Each month, a magazine published by the Tree Care Industry Association, reports on
some of the tree-related accidents reported in the media. Any accident is one too many.
However, those involving property owners pruning their own trees are 100 percent
Last month’s issue reported on 15 accidents. Seven tree workers were killed and two
injured. Five non-tree workers were also killed and one injured.
It is bad enough when trained, professional arborists get hurt or killed in work related
injuries. It is even worse when property owners end up in this column. Arboriculture is
one of the most dangerous professions in the world. One of the reasons that tree pruning
and removal is costly is that legitimate tree care companies have to pay a tremendous
amount each year for insurance to cover their workers.
Even with this information in mind, property owners go out and try to prune, or even
remove, their own trees without the proper training, tools, protective equipment, or
insurance coverage should an accident happen.
Have you ever thought that standing on a ladder to prune a tree can result in a branch
knocking you off the ladder and falling on top of you? Many of the accident in TCI’s
accident column occur when property owners climb ladders to prune their trees. Other
common causes for both professionals and property owners include falling out of a
tree for whatever reason, chainsaw cuts, branches falling in an unexpected direction
and hitting the person or falling and hitting someone on the ground, and touching an
energized electric wire. Electric wires are not insulated. That black covering on them is to
protect them from the elements.
When you realize all the dangers that can beset you if you try to save a buck and do your
own pruning, the cost of professional tree service looks better and better.