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Old 01-29-2019, 01:53 PM
 
Location: equator
3,409 posts, read 1,523,023 times
Reputation: 8443

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Either one is dangerous on its own, but combining the two can be a death sentence. I hope none of you seniors (or anyone else, for that matter) is doing your own tree-trimming this way. Tree trimming can be deadly no matter what. These type of high-risk activities should be hired out to professionals. It is just not worth it.

Sunday my nephew (30 years old) was killed doing this in his backyard in Texas. I am so in shock, and being so far away from it all is difficult. It is the first time I know I'm missing out by not being on FB where all the info is being disseminated.

So I don't know exactly what happened but am guessing he rented a chain saw (this suburban computer geek) then figured he'd climb a ladder with it, to hack off some branches. Probably the chain saw hit a snag and the force knocked him off the ladder. I just hope he didn't get cut up too. He was alone too---another big mistake. I really don't want to ask for more details, but that's all I know.

I really, really hate ladders. They are such a common cause of serious injury. Especially as one gets older and balance may not be optimum.

I really hate chain saws too. When DH was cutting his own firewood, he wore a type of chain-mail protective clothing and face guard. But that's all in the past, and part of the reason we left cold country.

This is basically a reminder for ALL of us not to assume we can take on these kinds of dangerous tasks. Especially when older. Please, hire a professional and don't take the risk. It's not worth it.
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Old 01-29-2019, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Mount Airy, Maryland
10,454 posts, read 5,917,794 times
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I am so sorry for your loss. I don't like ladders either but am very comfortable with chain saws as I use them all the time. I certainly feel comfortable climbing up say 10 feet and cutting branches, done it plenty of times. But I'm also aware of how you can get hurt by a falling branch kicking out the ladder. That's why I limit my height and then go to the pole saw.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:02 PM
 
Location: northern New England
2,435 posts, read 1,057,100 times
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I don't like ladders OR chain saws. When we owned a house in the country, we had a battery-operated chainsaw. Went about 1/10th the speed of a real one. Neither DH nor I felt comfortable with a gas saw.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Central IL
15,201 posts, read 8,504,300 times
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So sorry for your loss, S&S. You're right that it's a bad combination, even when you're familiar with a chainsaw the ladder adds risk. Sometimes it's just not worth it to try to save money.

Personally I have a fear of heights so more than two steps up and I'm calling for reinforcements. I also don't like loud equipment (like chainsaws, snowblowers, etc.) so that helps keep me out of trouble too.
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Old 01-29-2019, 02:26 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,189 posts, read 6,301,958 times
Reputation: 9808
I’m sorry for your loss. About 10 years ago, my husband did this but he was not alone. I was there holding his ladders and ready to pull the plug if the chainsaw thing didn’t work out. But we gave away our chain saw, we only have long cutting scissors now.

Last edited by NewbieHere; 01-29-2019 at 03:29 PM..
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:18 PM
 
199 posts, read 73,587 times
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I tried to talk my father out of doing this - chainsaw on a ladder - but he did it anyway. He was not hurt but then he did things like that all the time. Chainsaws are one of the most dangerous things you can buy outside of a gun. If you don't know what you are doing, it is best to pay the freight and have a tree trimming company do it. If you have ever seen the show "ax men" these are professional lumberjacks and even they will have fingers cut off from doing the work.
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,355 posts, read 3,689,532 times
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Yes you need a degree of skill when you undertake any job.
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Old 01-29-2019, 03:39 PM
 
Location: equator
3,409 posts, read 1,523,023 times
Reputation: 8443
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinMtAiry View Post
I am so sorry for your loss. I don't like ladders either but am very comfortable with chain saws as I use them all the time. I certainly feel comfortable climbing up say 10 feet and cutting branches, done it plenty of times. But I'm also aware of how you can get hurt by a falling branch kicking out the ladder. That's why I limit my height and then go to the pole saw.
So you actually take the chain saw up a ladder? I kind of thought it was a no-no to combine the two. A pole saw, yeah, I can see that.

And yes, lumberjacks are at the top, or next to it, of most dangerous jobs.

Thanks for the sympathy, all. This just really got me thinking of how casually many of us undertake what seems like a simple task, maybe with not a lot of thought. Or underestimate our abilities...
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
3,551 posts, read 1,647,282 times
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Oh S&S I'm so sorry to hear this. I can just imagine the shock of having such a thing happen in your family. Thank you for taking the time to post this; it's an important thing for people to know.

I worked in fire/rescue, and I can't tell you how many people over the age of 50 have serious accidents on ladders. People just don't realize climbing tall ladders is something you should stop doing as you get older.

This is an important PSA, because it happens more than you think. Just this week we had a similar incident. We're selling a house in northern VA. A wind storm came up a few days ago and a piece of siding near the roof line popped out. Our realtor called and asked if we would mind driving up, getting out a ladder, and climbing up to the third story to pop it back in.

I'm sure she thought she was doing us a favor, saving us the cost of hiring a handyman. But my ladder climbing days are OVER! Especially in January, with the ladder propped on an icy hill. It was money well spentto hire someone else to do it.

Same goes for the chain saw. I still feel comfortable using a chain saw for simple tasks. But aging and chain saw are not a good combination. In another year or so we'll be hiring someone to do all the pruning, just like we hire someone to do anything that requires ladders. The risks just aren't worth it.

Last edited by Piney Creek; 01-29-2019 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:04 PM
 
Location: NYC
2,896 posts, read 1,580,961 times
Reputation: 7907
I'm very sorry for the loss of your nephew. I have a 20yo nephew & I can see him doing something very similar, no question.

Putting the chain saw element aside, I will say for those of us over 60yo going up on ladders to fix thing on roofs, gutters, etc... should now be a thing of the past. It's a pretty common thing for even for us guys who are used to doing this in the past to fall off a ladder & either die then or get some major injury that shortens or diminishes greatly the quality of our life.

Simply not worth it at all.
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