Once a tree is cut down

VIDEO: Langley’s Arbor Barber offers advice

When it’s time to cut down a tree, homeowners need to think whether they’re up to the task.

That tree has just got to come down but what’s the best way to go about it?

That’s the first question a property owner should ask.

So cut it down or bring in an expert?

Rayner Johnson’s been bringing down the big trees around the Lower Mainland since 2004 when the Brookswood resident started Arbor Barber.

He said some people can take down their own trees but there are some key factors to consider.

“It depends on how comfortable you are with running a chainsaw, if you have protective gear and a few other factors. Even experienced arbourists make mistakes, and it’s always better to error on the side of caution, especially if you have any concerns about removing a tree,” he said.

Most people are fine removing smaller trees but the big ones need some thought, including thinking about whether the tree is a hazard to people or property in an area where windstorms result in plenty of clean-up activity.

“Conditions such as height of the tree, the overall health of it, ground slope, weather, proximity to houses and power lines play a huge role in the action of the tree when it falls, Johnson explained.

He suggests having an arbourist look at the tree in question. Many firms provide free estimates on the work on tree removal and pruning.

“Don’t wait until it’s too late to have tree work or maintenance done,” he added. “It’s easier to prune a tree than to have it do damage to your property. Being proactive is always better than reactive.”

People can do research or have an arbourist tell them whether the tree has a future. Sometimes previous pruning has caused problems.

“Trees that have multiple tops, have been topped before, have cracks in the bark and trees with dead branches are often vulnerable,” he said.

If a tree is being cut down entirely, the time of year doesn’t matter but there are benefits to doing the work other than the height of summer.

“Winter is, I’d say, the easier time to remove a tree. It’s cooler out and if it’s a deciduous tree, there is less clean up and the tree is 100 per cent visible because there are no leaves,” he said.

Different species of trees can come with their own headaches. Evergreens tend to have pitch or sap which can be a nuisance on equipment, skin and clothes.

Another questions the property owner must consider is what do to with the tree once it’s cut down. Most people don’t have use of so much wood. Tree cutting firms chip most trees so the wood is recycled.

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