Farm Tree-Felling Safety Tips for Fall

| 10/12/2017 9:57:00 AM

Megan WildTrees are one of the oldest utilized resources in the history of man. Even before we developed the ability to cut through the trunks of trees or shape wood with tools, we would use their leaves and branches as shelter and building materials.

Since those days of shivering through the night and the rain, our abilities in construction have advanced dramatically past woodworking and into stone masonry, concrete, glass and even steel. For those who aim to live off-grid, though, wood remains a vital and multipurpose resource.

As a homesteader, the more self-reliant you become, the greater chance you will eventually begin harvesting your own wood. Some of the basic areas you should prepare for when tree harvesting include planning, felling, extraction, transport, the replacement of resources and, of course, safety. While this particular article focuses on the last of these areas, make sure you educate yourself in everything at some point. Experienced landowners, farmers and ranchers see timber as a marketable crop, like produce or vegetable crops.

Here are a few tips and ideas to consider for protecting yourself, your family and your tools while felling and transporting trees.

Conduct Basic Prep

Initial preparation for the work ahead should include the basic safety gear checklist: head, ear and eye protection, gloves, and leg and foot protective wear. This includes helmets, safety pants and chaps, which can be worn over your work pants, safety goggles, and glasses or a face screen. A first-aid kit should be kept nearby in order to address emergencies with immediacy.

Also, prior to using any equipment, you should observe any and all external dangers. Elements of severe cold or strong winds, moisture or dry heat can negatively impact the harvesting operation and personal safety. Make sure you inspect the ground for stability and the area for power and electrical lines. Any and all hazardous materials should be labeled and stored properly. This includes oils, fuel and lubricants for your tools and equipment.