The last thing you want to wake up to is a tree sitting on top of your car or come home to a downed tree in the middle of your driveway. A downed tree isn’t an easy fix and it’s certainly not a one man job, not unless you have the right equipment, skills and safety training to dispose of it properly.

These of course are extreme examples of how you might experience a downed tree, but are nonetheless realistic. Other times it could be just a tree that falls in the woods next to your home without really disturbing you or your daily routine. In that case, you probably won’t have to do much, but it really depends. For the many cases where a tree is downed and you have no option, but to deal with it, it’s important to know ways to dispose of it.

What To Do With A Downed Tree

Ways to Dispose of a Downed Tree

Every situation is different. Whether the tree is on your car or in your driveway, if it’s large or small, or if you even have the skills, time and tools to assess and deal with the situation, a downed tree has put you in, all of these have to do with how you’ll approach of disposing of the tree properly.

Maybe you do have the tools and skills, but just don’t have the time to deal with it, maybe you know what to do, but don’t have a truck to haul the extra wood away, or maybe you have no clue what you’re doing. First and foremost, when in doubt call a professional or someone with the right experience, tools and knowledge.

Whether you dispose of a tree or a professional does it for you, safety is always first. Upon removing the tree to a safe area and cutting it up, what do you with the pieces? You can use the large pieces for firewood and the limbs as mulch. Some people like to use the brush as wild animal habitat. If there is a wooded area, the tree can be left in the woods and allowed to decay naturally. One place where organic material should never end up is in the land fill.

Who to Call

If a tree falls, there are many potential dangers. If the tree is not completely on the ground, there is a potential for the tree to roll or spring when it is cut from the stump. If the tree is on top of a structure, there is a potential for the tree to damage something below when it falls completely to the ground. There is also a potential for the tree to spring back and injure the person operating the saw.

If the tree is on a power line, the local power company should be notified immediately. No one should go near the tree or power line or cut or move the tree. Your local power company will know how to assess the situation, manage the damageand dispose of the tree properly.

If a downed tree lands on your house or vehicle, it’s important to call your insurance provider. They will be able to help get started on how to deal with the situation. In these cases, you’ll have to call a professional because they have heavier equipment suitable for lifting large trees off objects, making it safer and leading to less damage done overall.

If ever in doubt, call a professional. Whether you think you can save time or money, the reality of it is you’ll most likely end up hurting yourself, wasting a lot of time and causing more damage in the process.

Stewart Scott is the owner and operator of Cevet, a professional tree trimming company serving areas in and around Columbia, Mo.

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