DIY Tree Work: Should You Do It Yourself?
It’s true that home owners can undertake certain tree maintenance tasks without the assistance of a professional service. But while DIY is an option, it should be noted that there are some limitations as to what types of care we’d suggest taking on yourself!
Safety is paramount for you, your family and friends, as well as the environment. Put simply – safeguard yourself and nature with care!
Read on to know the kinds of tree work you can do yourself, given that you have all the required tools, knowledge and safety measures necessary. Moreover, find out when it is best for you to get our services instead.
Things You Should Not Do Yourself
In the strongest possible terms, we warn against trying to cut down a tree on your own.
Sure, anyone can pick up a chainsaw and get to work on a tree. But without extensive experience regarding how trees react when under duress (such as during cutting), you risk serious harm or damage your property or somebody else’s. Unfortunately, homeowners are dying every week trying to remove their own trees with no assistance from trained professionals. Don’t attempt this yourself – it is not worth the danger!
Safety Should Be a Priority!
Tree work involves injury risks, so safety should be your primary concern. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is a necessity for any tree-related job. Eye protection in the form of goggles or glasses will guard you against falling debris and branches; hardhats should also be worn when pruning over eye level. Additionally, gloves with strong grip are essential to ensure a safe tool use experience while heavy clothing that won’t tear easily provides further protection from branches and sap. Lastly, wear shoes meant specifically for outdoor activities as they provide extra support in this type of environment!
Equip Yourself With Information Before You Begin
If done incorrectly, you can cause catastrophic damage to your trees. But it’s never too late to learn how to properly take care of them! Acquiring the knowledge and skill necessary for proper tree maintenance is a wise investment that will pay off in spades over time; after all, would you like your neighbors talking about how you’re the person who killed their beloved trees? Doing basic tasks correctly will keep those stories at bay and ensure a healthy landscape for years to come!
Some Things You Can Do By Yourself
Homeowners often attempt to prune their trees without proper knowledge or training. But, be warned: bad tree pruning is far more serious than a botched haircut! Wrongful cuts can leave your trees exposed to pests and diseases, while also damaging the branching structure of the crown. Not only will this cost you money in the long run, but it places unnecessary strain on your plants as they try to heal wounds. Be sure you know exactly what you’re doing before engaging in any tree-trimming activity!
Pruning is one of the most rewarding tree care tasks you can do yourself, and when done properly, it has a major effect on both the health and appearance of your trees.
It is important to remember that depending on the season, you might have bird families nesting in your trees. If these creatures are not causing any harm or threats, try waiting until their young hatch and fly away before putting them through pruning sessions. Birds keep our ecosystems balanced by controlling insect populations, so giving them a bit of room can go a long way!
Be On The Ground When Pruning
We urge homeowners to use hand tools and telescoping pruners while standing securely on the ground when pruning. This way, you can stay stable while avoiding any drops or falls that may occur due to falling branches, leaves, insects, and sap. Additionally, keeping your feet on the ground ensures that you won’t get injured from misdirected tool blades if they slip out of your hands.
If You “must” Prune From Above
Pruning from a ladder or high up in the canopy of a tree can be dangerous, so we do not recommend homeowners attempting it. However, if you choose to climb ladders for pruning tasks, always use the safest methods available. A pruning or orchard ladder that is a maximum of 8′ tall is your best bet – these types of ladders provide more stability than other kinds due to their wide-based rungs and three points of contact with the ground. Remember: when using any type of ladder; three points mean sound stability and safety first!
Can I Use A Regular Ladder?
Absolutely not! Step ladders, such as those used to paint walls and ceilings, are far less stable than pruning or orchard ladders. When opened with the spreaders locked upright, step ladders require four feet in level contact with a steady surface for optimum security. Rather than taking chances on an improvised contraption from your garage- instead invest in equipment designed specifically for the job at hand to safely complete your task without risking injury.
Check for Tree Damage
When assessing your trees, it’s best to view them from the ground level. Utilize binoculars for a closer look at branches that may be higher up in the canopy if needed; however, take caution when pruning damaged or broken limbs while within the tree’s crown – this can be incredibly hazardous and life-threatening for both you and your tree! Weakened branches due to disease or storms become even more of a danger as they cannot guarantee their stability nor support weight. Allow an expert arborist to handle any necessary crown pruning instead. Likewise, pay attention for girdling roots which may strangle your beloved tree over time without immediate intervention!
