Emergency Treework Training

Our emergency treework courses run regularly, providing we've had strong winds recently! Whether you are new to the industry or been using chainsaw and felling trees for years this is the course for you. Although we do recommend that you have had the experience of felling trees for some time before attempting emergency treework course.

Emergency Treework Operations

21-05 (formerly CS50)

Dealing with trees that have fallen over or been blown over, come with an array of challenges. It is not as simple as cutting it up and hoping for the best. There is a range of situations where you may be having to deal with emergency treework situations:

  • fallen park trees
  • a tree has fallen on a car
  • roadside trees blocking roads
  • a tree has fallen on a house
  • domestic situations rather than forestry areas

With our ever-changing weather conditions more and more trees are being uprooted every year. Whether that be from trees being in full leaf and we have gale-force winds. Or the extremely wet weather which means the trees are sat in water too long to the opposite where we have hot dry weather for weeks. The varying weather puts huge stress on trees and there comes a point where they can no longer cope with it.

If you are looking to advance your career in arboriculture. The emergency treework operations level 3 course (CS50) is for you.

You need to have had some experience in dealing with larger trees. Along with understanding the dangers involved. You should already be able to read the stress and strains the tree comes under when it has fallen over.

Although the adrenaline of working on these emergency trees can be intoxicating and very exciting. Safety is paramount for not only you but others working in the area too.

In situations like these you need to consider:
  • clear communication between all parties
  • know what your role is in these situations
  • who else you should be liaising with, such as utility companies (sewage, gas, electric, water)
  • your level of experience
  • have you got the right kit and equipment
  • although not a prerequisite. It is advisable that you have had some first aid training due to the dangerous nature of the job

Our three-day emergency treework operations course (CS50) allows plenty of time to look at the root plate, set up the winch system and make the cuts. Rushing is not recommended when working in emergencies, so take your time. You will have plenty of time to practice and get ready for the assessment process on the fourth day.

On this emergency treework (CS50) course you will be learning about:

  • the risks of working on emergency trees, get it wrong and you may not make it!
  • using the right techniques and cuts
  • securing root plates
  • severing root plates
  • break down of the tree crown
  • assisted felling techniques
  • methods to deal with lying windblown timber, partially windblown and broken timber
  • controlling movement of root plates
  • mechanical wedges and choices available to you
  • use of hand winches and the pros and cons
  • dealing with larger product lengths and timber volume
  • snedding and delimbing of soft or hardwood
  • understanding the importance of industry best practice
  • how health and safety legislation will affect you

You will also get to try out different mechanical devices such as:

  • tirfor winches
  • mechanical wedges

before you think about buying them and find you do not like them or prefer one over the other. A fantastic chance to try before you buy!

Also, a huge bonus for you is that you can borrow one of our chainsaws and the winches at no extra charge. FREE to hire how amazing is that!

Futhermore, please bear in mind that this course is physically demanding and requires the carrying of equipment in woodland and forest environment. You will have to carry your kit and equipment to and from the trees.

Key points to consider before attending this course are:
  • ideally you need to have had lots of practice felling trees before attending this course. It is not a monkey see monkey do course!
  • an ability to read the situations you are being placed in front of. Such as tension and compression
  • differences in tree species and fibres and how that impacts the choice of cuts used
  • the understanding of parameters such as a 15″ larch at over 90′ (380mm at 30m). Is quite different to a cherry tree in a park at 20″ up to 36′ (500mm at 12m)
  • accuracy of your hinges and cuts
  • in addition the use of winches for safety and pulling back of trees

Of course, some of this will be covered during the course. But ideally you must have prior knowledge and experience of working with chainsaws and trees before attending this next level of training.

Please ensure you already have the chainsaw maintenance, cross cutting 20-03 (CS30) and felling and processing of trees up to 380mm 20-04 (CS31) qualification before applying for this unit. 

Many of you are already actively using chainsaws. However, you may have discovered that as a professional operator you need a certificate of competence. To enable you to carry on doing so.

You may have been asked by:
  • your employer
  • or a new contract opportunity to demonstrate competence through certification
  • your local council as an approved contractor
  • the local estate, Woodland Trust or National Trust 

Whether you could be new to the job or been doing it for over 40 years and things have changed. If so and you are faced with having to gain your emergency treework qualification have you been:

  • struggling to find the right fit in terms of a training provider?
  • confused by all the names, numbers and acronyms for the land based courses that are available to you?
  • worried you will get it wrong or waste your hard-earned money?
  • concerned that it will feel like going back to school?
  • looking to gain a qualification to continue with jobs because legislation has changed?
  • offered a new and exciting contract, but need another ticket/qualification to seal the deal?
Then we can help you!

No matter which sector you are coming from, and the level of experience. We can work with you to understand your training needs. To tailor a programme and provide courses that will be suitable for you.

Providing award-winning training through tailored, flexible, friendly, approachable trainers and assessors.

