When it comes to being a tree climber, one of the best things you can ask for is a good groundie who is capable of keeping up with the brush, making sure that most everything is done when you get out of the tree, and, most importantly, great at running ropes! There is nothing better than taking the top of a tree and watching and – more importantly – feeling the top come slowly and steadily to a stop before touching the ground. That is what a good groundie is capable of. It makes your day way less stressful and go more smoothly. It also makes it possible to talk to your significant other when you get home at night instead of losing your voice halfway through the day from screaming at someone on the ground or from screaming in pain from busting your ribs on the spar as you get jerked around 50’ off the ground!
- Lower Limbs With Ease Using the Port a Wrap
- The Bartlett Interview: Dan Thornton
- The Spiderjack Helps You Fluidly Move Through Trees
- Climbing Community Bands Together to Help Maintain Historic Belle Isle
- Unsafe Climbing Practices: A Hard Habit to Break
- A Solidur Pair of Chainsaw Pants
- Remove Limbs Easier with the Rigging Wrench
- Learning from Mark Chisholm
- Injecting Trees: Micro vs. Macro Injections
- Swivels Keep You from Getting Twisted Up
- Foot Ascenders Help Climbers Cruise Up Ropes with Ease
- How to Become More Efficient at Tree Removals
- Proper Use of Cutting Tools: Chainsaw Training and Handsaw Safety
- Various Uses of Carabiners with Pulleys
- The Many Uses of Carabiners
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So we did an interview with some climbers that we are friends with a couple weeks ago. We pretty much just asked them some basic questions to see how they felt about the industry, climbing gear, any tree climbing tips they may have, and what keeps them going every single day! Our first interview is with Dan Thornton, who, if any of you have been to MTCC (Michigan Tree Climbing Championships) you’ve probably met him or talked to him behind the tape of some of the events or threw a disc around after the comp in the parking lot. Dan has always been willing to come help out with volunteer projects and is a great worker that is starting to make a name for himself in the industry. We were super happy to meet up with him and get his thoughts on what he sees going on in the tree industry! So here we go!
Does anyone remember back a few years when a little video came out on Youtube called Spiderjackery? The video showed a climber in Australia doing a mock work climb in a giant Eucalyptus tree. The greatest thing about this video was how fluidly the climber moved throughout the tree and how flawless his climbing was. Every swing was spot on and every landing on the limb was as smooth as butter! Let’s take a look at the video and break down some cool bits of what was going on!
Bartlett Arborist Supply moved to the country roads of Marlette
Michigan, over 100 years ago the company started in a small home in
Detroit – Michigan’s Motor City. But there’s more to Detroit
than just cars, abandoned buildings, and the current uprise of the
Belle Isle is a beautiful 982 acre island rich in nature, history, and community. You cross over the Detroit River by bridge, leaving the cement jungle and high rise buildings behind to find yourself traveling down a road that will bring you to beaches, boats, historic buildings, parks, even an aquarium, and an astounding Conservatory holding everything from 40 ft tall tropical plants, delicate cactuses, and a fern garden, to rare flowering plants and fruit trees.
One of the most interesting things about tree work is the way that we all tend to learn the trade. We learn from those around us, and in many companies this is all the training we get. A great term I heard in the past is that we are all “Work Isolated,” meaning that we might all essentially be doing the same thing, but we may be doing it completely different because we never really see the way that other companies are doing it. This was very true before the rise of the Internet and social media such as Facebook and Instagram. Now we have the ability to see what someone else is doing on the other side of the globe in a matter of minutes! So let me tell you a story from my past from right about the time that the tree industry was discovering Facebook!
Several years ago I remember looking through an arborist supply catalog while sitting in the bucket truck at lunch. In it I saw an ad for a pair of chainsaw pants that cost $300 and my mind was blown! “Who in the hell would pay $300 for a pair of pants?” was all I could muster under my breath. The guys sitting next to me felt the same way! That was crazy! Our blue jeans cost a fraction of that and I could buy 10, heck 15 pair for the price of this one pair of pants! But, I must say, the thought of having a pair of chainsaw pants had planted a small seed inside of my head, even if I was bewildered about how I could afford a pair!
Have you ever been up in a tree and needed to lift some limbs, maybe to clear a roof or overhand, but also needed to immediately have some sort of friction on the rope because the pieces were too heavy for your ground guy to hold them? Many times when I was doing line clearance, we would find ourselves in these situations where we were lifting limbs off of or over power lines, but also needed at immediate friction to help us lower the limbs. We tried to have someone lifting while the other was taking up slack with the Port a Wrap, but that never really kept all the slack out of the system, and if the piece came off too early, there were way too many hands near the Port a Wrap to let something run at the correct time. So, as always, Kevin Bingham, who invented the Rope Wrench and Rope Runner, came up with a super cool use for the already popular Rope Wrench: the Rigging Wrench!
STIHL Chainsaws and Mark Chisholm made this awesome video demonstrating the forces that are generated when climbing SRT on a series of different anchor points. This is such an interesting topic to discuss, seeing as we have already presented part of this to you in previous blogs discussing “Forces in Rigging” quite a while ago. So let’s discuss a little bit of what’s being covered in the video to help you choose the best tie-in method while climbing SRT!
The spring season is upon us and the trees are ready to start leafing out and uptaking all kinds of nutrients from their environment. This big uptake will help them push out new growth and put on some new growth rings as well. With the growth spurt comes the threat of pests and diseases that love munching on that supple new growth and possibly infecting the leaves and needles of your clients’ trees! So, what is your plan for helping them care for their trees this coming season?
Have you ever been out on a limb with your climb line attached to the ring on your bridge while also trying to use your lanyard as a second tie-in, but as you lean way out there you notice your rope and lanyard are turning your bridge all around in a circle? This is a headache that can easily cause you frustration, but also, in a rescue scenario, cause the rescue to take far longer than it should because of an avoidable misconfiguration of gear. There is, however, a really easy way to fix this little dilemma: a swivel!
What is your favorite foot ascender? What really stands out to you about it? Do you like the fact that it’s super lightweight? Maybe you like its ability to lock onto your rope? Perhaps even its ability to not lock? Foot ascenders are super useful and in our industry, there are actually quite a few options for these awesome little camming units that help us cruise right up our ropes!
On a recent Facebook post, we asked, “what you recommended to someone that wanted to get faster at doing removals?” An overwhelming response was that you don’t need to be faster, you need to be safe. That’s a great point and obviously the best answer for the given scenario, but when we asked, we were assuming that the theoretical climber was, indeed, safe. So, with that being said, let’s look at some ways that a climber can reduce the time that they are in the tree by making them more efficient at tree removals.
Are you afraid of your chainsaw? Honestly, I would hope that you aren’t afraid of it, but I truly hope that you respect it! Chainsaws and handsaws alike are both used to cut through some pretty hard stuff, whether it be a solid Red Oak limb or a stone hard dead American Elm. These two tools require your utmost attention when being used, and above all else, your respect! That’s why proper chainsaw training and handsaw safety are vital.
We’ve talked about carabiners plenty of times in the past and that’s for a very good reason; they are really useful! Carabiners have been around since 1921 to help keep things attached to other things as well as keeping climbers attached to ropes on the cliff side or in the canopy. Carabiners have developed into something that we can use for life support, for rigging, and to make our climbing lives way easier! Let’s take a look at some of the different uses for the various carabiners that are available.