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Trees: Friend or Foe?

Trees are my friends.  At least that’s what I tell people when I slice a golf drive and my ball bounces off a pine tree and ends up back on the fairway.  Trees shade us in summer and heat us in winter.  They provide lumber for our homes and fruit for our diets.  They protect the lakes by keeping them cool and holding the soil from washing into the water.

But trees can just as easily turn against us.  They will drop dead limbs on our roofs or uproot in a storm and fall on our car or our house.  They provide shelter for ants that invade our homes and they’ll give access for squirrels to our roofs and attics.  Just try to cut one down and see what can happen.  Cut it incorrectly and all H*## can break loose.  It may end up on a house or a car.  It could fall on the power lines and put the neighborhood out of power, or worse, electrocute someone. Over the years, we’ve invented terms like “barber chair”, which is a dangerous situation cause by an incorrect cut, and “spring pole” which will try to take your teeth out.  Cut a limb incorrectly and it may pinch your saw or the tree trunk may try to roll over you.  Ladders and trees don’t mix either.  YouTube is loaded with examples of why not to use a ladder to remove a limb. 

These are all good examples of why an inexperienced person should think twice before tackling that tree in the back yard.  One wrong move and, look out.  Trees can be unpredictable too, fighting every inch of the way when being taken down.  Even experiences tree workers can get into trouble occasionally, but years of experience definitely help to predict and avoid the potential hazards.  And, a little bit of luck doesn’t hurt either.

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