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Widowmaker Tree Removal: How to Identify and Handle Safely

Tree removal is a dangerous job, especially if you’re not trained and knowledgeable to do so. Aside from the massive and heavy characteristic of trees, another factor that makes tree removal risky is the presence of broken and hanging limbs. These dislodged tree branches are dangerous because they can damage properties and cause injuries and death to people.

Eucalyptus or Gum tree has rightfully earned the nickname widowmaker. This tree is notorious for losing its limbs to preserve its overall wellness when there is a drought or inadequate water supply. As a result, fallen branches cause accidents to people. Broken Gum tree limbs have also caused the deaths of many tree loppers, causing their wives to become widows

Identifying Widowmaker Trees

A wide range of Eucalyptus tree species is native to Australia. This tree can reach a height of 40 metres or higher, which makes the impact of falling tree limbs stronger and more deadly. Another distinctive feature of eucalyptus trees includes its sickle-shaped leaves that are dark green. These leaves are covered in oil glands that release the characteristic menthol, peppermint, or lemon scent.

Aside from Eucalypts, other trees can also be widowmakers when they have broken or suspended branches. These hanging tree limbs can potentially cause deaths when they fall. However, widowmakers may be difficult to detect, especially in thick tree covers. Here are some widowmaker qualities to watch out for:

  • Light-coloured wood from the interior of a branch, signalling that it’s the broken portion of a tree limb
  • Trees leaning at a steep angle
  • Slanted or angled tree limbs
  • Dry and dead trees or limbs
  • Girdled trees or trees that have undergone thinning practices are prone to snap off near the base
  • Trees or limbs hanging on other trees

Safety Around Widowmaker Trees

It is dangerous to go near widowmaker trees. Thus, the best way to deal with them is to avoid them. Here are a few measures on how you can be safe around widowmaker trees.

  • Avoid walking or camping below tall and bushy trees. Choose a safer route or area to pass by or camp.
  • Be vigilant of the widowmaker tree features mentioned earlier. 
  • Avoid dead and dying trees which can easily snap and break.
  • Stay out of the woods when it’s snowing or windy as these conditions cause hanging branches to fall off completely.
  • Contact your reliable arborists immediately if you have any sighting of widowmaker trees or branches

Safe Widowmaker Tree Removal

Due to the dangers posed by widowmaker trees. It is best to let the professionals handle them. They have the right tools and equipment to remove and prune widowmaker trees. Moreover, they are also trained to deal with these deadly trees in the safest manner possible. Here are some techniques from an arborist on how you can handle widowmaker trees safely:

Secure the area

Part of ensuring safety while removing a widowmaker tree is to make sure that no other people are in the area. Thus, it’s best to restrict the area to avoid collateral damage and to minimise accidents. Moreover, it’s best if only the people who are working on the tree are in the restricted area, and they should be wearing safety gears.

Do a rain check, literally

Check the weather before working on widowmaker trees. It’s risky to even go near them when it’s windy, raining, or snowing since these conditions can hasten the falling of a widowmaker tree or branch.

Wear protective equipment

Keep yourself protected from falling tree branches by wearing protective and safety gears like a hard hat and gloves. 

Scan the canopy

Do a quick check on the canopy to spot widowmaker branches. When you find them, carefully remove them first before working on the whole tree. 

Work in late fall to early winter

Late autumn to early winter is arguably the best time to work around widowmaker trees. During this season, deciduous trees don’t have leaves anymore so it’s easier to remove and prune widowmaker branches because you can easily identify them.

Tree Removal Services in Sydney

Trees Down Under is one of the most reliable tree removal companies in Sydney. No matter how big the tree is or how dangerous and difficult it is to remove, we can handle it. You can trust us to safely deal with all the risks posed by widowmaker trees. Our team of trained arborists possess the right tools and skills to keep everyone safe.

We are fully aware of how unsafe it is to work around widowmaker trees. That’s why here at Trees Down Under, we don’t only aim for quality and efficiency, we also strive for safety through careful and systematic tree removal services. We also offer tree pruning to minimise the risks caused by broken and dislodged tree limbs.
Need emergency tree removal services? Contact us anytime at 0475 463 597, and we’ll respond quickly.

Trees Down Under