Check For Insects & Disease
As the primary observer of your trees, it’s up to you to spot any signs of insect pests or diseases on leaves, branches, and trunks. If something seems off with your tree–no matter how minor it might appear at first glance–it’s essential that you get an accurate assessment and treatment plan in order to save time, money, and protect the environment. Unfortunately for larger trees (which are harder to assess from ground level), spraying them isn’t enough; a spray rig accompanied by a high-pressure hose is necessary for full coverage protection against pests & disease.
Don’t be uncertain about an ailment – call us for a consultation and to learn more! We’ll walk you through what’s happening, the best treatment options available, and all of it will be done with the utmost safety in place. Don’t guess when there are experts just around the corner who can help guide you every step of the way.
Planting A Tree
Planting a tree is an easy task if you have the right knowledge. Ensure that your planting hole is deep enough, and don’t forget to make sure the trunk flare isn’t submerged in soil when positioning it. To ensure optimal growth of your tree, refrain from piling up mulch around its base—a big no-no we often call a ‘mulch volcano’!
When you’re ready to get planting, select a young tree that’s balled and burlapped or in a small nursery container so it can be safely transported. Remember not to carry the tree by its trunk! With its new home picked out, carefully transport the plant – making sure none of its roots, branches, trunk nor your back is damaged – and install it securely in place.
Here’s a PRO TIP: When it comes to installing trees, consider size limits. A 24″ boxed tree is too large for one person (even with an assistant), so opt for the largest that you can manage on your own—maximum 15 gallon container or equivalent balled and burlapped rootball.
Staking A Tree
Supporting your small tree is a task you can manage yourself, as long as the stakes are driven deeply into the ground and upright in order to be properly stable. The stakes must have enough strength and length for proper support, which may require help from another person when carrying them. When setting up, make sure to firmly drive them into the earth!
To ensure your stakes are securely planted, you’ll need a sledgehammer and perhaps an orchard ladder to make it easier for you to apply enough force as you hit the top of them. This will prevent any unfortunate scenarios where the stakes (and its attached tree) blow away in strong winds!
To ensure your tree’s security, attach it carefully to the stakes with soft ties that won’t constrict its trunk. It should be just tight enough for support but still have room to sway in the breeze.
Organic mulch is essential for trees, shrubs and planting beds; spread it about three to five inches deep in a radius of at least the width of the tree canopy (or three feet if you’re not sure). Keep it away from your tree’s trunk—particularly its trunk flare—otherwise you’ll endanger your tree with fungal diseases. Remember that organic mulch decomposes over time so be sure to refresh it routinely!
Trees need water to ensure their longevity, particularly during hot and dry climate. An effortless tactic to support recently-transplanted or older trees is by setting a garden hose near the outer edge of your tree’s rootball and trickle it until two feet down into the soil is wet. Keep doing this regularly until temperatures are milder, thus enabling rainfall more frequently.
A newly-planted tree’s rootball determines the range of its roots and how much water it can access. Hence, consistent hydration is a must to guarantee that your new tree’s roots have an opportunity to expand into the soil around them and create a sturdy rooting system. Make sure you soak up all the area encompassing its rootball every time you irrigate without letting it dry out fully before doing so again.
Existing irrigation systems can be improved by including a separate zone that caters to trees and shrubs. Watering needs between these plants and lawns are different, so they should not receive the same amount of water; implementing this distinct valve will ensure each is well-hydrated without over or underdoing it!
As tree care professionals, we want to empower homeowners by providing them with the knowledge and resources to take proper care of their trees. However, it is crucial that caution be exercised when undertaking any kind of DIY tree work as there are a multitude of risks and hazards associated with climbing, pruning, or removal. Be aware that in certain cases accidents resulting from such activities may not be covered by home insurance policies nor health insurance plans—so please use all recommended safety measures!
In addition to insurance and safety, there are a few other components that our team of tree care professionals possess which the average homeowner does not. We offer extensive training and experience in working with trees, allowing us to use efficient tools and equipment for maximum effectiveness. Our experts can also assess tree health, insect damage, disease conditions of soil as well as measure overall vigor when performing any necessary services-all this makes us stand out from your typical homeowner!
We encourage you to become educated in proper pruning techniques and having a good knowledge of pests, diseases and warning signs that your trees may be suffering. However, if the task at hand is too dangerous for yourself or requires heavy-duty work then calling us is the best option! We guarantee fast yet safe completion of said tasks while leaving everything spick and span when we’re done. On top of this, we’ll explain what we did as well as why it was necessary afterward so you can understand better. With an established relationship where trust exists between both parties (based on our mutual love for trees), it opens up more opportunities where some tree care matters can be handled by yourself with confidence – but do rely on us regarding bigger projects involving those much beloved plants!