When it comes to DIY home and landscape improvements, there are some projects you can handle like a pro and others you should leave to a pro.
Painting a room? Go for it! Retiling a bathroom? Tricky, but you can master it, right? Planting a tree? Sure! But what about removing a tree?
Read on to find out if it’s ever okay to remove a tree on your own.
Is It Safe To Diy Tree Felling & Cutting? Are There Risks & Dangers With Diy Tree Removal?
Rule of thumb: If you would have to use a ladder to reach and remove tree limbs, that tree is too big for you to remove safely.
If you were to get up on a ladder with a chainsaw, so many things could go wrong. You are putting yourself and your home at great risk. You could fall off the ladder, get struck by falling limbs, lose control of your saw and cut yourself or worse. And the tree limbs you’re cutting could fall on your home, go through a window, hit you, or even hit the ladder, knocking you off while holding a running chainsaw. Falling tree limbs can be large and unpredictable, which makes a dangerous combo.
While there are many landscape projects you can safely and easily DIY, tree removal is one that is not worth the money you save. If you hurt yourself, you’ll be slammed with medical bills, and if you damage your home, you’ll have to pay for those repairs, too.
What If I Pull Up A Tree Or Tree Stump With My Truck?
We’d recommend against it–especially if the tree you’re removing is close to your home or any nearby structures. It’s difficult to anticipate what direction the tree will fall, which could do serious damage. Whatever you save on tree removal will not outweigh the cost of repairing your truck or home.
Plus, trees can be incredibly heavy, much heavier than you’d think. An 80’ maple tree that’s two feet wide likely weighs more than 4,000 pounds or 2 tons. Most standard pickup trucks are designed with a towing capacity between 5,000 and 13,000 pounds. The stump alone could potentially exceed that limit when trying to pull it out of the ground.
If you attempt to uproot a large tree or stump that exceeds your truck’s abilities, the truck could be damaged. The ropes or chains you’re using could also break if their limits are exceeded. The stump or tree may strike your truck when it releases from the ground. All of this has the potential to damage your truck or cause injury.
The damage you could do to your truck or home just isn’t worth the “savings” of DIY tree removal.
Can I Safely Cut Down A Small Tree?
If the tree is small (less than fifteen feet in height) that you could remove it without climbing a ladder to first remove limbs, and there is enough space around it to safely bring it to the ground, and you are properly trained, and you have the necessary tools and personal protective equipment, it’s likely OK if you remove it yourself. If you have any doubts about whether it’s safe to remove the tree on your own, contact a certified arborist, and they’ll provide guidance. To help with removing small stumps, wet the soil around stumps the day before digging them out with hand tools. Larger stumps can be removed by a professional arborist with a stump grinder.