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Surfin': Professionally Making Trees Go Away

03/19/2009

Last week's Surfin' suggested some Web sites that provide safety information for do-it-yourself lumberjacks and lumberjills of the ham radio variety who are considering clearing trees to optimize antenna performance.

In response came comments that should give one pause before starting up a chainsaw.

Jeff Siegel, KC2OBG, commented, "I would strongly recommend not taking down a tree unless you already have experience doing it. A neighbor -- a roofer who was comfortable with ladders and heights -- was taking down a tree (actually, he was up in the tree cutting branches). He lost his footing, fell and was pierced by a branch on the way down. After three months in the hospital he is alive, but he no longer has use of his left arm. Sure, he saved a few hundred dollars by not paying a tree expert. But he lost $400,000 to hospital bills, in addition to being permanently disabled. The moral is that some things are best left to the experts."

Craig Nelson, KE7NO, a professional forester, wrote, "Unless you spend time with a chainsaw on a frequent basis, do not take on tree felling in any nonchalant way. On one logging job that I went to several years ago, a sawyer of many years had his collar bone broken and his hard hat crumpled by a small tree (a dead lodgepole pine, approximately. 45 feet tall and 4 inches in diameter). A simple thing that people forget is the possibility of something going wrong. Properly insured fallers are the only people who should be considered for such jobs. Make sure they are comprehensively insured. Power lines, cars and your house should be of concern. These can be costly problems without insurance."

So, leave it to the professionals. To find one in your area, Google "tree trimming removal" or look up "tree service" in the Yellow Pages. Also, check out the Web site of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) for additional resources.

Until next time, keep on surfin'!

Editor's note: Stan's editor, Khrystyne Keane, K1SFA, is rooting for her alma mater, the Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) Lumberjacks, in this weekend's men's NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament -- Axe 'em Jacks! To communicate with Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU, save a tree and send him e-mail instead or add comments to his blog. By the way, every installment of Surfin' is indexed here, so go look it up.

 

Stan Horzepa, WA1LOU
Contributing Editor



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