Homeowner Tree Care Accidents in 2014

The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) conducted an analysis of 37 civilian tree care-related accidents reported by the media in 2014.

Chart A (1)While these numbers are not representative of all – or even most – tree care accidents involving non-professionals, they provide insight into the types of hazards homeowners are likely to encounter while attempting tree work.

The findings were grim: Twenty-three of the accidents (60 percent) were fatal. “Homeowners may not realize how dangerous tree work can be, and how much they’re risking by taking the ‘do-it-yourself’ approach,” says Peter Gerstenberger, senior advisor for safety, standards and compliance for TCIA. “Lack of training, equipment, or situational awareness undoubtedly contributed to these incidents, which could have been avoided by hiring a professional tree care company.”

The median age of the victim was 62, and the oldest victim was 76. The youngest reported victim was a 3-year-old toddler who tragically walked into the path of a tree his father was felling and was struck and killed. Three of the 37 victims, including the 3-year-old, were uninvolved bystanders.

Most homeowners were struck by a tree while attempting to fell it, or were hit by limbs, wires, or chain saws. Others fell or were electrocuted. Chart A provides more details on the accidents.

Occasionally, these incident are high-profile; Greg Norman, the pro golfer, is the lone “struck by chain saw” statistic. He claimed to be lucky to still have his left hand after a chain saw accident. The famed Australian, who won two majors and 20 U.S. PGA Tour titles, was trimming a sea grape tree at his home near Jupiter Island, Florida, when the accident occurred.

Norman was part of another dominant group in these statistics: the victims who were working alone at the time of the accident.

In two-thirds of all cases where it could be determined, the victims undertook hazardous tree work with nobody to spot them, nobody to assist them, and nobody to advise them when it might have been prudent to stop and seek out an expert.

Tree care can also be extremely dangerous, so leave the tough stuff to the experts.

Find a qualified tree care professional in your area.

Learn more about why you should hire a pro.

6 thoughts on “Homeowner Tree Care Accidents in 2014

  • Jack Morvin

    Why is it classified as “struck by” chainsaw and not a laceration. If I cut myself with a handsaw is it struck by handsaw or a poleclip or shears?

  • Really helpful. People do it on their own because the want to do it right on the time they thought about it, or could be they want to at least save money. But hiring professionals for tree services is much more
    efficient talking about safety and effort.

  • Jennifer Wilson

    It is very dangerous when caring for a tree, better hire for professionals to do it then.

    tree pruning

  • beautiful post of the blog with best info updates knowing all about “home owner tree care accidents”,
    I just want to say take care always is the only key that can make us safe in different types of accident.



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