In the last post we took a quick dive into choosing the direction of fell for your tree; but before we get too far ahead of ourselves, in this post we'll chat about inspecting the tree.
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Before you take chainsaw to tree, you really need to know what you're dealing with; we've already looked at how the tree canopy (or the tree's form) can affect the weighting and therefore the felling cut used, but there's a bit more to check out first.
Completing a quick visual tree assessment is a great idea; you're looking for potential hazards (dead wood in the tree or hanging branches that might come down), anything that might cause loss of control of the tree (rot caused by fungal growth - see the image at the top) and whether there are signs of birds nesting, hornet / wasp / bee nests, bat roosts and so on. Look for signs of old remedial work on the tree... are there wire braces in it? Indeed, are there any other wires running to it, or through it (power lines, telephone lines, aerials, etc.). Once you have this information you can take the appropriate action, which may mean talking to the local council, government agency, landowner or other relevant authority before commencing work.