery can also advise and assist in this process if necessary. Masons Tree Surgery will also be competent in surveying the tree for any nesting birds before carrying out any works.
As well as considering these issues, as mentioned before the tree surgeon will undertake risk assessments to ensure the tree is removed as safely as possible without causing any damage. They will also be able to provide ‘method statements’, which is common practice on commercial sites.