Among arborists, tree removal using sectioning is regarded as a specialty requiring a great deal of experience, intimate knowledge of tree behaviour and use of the right gear by a multi-person team.
As with any potentially dangerous operation, a risk assessment and prevention plan has to be drawn up beforehand. This involves assessing the health of the tree, understanding the limitations of the environment around it, deciding how to handle the waste resulting from the dismantling, making a list of gear to be used, deciding on the number of arborists needed and preparing signage for the safety perimeter.
Next, a check on the weather to find when the next suitable window will be. Tree work requires ideal weather conditions, because the tree will move as the arborist climbs through the canopy. Strong winds or rain can make their work more difficult and dangerous.
The mains steps in a tree sectioning operation are:
- Accessing the top of the tree: this involves tossing up the throw line, placing the ascent rope and then climbing up the tree to the top.
- Installing the false crotch at the top of the tree: The climber-arborist now sets up the block rigging system (pulleys and ropes) to guide and control the speed of the tree sections cut off all the way to the ground. While this is going on, the team member at the base of the tree will prepare the necessary equipment on the ground: the rigging bollard, installing the pull and guide ropes and preparing the chainsaw.
- All of the branches are cut from the base towards the top: Once the timber-handling systems are installed in the tree and on the ground, the work on dismantling the tree can begin. The lower branches are always cut first. Then the arborist moves on to cutting and climbing towards the top of the tree. This technique allows each cut branch to drop directly to the ground without any other branches in the way.
- The trunk is sawn into pieces: Once the top of the tree and the branches are removed, the trunk is cut up into pieces. The length of each piece is calculated based on diameter and weight.
After that, timber can either be removed and disposed of or, if you have a biomass boiler, it a crane-fed Pezzolato chipper can be used to convert it into high-quality G30 or G50-grade wood chip to burn.
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LJX is one of Scotland’s leading independent owner-managed providers of experienced arboricultural services to domestic and commercial clients across Glasgow and Edinburgh. For more information get in touch today on 01505 873 347.