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Leave Storm-Related Tree Work to Professionals

“What’s this? Another tree/branch/large shrub in my yard that wasn’t there before the storm? I better gas up my brother’s old chain saw and go cut it up.”

Stop! Just don’t.

Yet another storm has brought distress into your yard in the form of large branches and even entire trees that have broken and fallen into your world view. Before you dig out your brother’s old chain saw, the first question should be, “Am I capable of removing this large tree/limb myself or should I seek professional help?” Major tree-damage cleanup will undoubtedly require the use of a chain saw and climbing equipment. Unless you are experienced in the use of such equipment and comfortable working off the ground, it would be best to have the work performed by a competent professional.

Wind places loads on trees, including trunks, branches and roots, leading to higher stress. The varying lengths and sizes of tree branches tend to dampen the overall effects of wind; however, as wind speeds increase, the loads placed on stress points within the tree increase exponentially. When the loads exceed trunk, branch or root strength, various types of failures occur.

But my brother’s chain saw is right here – it wouldn’t take me long at all!

It might be tempting to get out there with your brother’s old chain saw and do the work yourself. And this is where so many homeowners get into trouble. Run an internet search for videos of “tree cutting gone wrong” to see just what can happen.

I’ve used a chain saw before to cut up an old fence. What could possibly go wrong if I cut up this giant tree branch in my yard?

Professionally trained tree workers have to know what to look out for. Do you?

  • There could be overhead and/or nearby electrical wires that create potential hazards and limit the options for tree cutting. Torn, hanging limbs overhead could make it extremely dangerous to cut downed limbs underneath them.
  • Most chain saw work on large limbs or trees requires the experience of a trained operator to prevent injuries. Wood under tension (one or both ends of the fallen tree or branch pinned under other branches or debris) can have different types of binds at different places. Releasing that tension with chain saw cuts is extremely dangerous and can seriously, or fatally, harm the chain saw operator.
  • Uprooted root plates or root balls are unpredictable. Cutting the trunk of a fallen tree from an uprooted plate releases the pressure holding the root plate. The roots are still anchored and may have enough tension that they will pull the stump and root ball back into the hole. It could suddenly sit back into the root hole, trapping anything nearby underneath it.
  • Slope and uneven footing surfaces are dangerous while operating a chain saw.
  • Watch that bar tip! Cutting branches on the ground can cause you to bury the saw bar in the dirt or hit hidden obstacles, causing chain saw kickback.
  • Many homeowners injured doing their own tree work were working alone at the time, significantly lengthening emergency response time and hospital stays. Always have at least one other person work with you. In case you get trapped or injured, there’s someone to call for help.

Removing large, fallen trees should always be done by an experienced professional.

Find a professional

A professional arborist can determine the best way to accomplish the task at hand, and has the experience and proper equipment to do the job. And in doing so, he or she just may prevent an injury or even save a life. Search for a qualified tree care professional in your area.

19 thoughts on “Leave Storm-Related Tree Work to Professionals

  • Great article with helpful and important information for people. While people may think that they can handle removing a large branch or a small tree from their yard they may not be aware of all the risks of doing so. It is best for people to call a professional that knows what they are doing and can do it safely without causing further damage.

    Thank you for putting the information out there for everyone!

  • There was recently a huge lightning storm where I live and my husband and I realized the next day that part of one our huge trees in the front yard had split off in the midst of the storm. I like that you mentioned that it is important to have a professional come and help us with this because torn, hanging limbs overhead could make it extremely dangerous to cut downed limbs underneath them. It’s kind of scary to think of a huge branch landing on top of you, and since we don’t know what we’re doing and don’t want to get hurt we’ll have to call in our local tree service that helps with storm damage.

  • I like that you mention how professionals are trained and experienced so they can know what to look for while they provide the tree services, such as any problems with uprooted root plates. When hiring one, it would probably be a good idea to research local professionals to learn about their experience and tree services. This could help you find one that is experienced with similar situations and has the necessary equipment so the work is done correctly and without any problems.

  • I like how you mentioned that taking care of any tree-related problems, especially after bad weather has just passed through, is best left to the professionals since they’re the ones who know how to take precaution to move trees around when it comes to getting rid of their debris. Another thing to consider is that there could be possible hanging live wires nearby and those would spell a disaster if the tree was handled wrong and could cause further accidents if not handled carefully. If I had the chance to call for an arborist’s services then I would want to make sure that they know how to remove storm-damaged trees especially if there are electric cables near the area.

  • I could not agree with this article more! There are so many mishaps that could happen if a homeowner or business owner attempts to remove a tree on their own. There are some things that you just have to leave to the professionals, and this is absolutely one of them. The cost is so worth the peace of mind knowing that the tree will be taken care of safely.

  • This blog is really helpful. I agree that let the professionals handle the right way to avoid more accidents during this time. I believe that professionals really studied well to prevent accidents or any damages. Sometimes we must consider the risk in order to be safe also.

  • It’s very common for us to dispatch our emergency tree services down here in Louisiana as you can imagine. We try to make PSA’s as much as possible regarding this type of stuff so people are not injured by live power lines or damaged structures. Thanks for taking time to publish this valuable info!

  • I am thankful that you said to hire a professional tree service in case there are electrical wires overhead, or the wood is under tension or binds. There was a big storm about a week ago, and the big hickory tree in my parent’s front yard is quite damaged from it. I will call them now and suggest they find a professional tree removal service to handle it for them.

  • William Van Skaik

    This is really good insight. I’ve been living in Utah for 3 years now and every time I need help I always refer to the 24/7 emergency services offered in my area.

    Last time I tried doing it myself end up falling in the wrong direction. Take it from me, always go for a professional. So much safer and guaranteed.

    Great read, thanks for the reminder.

  • You are totally correct that such matters should be left to the professionals. We had to call in some tree experts to assist us in our work recently. People had not been carrying out the correct plumbing maintenance on their property and tree roots had infiltrated the pipework outside – a real mess! so we had the pipes to sort out but it was better that the tree was removed!

  • I certainly agree with this. I run a tree care company and have seen too many instances of people damaging their property further after trying to take an emergency tree removal situation into their own hands.

  • I appreciate the chain saw advice in this article. I think people often overlook the complexities of handling a chainsaw properly.

  • Rachel J. Marshall

    If you are not skilled enough when cutting trees it might go the dangerous way maybe you must cut it with some people with knowledge in cutting trees.


  • This is very helpful to us. Trees are amazingly resilient and many recover with proper care and time. Despite the urge to do something immediately, people should try to be patient. As long as
    there isn’t an immediate physical risk from a damaged tree, the tree may be kept to see how it responds to the damage. Thanks.

  • I just had a big storm in my area, and I saw the neighbors trying to take down a limb crush their shed. Luckily no one was hurt!


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