All courses are run with small groups. To ensure you have as much time as needed to learn and experience the requirements for the assessments. If you chose to take them. Trainers and assessors are experienced, friendly, and approachable.

Finally, as with all Lowe Maintenance courses, you get support and advice via email or on the phone. If you need it in the future. Just because you’ve completed the course doesn’t mean you can’t get in touch if you need more information or guidance.

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FAQ

Windblow is mainly for forestry operations where there is machinery to remove severed trees. The requirement is then for the cutter to sever the root plate and step back for the machines.

Whereas, CS50 is for the arb company that attends the individual tree that has blown over in a park and exposed gas pipes and electrics and a whole lot of other problems. So you are not only dealing with the tree but also all of the services required to get the job done.

Clearly it is always best to bring your own chainsaw to the course if you have one so that you learn to maintain your own.

But no , we can provide the chainsaw, sharpening kit, felling bar at no extra cost. However, this is under the provisio that any damages and/or losses are replaced. 

We do apprecaite the catch 22, how do you know what to buy you’ve not done the course yet. 

Alkylate fuel is very good and can be left for a long time. However, if you are using a self-mix two-stroke fuel, don’t leave it too long as it can separate. This is not good for the cylinder head. 

  • chainsaw maintenance and cross cutting 20-03 (formally CS30)
  • felling and processing trees up to 380mm 20-04 (formally CS31)

The minimum guide bar size for the course is 18inch this will give you plenty of bar length to achieve the type of cuts we will use. As a result, it will make it easier to cross-cut the stem and deal with anything else that crops up.

Most councils will not let you attend an emergency tree situation if you do not have the proper qualifications to deal with it, the risks to yourself and others is too great. Your insurance company may also want you to be properly qualified to handle these situations.

  • helmet with ear defenders and a visor (in date)
  • protective chainsaw gloves
  • chainsaw trousers
  • chainsaw boots or wellies
  • personal first aid kit
  • chainsaw with a 18 inch bar
  • relevant sharpening kit

Yes, however, when you are a competent operator your insurance may let you modify your dress code in accordance with HSE. 

For the assessment process it is required to wear chainsaw protective gloves. 

The size of the timber you will be dealing with will make it very hard to stack as it will be cut to product lengths. Along with manual handling, regulations will not let you break yourself just for a course. What you do in your own working environment is up to you but best practice is to use a mechanical means to stack the timber.

Personally, we think a hand winch is best as it takes in cable slowly and stops the chance of rapid failure. Whereas a powered winch can sometimes be more hassle than it is worth.

Your winch and its parts come under PUWER (Provision of Work Equipment Regulations). It states that the winch must be inspected yearly by a competent person.

You may have to ask the site manager but it depends if you are also working around large machinery at the same time. You may find that you need individual and multiple windblow instead for these sites.

If a tree you fell does not fall to the ground but gets stuck in a neighbouring tree, it is called a hung-up tree.

If you wish to bring a winch with you on our course, you will need one with a straight line pull of 1600kg. However, we do provide them for the courses if you haven’t bought one already. We recommended waiting until you have done the course so you have a better idea of what is available and what you like and don’t like.

The strongest muscle you have is the one between your ears (brain). If you can think through the problem, then these days, with the equipment to hand, you don’t need to be built like a brick privy. The more tree work you do then physically you will start to develop.

Yes, it’s good practice to tidy the brash into designated rows or piles and keep the forest floor as easy to move around as possible. This is all part of having a good reputation too. If you leave sites in a mess you could be limiting future work.

That’s not easy to answer, a lot of it is down to your preference. By doing a course with Lowe Maintenance you will have the opportunity to try out different bits of kit and then make an informed decision as to what to buy when you go back to work.

No, industry best practice is that you never cut alone.

Besides, surely lets use some common sense. If you were to have a accidents who would know!

When the weather has settled down and there is only the risk from the tree and not everything thing else.

If you did the City and Guilds tickets and you still have your certificates, then yes, they should still stand. If you can be found on the City and Guilds system, have copies of certificates or your blue book to hand. 

Ideally, store the chainsaw with the chain brake on due to the nature of the brake spring and the force it is left under when the brake is off.

Tidy, stacks with the butts to one end in case a chipper is going to be used later. Besides, the last thing you want to be doing is fighting with the brash pile because it was badly stacked.

It’s the forces that can build up in a piece of wood. If you take a broom handle and bridge it across two points, then put a bit of weight in the middle you will see the handle bend. The fibres at the bottom of the handle are being stretched or put under tension and the fibres at the top are being compressed. However, with a tree, it’s not quite as easy to read, however, if you get it right you are less likely to get your chainsaw stuck!

An emergency tree situation is where a tree has failed due to weather or disease and has become unstable in its present position and condition.

This could be in a

  • public park
  • on a roadside
  • near to houses, car parks

Places where you tend to find the public and lots of utility services running in the ground.

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