A tree surgeon’s job is not, in any way, one of the easiest.
It’s not as simple as swinging wildly around trees. Nor is it as simple as climbing up a tree and feeling good about the scenery below.
It is dangerous. Very dangerous. A tree surgeon may have a team below who will act in case something goes wrong. But when he’s up there, all he has is his skills, experience, and his ever-reliable equipment.
And no matter how skilled or experienced a tree surgeon is, cutting a tree could end to disaster with defective tools and equipment.
So what exactly are these tools and what do they do?
Read on to find out.
These are probably the most used tool of all time. People had used axes long before tree surgery became a profession. They’re easy to use, easy to grip, and maneuver; that’s why an axe is a very popular tool.
Felling axes are used to cut down, create stumps, and lop off the limbs of trees. Splitting mauls, on the other hand, are able to deliver more powerful strikes without getting stuck in the wood.
A chainsaw is a portable and mechanical saw which cuts with a set of teeth attached to a rotating chain running along a guide bar. They run on either gas or electricity and is considered one of the most powerful tools for tree removal.
A chainsaw has two main parts: the saw blade and a small one-cylinder gasoline engine or an electric motor depending on how it is powered. Gas-powered chainsaws are usually used for felling trees while electric-powered ones are for pruning trees and shrubbery.
These are similar to steel-toe boots with the addition of layers of chainsaw-protective fabric on the exposed front surfaces. They are used to protect a tree surgeon from front and sideways cuts.
Aside from being comfortable, chainsaw boots need to be waterproof and resistant to oil stains, gasoline, and chemicals. These boots come in two versions: lace-up leather or rubber wellington boot.
These include a lot of things that need to be replenished and replaced over time. Lubricants, chain loops, reels, and sharpening tools are among the best examples of consumables. They may also be chainsaw accessories like spare parts, guide bars, fuel cans, etc.
Cranes are generally used in situations where there isn’t enough space to dismantle a tree through rigging techniques. They’re also used when the job requires the ground to remain untouched or if there is a significant volume of timber.
I already mentioned that a tree surgeon’s job is hazardous. That’s precisely why they need to have liability insurance. But aside from coverage, it’s critical that they also have first aid kits.
Accidents can happen even with the most seasoned surgeon. A first aid kit should include bandages, sterile wipes, plasters, face shields, gloves, and everything else that’s needed for immediate action.
This is a type of saw that’s mainly used for trimming and is also called a pruning saw. It is slightly curved in shape to reach branches and limbs that are hard to reach.
A pole saw is a mid-sized blade that’s mounted on top of an extension pole to reach branches from the ground. Cross-cut saws, on the other hand, can be a two-man or single-man variety. It is used to cut a tree across the grain.
These are gears that are used to climb up trees and is vital to making sure that the job is finished safely. It should have a wide, slightly rigid waist belt for optimum support while being safe. Rings and loops are also included in a harness for easy access to other tools.
This is another piece equipment that’s used to ensure that a tree surgeon is safe while working. Regardless if he’s working on a dead tree, the weight of the branches should never be underestimated. A good helmet must be sturdy enough to ensure that the head is protected.
These are used when working on mid-level branches when limbing up a tree. It can be made of aluminum or fiberglass and has adjustable legs.
Communication is also very important in tree surgery. It ensures that every step is communicated clearly and it a must to keep everyone safe. A good radio should be easy to operate, durable, and weather-resistant.
Aside from a harness, rigging equipment are also used to climb up trees especially the larger ones. They are also used to bring down huge cut limbs and to transport other tools and heavy equipment up and down. Some of these rigging tools are the following:
A tree surgeon’s job doesn’t stop after successfully cutting down a tree. The stump needs to be removed as well which can be a difficult task since the roots of a tree run very deep beneath the soil.
This is where a stump grinder comes in. It’s a power tool or piece of equipment with rotating teeth that’s used to remove stumps and roots quickly. Stump grinders can be as small as a lawn mower or as big as large as a truck.
These are used to remove and transport large volumes of timber. They are handy when carrying out large tree removals making the job far more efficient.
Also known as a tree chipper, these are machines used to reduce tree limbs or trunks into smaller wood chips. Most of the time, they are portable and are mounted on wheels on frames suitable for towing using a van or truck.
As you can see, there are a lot of tools and equipment used in tree surgeries. It only goes to show how hard of a job this is. A simple miscalculation and failed equipment would mean serious trouble.