What Are the Dangers of Cutting Down Trees?

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Trees may have to be cut down to make room for a house, shed or other structure.
Trees may have to be cut down to make room for a house, shed or other structure. (Image: NA/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Cutting down trees can be dangerous, especially if it is not done by an experienced tree cutter or logger. Many home or property owners will eventually have to remove a nuisance or dead tree from their property before it can damage their home or become unsightly. It is important to recognize the dangers of cutting down trees to take preventative safety precautions.

Falling Trees

There are a lot of different factors that can influence the direction a tree falls when it is cut down. The angle at which the tree is growing, the direction from which the person cutting down the tree is cutting it, the weight of the branches on one side versus the other side of the tree and even the strength of the wind can cause a tree to fall in a different direction than what the person cutting it down is anticipating. When this happens, trees can land on people, roadways, electrical poles, vehicles and homes, causing a significant amount of damage and even death.

Falling trees can damage power lines if they come into contact with them while being cut down. If a tree hits a power line, there is a risk of electrocution and a fire may be started.

Loose Limbs and Debris

When a tree is cut down, it may or may not stay in one piece. Some falling trees may have loose limbs that will fall free of the tree as the tree comes down. These loose limbs and various other debris that may be in the tree can hurt people on the ground or damage equipment and personal property. This is an especially large risk if the tree you are cutting down is already dead or dying.

Chainsaw Safety

Chainsaws are one of the most dangerous aspects of felling trees. Improperly using a chainsaw or not being familiar with how to properly use a chainsaw can cause serious accidents that may leave a person injured or even cause the death of the person using it. Chainsaws can kickback when they hit a hard object or obstacle, which can cause the machine bounce back into the person using it.

Environmental Dangers

There are a variety of environmental downsides to cutting down trees. Deforestation and the loss of habitats can lead to animals being without their natural shelter, shade and sources of nutrition. Trees also absorb carbon monoxide and reduce pollution in the air.

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