Whether at a business establishment or private property, well-maintained trees add value, elegance, and a sense of comfort wherever they are planted.
Regular maintenance, trimming, and lopping is necessary to maintain healthy and visually pleasing arbors, but it is not an easy thing to do.
If not done right, tree lopping could be extremely dangerous for you and your trees, that is why you should know these secret methods of professional tree loppers for healthy trees:
Assess Before You Work
Every tree is different, each type requires specific care as each tree grows at a different rate and in different directions. Tree lopping means handling multiple complicated aspects and being prepared for every possible scenario. That is why professional tree loppers make sure to assess each tree before each job. Assessment is important because it helps you anticipate how the tree is going to react, which branches or spikes need to be cut, and whether any rotten parts may behave unexpectedly.
If you just start chopping and cutting off branches without proper assessment and planning, you risk hurting the tree and instead of aiding its growth you could end up causing more damage. The assessment helps in knowing what the tree needs to be healthy, such as better light exposure and airflow, so that the tree looks its best all year long.
Before you start working on a tree, make sure there are no nests or hives or other forms of wildlife in it, you don’t want them hurting you and you don’t want to hurt them either.
Another thing to look out for is Poison Ivy and other harmful plants. If the tree is near such plants, you must be extra careful while working. Make sure you are well covered and that neither you, your clothes, or your tools touch them.
Use Proper, Well-Maintained Tools
Knowing what tools to use for each lopping, and even for each branch, is what distinguishes a professional from an amateur. Using the wrong tools could lead to butchered branches, which may result in deceased branches or give you pests. The tools you use in tree lopping must always be sharp and well maintained. They also need to be the right size for the branches you intend to cut.
Lopping requires some very powerful tools and equipment. Most tree lopping accidents and injuries are a result of electric chainsaws. Electric chainsaws and other power tools could do you real harm if your tools are old, rusty, or ill-maintained.
Handle power tools with care, be alert while using them, and re-check tensions on your chainsaw regularly to make sure they’re in place and haven’t loosened. Check your tools and equipment for cracks, broken parts, and loose screws, and rust, especially if they have been left outdoors. Use sturdy ropes and a strong, well-balanced ladder to avoid dangerous falls.
Know Your Cut
If you decide to brave through it and attempt tree lopping, you should know exactly where to cut. Whether the reason you’re lopping the tree is to keep its size in check or to help it maintain good health and promote growth, your plans could backfire if you place your cut at the dominant bud, which is found at the tip of the branch. The dominant bud is responsible for the tree’s growth, so if it is cut, you are likely to end up with an even messier tree, unruly edges, and a multiplication of small branches that would only worsen with repetition.
With larger branches or main branches, it is very critical how you handle them. Cutting a large branch could have a considerable effect on the structural balance of the tree, making it unstable and dangerous fall risk.
When you cut a limb, especially a large or heavy one, don’t just do a single cut. Go for one cut on the underside and then one on the upper side, that way you prevent the peeling and tearing of the tree’s bark. Bark carries the food and nutrients produced by the tree leaves to the roots, so peeled bark would harm the tree, and in some cases, it could even kill it.
Follow Safety Measures
To avoid getting hurt while lopping, you should always wear full safety gear. Protecting your eves should be your top priority, so protective goggles and a face shield are imperative. You should also be wearing a hard hat to protect you from any head injuries, thick gloves, strong, non-slip shoes, and hearing protection; all of it. You should also make sure you know which way to go if your tree starts falling unexpectedly, plan your exit route and be aware of your surroundings.
A common mistake, that sadly often results in tragedy, is leaving cut branches and giving your back to the tree. An un-lowered cut branch could fall at any moment and there is no knowing what it would fall on, so be sure to either cut them all the way through or lower the partially cut ones to the ground.
Also, it is always better not to work alone. Having a work partner can make the process easier and safer for both of you. Another dangerous common mistake many people do is lean their ladders on the tree they’re lopping. If the tree starts to fall unexpectedly, you can be seriously hurt. Safety measures may seem like too much, but these safety precautions are there for a reason. The smallest mistake could leave you severely injured.
You may feel confident in your abilities after a couple of YouTube videos and tutorials, but lopping can be extremely dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Lopping can only be mastered through years of practice and accumulated knowledge. So, if you are not an expert yourself, then get help from a professional tree arborist. That way you can guarantee that your trees get the best care and that you and your property stay safe.
These beauties of nature take a very long time to grow into such magnificent sights but without proper pruning and lopping, they won’t thrive. By giving your trees the care and maintenance they need, you ensure that they give you the best sight, air, and natural feel.