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Steps to Ensure Successful Tree Removal

Updated: May 9

Unless a tree has come down, tree removal is not something you enter into lightly. As well as the aesthetic beauty that trees provide, their environmental and social value is recognised in NSW via a raft of significant laws and regulations. These laws serve to conserve and protect our precious trees. If you are in a position where you are contemplating the removal of a tree on your property, then this article will help to walk you through the different steps involved in the process, to make sure that you don’t endanger yourself, legally or physically.

Step 1: Examine the tree closely 

Tree removal demands a legitimate reason to justify its removal. Simply not appreciating a tree’s aesthetics or it blocking a view, just isn’t going to cut it, excuse the pun. If the tree has become diseased or is posing a significant safety risk to people or structures then there may be grounds for its removal. It is highly recommended to enlist an arborist at this stage to advise on whether or not a tree can be removed legally. Due to the valuable nature of trees there are laws and regulations spanning from local to state government that carry hefty fines if not abided by. A great place to start is to contact your local council and they can advise on whether or not you will need an arborist report. If this is required then you will need an arborist with a qualification equivalent to at least Framework Level 5 for official certification. Don’t skip any of this as the consequences are severe, as obviously the tree cannot be restored once damaged or felled. 

Step 2: The arborist will make a plan to bring the tree down safely

Tree removal is a highly dangerous business, especially if the tree is large and in close proximity to structures and powerlines. Arborists draw upon their expertise in the biomechanics of trees and their knowledge of their equipment to safely plan a successful tree removal, where no one is hurt and nothing is damaged. A huge array of safety gear is required, along with a wide array of different power tools and specialised rigging abilities. In other words, this is not for the uninitiated or the underprepared. Often a tree will not simply be able to topple uncontrollably without damaging something or posing a threat to life so the arborist must carefully construct a plan to deconstruct the tree effectively. What might be impossible for yourself can be achieved safely and easily by trained arborists.

Step 3: Clearing the mess

Bringing down a large tree is only part of the process. A full tree removal requires a few more steps. Depending on the reason for a tree being cut down, there are several options regarding what to do with the leftover pieces of timber. If the timber is diseased then it is unlikely it will be able to be used for much more than wood chips or possibly firewood. In this case, a tree chipper will be needed, which can be highly dangerous if not used correctly. At every stage, rely on an arborist for the job. If the tree was healthy but needed to be removed then you have more options around the use of the remaining timber. Its stumps could potentially be repurposed as furniture or even milled for a variety of different purposes. Once again, the arborist can advise on this.

Step 4: Finish the job by stump grinding the remains

Any arborist will tell you, the job of tree removal is not done until the stump has been removed. Tree stumps left to rot in the ground create a plethora of problems, such as; pest attraction, unsightly resprouting and safety hazardous for walking or mowing. Much like tree felling, stump grinding requires serious machinery and experience so you’ll be thankful to already have the arborist on the job.

At every step of the tree removal journey, lean on the expertise and experience of a trained arborist to ensure that the job is done properly.

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