Tree surgeon dies after falling into industrial wood chipper in 'tragic accident'

The man was working outside a car dealership in the US. Picture: file

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A tree surgeon has died after falling head first into an industrial wood chipper in what police called a "tragic accident" in the US.

The unnamed man was working outside a car dealership in Phoenix, Arizona, on Thursday with his two sons, local news station KTVK reported.

Police and paramedics were called at 10.15am but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

His daughter-in-law, Brenda Zapata, described him as a "happy man who loved his family".

“We're never going to see his smiling face one more time," she told KTVK.

A spokesman from the Chandler Fire Department said he was decapitated after apparently losing his balance and accidentally falling into the industrial machine.

His family told reporters that he had decades of experience as a tree surgeon and complied fully with health and safety rules while working with local company Trim-A-Tree.

The firm confirmed the man was an employee but declined to comment further.