# How to Safely Handle the Debris Left Behind After a Tree Has Fallen
Are you dealing with the aftermath of a fallen tree? With Governor Greg Abbott issuing a disaster declaration, many homeowners and residents are left with the task of cleaning up the debris left behind. But how do you do it safely? In this blog post, we’ll explore the different options on how to move the heavy debris left behind and how to handle a chainsaw safely. Read on to learn how to tackle the aftermath of a fallen tree.
## Using a Chainsaw
The easiest way to break down a broken tree is with a chainsaw, but remember safety first before operating one. When cutting with a chainsaw, wear a hard hat and eye protection, and never cut anything above your head. Branches, regardless of frozen or not, are extremely heavy once detached from the tree.
“This branch is probably the weight of my son,” explained KVUE’s Rob Evans. “Imagine what the whole tree weighs.” When cutting down broken limbs, you can either cut them frozen or wait until they thaw to get a better idea of the damage. For older trees, it can be better to cut the branches while they’re frozen to reduce the risk of further stress and damage. When cutting, make sure to only cut the damaged branches and worry about calling an arborist to prune and seal the open cuts later.
The most dangerous part of using a chainsaw is the kickback – when the chainsaw moves backwards after cutting through something very thick – and the “spring back” effect that branches after a downward force is removed from them.
## Using a Tree Pruner
A less dangerous and expensive option is to have a tree pruner. This tool allows you to not use a ladder when cutting and spend under $50. When using a tree pruner, use it like you would a steak knife: move the tool in a smooth back-and-forth motion, letting the weight of the pruner do the work.
## Disposing of the Debris
Don’t try to lift something that is too heavy. Evans, who didn’t take his own advice, caused himself some back pain when lifting a tree branch. After you’ve cut the limbs, you can put them into your yard’s waste bin or stack them on the curb for pickup if they are cut into five-foot sections. If the branches are between five and 15 feet, call 311 to schedule a curbside pickup.
When dealing with the aftermath of a fallen tree, it’s important to remember to stay safe and take the necessary precautions. Whether you choose to use a chainsaw or a tree pruner, make sure to use the proper safety equipment and never try to lift something too heavy.