Safety Tips For First-Time Fall Tree Pruning

Now that fall has arrived, the trees in your yard are entering their dormant stage, and it's time for you to prune them. Fall pruning is essential because it promotes healthier growth in the spring and improves fruit and nut crops. If you have never pruned your trees, then following these tips will keep you safe during the process.

Tip: Wear a Hard Hat or Helmet to Protect Your Head from Injury

Since you do not have any experience pruning trees, you must wear protection for your head during this project. The best option is to wear a construction hard hat since they are designed to protect your head if something falls on it or you walk into a hard object such as a tree limb. If you do not own a hard hat, you can substitute a bike helmet, motorcycle helmet, or other sporting helmets.

Tip: Don't Ever Cut Branches While Standing on a Chair, Ladder, or Roof

Since it is hard to reach most of a tree's branches from the ground, you will need to use a pole saw to cut most of them. While it may seem easier and more simple to climb up on a chair, a ladder, or your home's roof, this is never a good idea. In addition to being hurt from falling branches or from your saw itself, you can also be injured from falling off of the surface you are standing on top of.

Tip: Never Cut Branches Located Directly Overhead

When you start the pruning process, never cut branches that are located directly over your head. This is very important because even small branches can be deceptive and will look lighter than they really are. In fact, the most common way homeowners are injured working in their yards is pruning heavy tree branches that quickly fall down on top of their heads.

Tip: Call an Arborist If You Feel Overwhelmed or Need More Instruction

If you feel overwhelmed about the prospect of pruning your own trees or if it has been many years and the trees are not well shaped, then you should call an arborist for tree pruning assistance. Arborists are professionals with specialized training in the pruning, shaping, and removal of all different types of trees. While an arborist will come with a cost, having them prune your trees this year and get them shaped will result in your ability to take over the pruning project in future years.