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SafetyWatch: Safely transport trees

November 8, 2018 -  By

Large shrubs and trees present a challenge.

A large tree with a root ball is heavy. Moving it is not a one-person job or even a two-person job.

Often, you can roll a large tree by the root ball to get it into a planting position, depending on the weight of the root ball. Be careful to protect the branches and leaves. Don’t let the tree scrape against the ground. Pay attention to how tall the tree is and make sure you don’t roll it into a fence, doorway or other obstruction.

When you’re lowering the root ball into the ground, make sure you have enough help and that everyone is aware. Don’t put your foot or arms into the hole; the root ball can drop in very quickly and crush whatever is beneath it.

Sometimes, when dropping the root ball into the ground, the tree will spring up and could hit you or others, causing serious injuries. Pay attention.

Trees that are too heavy or awkward to roll are often moved with a tree cart. The cart works through leverage, but the same general precautions apply:

  • Work with a partner if the root ball is too heavy for you.
  • Don’t lift with your back.
  • Make sure people around you are aware and stay at a safe distance.
  • Make sure the tree is securely tied to the lifter.
  • Set the tree on level ground and make sure it doesn’t tip over.
  • Don’t use the lifter on soft ground or where the wheels might cause damage.

Your company may plant or move trees that are too big for the lifter. In those cases, you may be working around small tractors, trucks with mechanical lifting arms or other machinery.

Source: Greenius

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