9 Deadliest Tree Cutting Accidents [And Preventive Tips]

Tree cutting is a risky process that can present lots of dangers.

This is especially true for non-professionals or novices. There are lots of stories of such accidents with fatal endings. Safety is a primary instinct that no one can overlook.

To avoid fatal tree-cutting accidents, you’ll need to abide by basic safety guidelines.

As you read through this article, you’ll find information on the different types of tree accidents and the level of severity. Also, we discuss the causes and how to avoid them.

Should tree cutting be performed as a DIY project? You’ll find answers to this and more as you read along.

How Risky is DIY Tree Cutting?

Before deciding on what approach to take, you’ll have to figure out the skill level.

Tree cutting is a risky undertaking that could turn fatal when not done right. It’s best to have the pros execute the job than put yourself in harm’s way.

These pros are experienced and skillful when it comes to felling trees. Plus, they consider all potential problems that may develop and prepare to avoid such issues developing.

They’re also trained in the handling of tree cutting tools.

It’s in your best interest to call for professional tree cutting to avoid problems. Accidents could often arise from improper use of tree-cutting tools or machinery.

If you must cut trees yourself, you should follow all basic safety guidelines to avoid accidents.

Common Tree Cutting And Trimming Accidents

Different types of accidents can result from tree cutting. These range from eye injuries, electrocution, cuts, accidental fall, stings & bites, and being struck.

Other possible tree-cutting accidents include amputations, poisoning, scrapes, and impact injuries.

i. Eye Injuries

When cutting trees, a lot of debris in the form of wood chips and sawdust, among others, flies around, causing mild or severe injuries when no protection is worn. In some cases, loss of eyesight may result.

Again, you’ll need to put on adequate safety gear such as goggles before starting.

ii. Electrocution

It’s common to find power lines passing above or touching the tree you’re cutting.

This is considered an obstruction and a risky one at that. Until these power lines are disconnected or rerouted (which isn’t likely), performing this job won’t be advisable.

Insisting on cutting a tree close to a power line exposes you to significant risks that can be fatal. When cutting off the tree limbs or branches, there’s a possibility of not being balanced.

The chances of making direct contact with these power lines are higher.

iii. Falling from a Tree

Another type of tree cutting accident that could arise is falling off the tree. While on top of the tree, any little mistake can take you off balance.

This is coupled with the fact that you’re working with tree-cutting tools that could slip from your grip. A safety harness helps prevent that from happening.

iv. Stings & Bites

Stings and bites can result during tree cutting. Such a tree may be home to reptiles, rodents, or insects like bees.

When any creatures feel threatened, they fight back through stinging or biting. You’ll have to be prepared for such an eventuality. Sometimes, you may have to avoid specific jobs until these dangers are removed.

v. Being Struck

Another accident you may face while cutting a tree is being struck by a tree limb. Like most of those discussed above, this can be fatal.

That is why it’s essential to wear a hard safety hat and perform a pre-start inspection of the area. The falling limb may come from another tree.

vi. Amputations

Tree cutting accidents occur when handheld power tools are improperly used.

These tools come with specific use instructions that you must fully understand before performing any serious tree cutting job. Also, an equipment malfunction can cause you to lose a limb.

Check to ensure everything is in order before starting.

vii. Poisoning

Some plants and trees are known to be poisonous. During tree cutting, you may come in contact with these without knowing.

Examples of these include poison ivy and poison oak, among others. This is one of the reasons why a thorough inspection of the job site is necessary.

viii. Scrapes

Scrapes are expected when the proper clothing isn’t used.

Exposed skin is likely to get scraped by tree bark and branches. Consider putting on thick clothing to protect your skin from such scratches.

ix. Impact Injuries

You may get caught up in impact injuries when your tree-cutting equipment gets stuck or an equipment malfunctions.

Pros should handle all aspects of the job as that helps reduce the likelihood of injuries.

Limit Tree Cutting Mishaps by Putting on Safety Gear

A comprehensive range of safety equipment or gears is available for your protection.

These include gloves, a hard hat, hearing protection, and a face shield. Others have climbing equipment, non-slip, sturdy boots, leg protection, and goggles.

  • Gloves

Gloves protect your hands from accidental cuts, bruises, and wounds. Not every glove type will perform this function. You’ll have to go for one that’s suitable for tree cutting.  

  • Hard Hat

No matter how little, falling limbs are a real danger to avoid. Hard hats serve to protect your head when such happens. You never know when such an accident can happen.

  • Hearing Protection

One common thing when felling a tree is the tremendous amount of noise produced by machines used. It would be best to use hearing protection for every job, no matter how little.

This prevents you from losing your hearing over time.

  • Face Shield

During tree cutting, a lot of flying debris is familiar. This is where the face shield gives you the needed protection. It keeps these particles from scratching or getting into your eyes and face.

  • Climbing Equipment

Tree cutting involves a lot of climbing. When climbing up, you’ll need adequate protection by having your safety harness ready. Others include lanyards, ropes, slings, belts, etc.

  • Non-Slip Sturdy Boots

Trees can be slippery, which could lead to fatal falls. As such, you need to put on specially designed sturdy non-slip boots. These provide the perfect grip that enhances your balance.

  • Leg Protection

Leg protection serves to keep your legs safe from any injury or amputation. They’re cut-resistant and should be worn for every tree cutting job.

  • Goggles

Goggles help keep flying debris and dust from getting into your eyes like face protection. These are must-haves for any tree cutting job.


So far, we’ve seen that tree-cutting accidents can be fatal. These accidents vary and require taking adequate safety measures to limit them.

We’ve listed different safety gear and equipment to use for your protection.

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