Felling trees with Ash dieback
Recently we were told by our good friend Bruce Richardson of Tilhill about a set of sessions running down South hosted by FISA and Euroforest. These sessions are about ash dieback and the implications of felling ash trees with signs and symptoms of ash dieback.
This is such a topical and extremely important subject in terms of safety and potential implications – not only for the public in areas where ash trees are present but also for the cutters and people working in and around ash. We, therefore, jumped at the chance to attend.
Ross (our latest chainsaw trainer) attended the session on 16th July 2019 at Cannock Chase Forest. The session not only covered the issue of ash dieback, but also safety in the forestry industry, and HSE’s re-emphasis on risk assessment and method statements. It was emphasised that we need a more holistic approach and to close the loop (more on this in our next update).
We are all aware of the ash dieback problem, and that a significant amount of the country’s ash trees are being affected and will die. What you possibly are less aware of are the implications of the Honey fungus attack which moves into the tree once in a weakened state. Therefore, it is imperative that plans are put in place to reduce and remove the risks of accidents and injury to chainsaw operators.
So, considerations for working with trees infected with ash dieback include:
- can we do the job in a different way
- should we be using mechanical devices such as machines with cabs
- ensuring that cutters are competent and have the right equipment for the job and individual situations
FISA and Euroforest have put together a Safety Guidance for Managers – Felling Dead Ash document which begins to outline the considerations and consequences of working with infected ash trees. It also discusses the use of specialist equipment and tools you should NOT be using when dealing with ash trees.
Want to know more about ash dieback?
Well, we can help!
To prepare you for working with infected, dying or dead ash trees we are going to run some ash dieback sessions to provide you with the latest knowledge, principles and practices of dealing with ash trees. If this would be of interest to you and you’d like to be added to our waiting list, please contact us.
Full details of the course we offer, theory-based not practical can be found here on the Ash Dieback Risk Assessment, Work Planning and Methodology course page