What is tree-climbing and when is it done?
As you may have noticed, sometimes pruning can be a complicated job.
Not only because plants need to be tended at specific times of year, but especially because, when cutting back tall trees, some areas inside the canopy are inaccessible even to crane trucks and aerial platforms.
Fortunately, tree-climbing is an alternative solution.
This very effective climbing technique can be used to access and work on all sections of a tree, without height limitations, and prevents branches from being damaged by the use of heavy machinery or improper working techniques.
Developed in the United States for pruning ancient sequoias, tree-climbing offers numerous advantages. Besides lopping excess branches, it allows you to perform removal, anchoring, consolidation and monitoring. You can do it without obstructing the roadway or causing a disturbance on public land. Moreover, by coming into direct contact with the plant, you can better evaluate the onset of pathologies and structural defects of the trunk and canopy, which are difficult to identify using conventional techniques.
Safety first and foremost
Tree-climbing really is a useful technique and you can’t wait to try it, right?
But before proceeding, it is advisable to check that you have everything you need in your shed to do it safely.
Being a physical and high-altitude activity, tree-climbers must always be equipped with gloves, protective helmets, boots, anti-cut trousers and, of course, specific tree-climbing equipment such as ropes, loppers, saws and chainsaws. Each job must also be performed wearing a harness.
Which chainsaw to choose and why
Tree-climbing is a fairly complex activity that requires experience and advanced cutting techniques. Therefore, in terms of equipment, it’s a good idea to use a pruning chainsaw, which is suited to pruning and maintaining plants, olive trees and fruit trees.
One good example is the GST 360 from Oleo-Mac.
Powerful, compact and balanced, this machine stands out for its easy handling and perfect manoeuvrability.
The EasyOn starting system facilitates smooth engine pick-up with fewer cord pulls and no kickback, while the ergonomic grip and anti-vibration system guarantee an excellent level of comfort, even in the most unstable conditions.
By adjusting the carburettor, you can calibrate the engine performance according to need, prolonging its work cycle and reducing smoke emissions.
The inclusion of a digital coil with electronic control and rpm limiter improves performance, ensuring uniform combustion and low fuel consumption.
Tree-climbing: basic technique and specialised courses
To become an expert tree-climber, it is not sufficient to be aware of the risks posed by suspended working at height and the tree’s structure: you also need to know what movements you can perform inside the canopy and, above all, how the equipment is used.
Each climbing harness is equipped with a double rope, which must be installed at the top of the tree, to protect the climber from falls and ensure total freedom of movement. To fix the rope, you can use special weighted throw bags that are thrown by hand or catapulted into the tree.
Once you reach a high altitude, you should ideally practice exiting and re-entering the branches of the tree several times, so as to familiarise yourself with the vertical techniques of ascent and descent, as well as horizontal movements in the canopy. While working, try to maintain correct posture and find a system that makes your movements safer and more comfortable.
Although these guidelines may seem exhaustive, remember that they are no substitute for professional instruction. Tree-climbing is a dangerous activity that requires specialised techniques, as well as the ability to manage emergencies and recover injured persons.
If you want to become a skilled climber, you are advised to enrol on an intensive course that will teach you all the necessary techniques and preventive measures to carry out your work efficiently and avoid any injury.