There are a lot of home improvement projects you can do yourself. Even if you don’t have much training, you can install floating shelves on the wall, replace the doors on your cabinets, repaint the walls, or rearrange the furniture. Outside you can put in a garden, plant some shrubs, or refinish your deck. With some skill, you can do even more, but there are some jobs you should always leave to the professionals, and this includes tree work.
If you’re even considering home improvement work, you probably know your way around a screwdriver and a power drill. However, most arborist tools are at least a step beyond that. For instance, chainsaws require a steady hand, a good eye for where and how to make a cut, and regular maintenance that includes sharpening the chain. And that’s just for starters.
To properly remove or reshape a tree, you’ll need tools you can’t just grab off a shelf.
•A small stump grinder alone costs over $1,000 easily.
• A decent wood chipper can cost less, but you’ll need a big one for a big tree.
• Digging up roots can demand a backhoe, and even renting one can be expensive.
•If you have high branches you need to cut, you’ll have to rent an aerial lift.
Most people don’t know how to use these complex, dangerous, and specialized machines, and you can risk more than just your own life by trying to learn them on the fly.
Trees are massive, heavy, and can do a lot of damage when they fall. Individual branches are smaller, but they can still be big enough to demand a whole team of people or some heavy machinery to move them. Arborists know how to support branches before cutting them and how to make sure trees fall in a safe direction, and that’s very important since the leading cause of tree-trimming fatalities is a tree falling in an unexpected direction. Arborists can also identify tree rot, infections, and other damage that could otherwise create hazards during trimming.
The biggest difference between a professional arborist and an amateur is that the professional knows what all the dangers are, where they come from, what they look like, and how to avoid them. Arborists know how to avoid hitting power lines, both with their equipment and with falling branches. They know how to secure tree limbs, bring them safely to the ground, and then
safely carry them off to a disposal area. Unless you can confidently say as much about yourself, you should leave tree work to the professionals.
Homeownership can involve a lot of maintenance and improvement projects, and a lot of it you can handle on your own. With a few basic skills, careful planning, and a healthy respect for the tools you need, there are all kinds of things you can do without having to call in a professional service. However, some things demand specialized skills and complex machinery, which is why you should leave most tree trimming projects to the professionals.