In the aftermath of three back-to-back storms, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is reminding farmers and others to avoid carrying out emergency tree work themselves.

This work is complex, the HSE said, and comes with many risks, including the tree moving unexpectedly or the need to carry out work in a difficult position.

It is advised that work needed be undertaken by somebody with experience, training and the right equipment.

“The planning and activity itself must be undertaken by a competent person with the necessary training in emergency tree works such as assisted felling, windblown and part blown trees and emergency planning,” the HSE said. 

HSE arboriculture lead, Christopher Maher added: “We want to warn people against attempting this high-risk activity. Get in professional help.

“While fallen trees due to adverse weather conditions can cause lots of disruption, as a result, it can be tempting to carry out emergency tree work.

“Fallen trees can be unstable and weigh a significant amount, with inadvertent movement during clearance activities having fatal results.

“There are also high risks associated with the use of chainsaws and mechanised methods (the law requires a consideration of this) of removal, such as grapple saws and tree shears, are preferred.

“Please seek the services of a professional with the right training and experience to can manage the risks associated with this type of work.”