When I first started learning about rigging and removing trees I was completely in awe! To watch a full tree removal was like magic. How many times can you take a full tree, remove it meticulously, load it into vehicles, and move it to a completely different location? That’s amazing! Now add in houses around the tree and power lines behind the house. Sometimes it seems like a down right miracle that the tree ended up making it to the ground!
Climbing for removals was something that I absolutely loved. I was young and loved the rush and the notoriety of the job. Everyone thought you were the badass after the tree was on the ground and that feeling was great but it also lead to some other feelings that can end in disaster. With each big cut I felt more and more confidant, which isn’t bad by any means, but the line between confidant and cocky is very thin.
I was told by a good friend that the two things that kill us as arborist are inexperience and over confidence. With each tree, that inexperience can be diminished but with each tree, our confidence builds. Once we think we know everything will be the day that something goes fatally wrong. This is a big thing we need to think about when doing large removals. Large heavy loads are being lifted and lowered near our bodies and above our ground guy’s heads.
Big removal guys have a different look on trees then pruning guys. Anymore, I love pruning. I like to get out on the ends of those limbs, redirect here and there and leave the tree looking beautiful opposed to leaving a pile of stump grindings. When I was doing lots of removals I found that I didn’t care as much about the trees around me or the yards that I worked in. Don’t get me wrong, I did a fine job of protecting the customer’s yard but anymore it seems that I am more anal about their yard than they are! I think that comes with the territory though, if you are removing the tree, you know the customer expects that their yard is going to look different when you leave, obviously, a massive facet of their yard has been removed. When pruning a tree the client wants the tree to look good as well as their yard looking exactly the same as before you were there.
Whether you are a removal climber or a pruning climber we each have our specialties and our differences. We also have our own things that we look out for in a given tree. Regardless, let’s make sure we are looking out for each other and our ground guys. We are a team made up of highly skilled individuals that work harder than most people will work in their lives. Be proud of what you do!