For many homeowners in Olympia, Washington, the task of cleaning up storm-damaged trees isn’t so simple. Many damaged trees are large and in unstable positions. Storm-damaged trees are also extremely hazardous, and the risk of cutting and cleaning up after them is downright dangerous.
At Westcoast Tree Care, we have been shocked and horrified by some people’s personal risks in cutting down storm-damaged trees. Photos and videos of people online operating chainsaws in shorts and t-shirts, climbing downed trees or standing on them, and working without any personal protective equipment are downright distressing for ISA-certified arborists who know of the potential danger.
We cannot emphasize it enough that without professional knowledge and equipment, an individual should never attempt to remove a storm-damaged tree on their own. Leaning or downed trees can spring and snap in unpredictable ways when people try to cut them. This can result in serious and life-threatening injuries. Just because an individual owns a chainsaw, doesn’t make them qualified to tackle a large mature tree that’s broken or uprooted.
Instead, the best alternative for addressing storm-damaged trees is to contact a professional arborist to avoid potential injury, death, and property damage. That said, there are a few things you can do about storm-damaged trees on your property.
- From a safe distance, note the location of any downed or damaged power lines. Always assume all power lines are active and charged with electricity. Notify your local power company immediately of the situation and do nothing else until they have cleared the area.
- Make sure to look up. While you may be more interested in examining a downed tree limb, there may be another one above you that could drop and fall at any time.
- Once you are confident that there is no risk of physical danger or electrocution, you can visually inspect the area and document the situation with written descriptions and photographs. This will help you process any insurance claims that need to be filed.
- Make sure to flag off the area of a storm-damaged tree to warn others of the potential danger that exists.
- Remember that while a downed tree may appear stable, it can be subject to unnoticeable stressors or tension. That’s why it’s essential not to attempt to cut a tree on your own. Even removing small branches can release areas of tension, causing the weight or balance of a tree to shift unexpectedly with potentially serious risks. Always contact a certified arborist for assistance.
- Under no circumstances whatsoever, ever operate or allow anyone else to operate a chainsaw without proper knowledge of safety procedures and safety equipment.
Olympia, Washington Tree Care
An assessment of a storm-damaged tree is best undertaken by a certified arborist with professional expertise. Olympia homeowners should always contact a certified arborist to examine the trees on their property. At Westcoast Tree Care, we are qualified to evaluate tree damage and can advise property owners about the best ways to treat or remove it. For more information, contact us by filling out our online form or give us a call at 1.800.767.8733 for a no-cost, no-obligation quote.