New to tree climbing

Derpec

New Member
Hello,

I am 21 years old, and I'm looking into getting into tree climbing as a side gig. I have always loved to climb trees when I was younger, and figured I'd give this a try because it seems like something I'd be passionate about. I am wanting to start a business later down the road when I have the experience with just myself.

My questions are these:

1. What type of gear do y'all suggest getting
2. How do people secure themselves once they're up in a tree. I've watched a few youtube videos about it but I really don't understand how they're keeping themselves up in the tree (I know they use a lanyard to get up to the top, and spikes but what's their other attachment they use to keep themselves up there)
 

Santiago Casanova

Well-Known Member
Search for arborpod on youtube. Watch every video before you but anything. Look up wesspur and nice guy dave, he dose great gear reviews.

Spikes are for removals only. Never spike a tree for a prune.

IMHO this forum is not the place for a beginner to ask hot to become an arborist. It is the place where asking a specific question will yield great results. There are a lot of really smart people here and none of them want to see a beginner get hurt because of what they said.

I would recommend watching a skilled crew do their job. You can learn a lot from watching. It will also help you generate questions.

If you want to get started in the field, you will need to work your way up. Start as a groundie and learn the ropes with your feet on the ground. Being the best groundie you can will help you become a good climber.
 

John@TreeXP

Well-Known Member
Hello,

I am 21 years old, and I'm looking into getting into tree climbing as a side gig. I have always loved to climb trees when I was younger, and figured I'd give this a try because it seems like something I'd be passionate about. I am wanting to start a business later down the road when I have the experience with just myself.

My questions are these:

1. What type of gear do y'all suggest getting
2. How do people secure themselves once they're up in a tree. I've watched a few youtube videos about it but I really don't understand how they're keeping themselves up in the tree (I know they use a lanyard to get up to the top, and spikes but what's their other attachment they use to keep themselves up there)
Without wanting to make this some sort of self-gratuitous promotion which it isn't, I suggest you review my web site at www.treexp.com. I've written a number of posts and articles that will help you get more up to speed. While the site's focus is on recreational climbing, aside from using cutting tools, rigging equipment and climbing spurs, you will hopefully find a lot of helpful content that I've created to help others like you, with minimal hassle.

Another suggestion is to sign up for a training program, suited for wannabe production climbers looking to get into the business. A number of the major tree climbing equipment dealers offer these kinds of programs.

Working for an established tree care service and learning through direct experience, with the help of a mentor is another approach you may want to consider.
 

Z'sTrees

Well-Known Member
If you want to make any sort of gig or job out of it I would strongly recommend working for a company for a while. Finding the right company will be the best way to learn the set of skills you're after.
There's some much awesome information online, it's an incredible resource but it doesn't take place of hands on instruction.
 

samsquatch

Active Member
To echo what everyone else is saying, find someone local to work for or learn from for at least a summer. You don't want to try doing this work yourself without someone in front of you to answer your questions. And you should keep asking questions. Too many other brave young bucks your age that want to take on the world will not ask the questions.
That can be OK for some professions, but hanging from a 50 foot tree is not where you want to be when you realize you should have asked questions from someone who's been in those shoes - er, spikes :)

Along the same line of caution, you need to know there is a lot of knowledge that you will find here and from some folks on YouTube. But when you're searching for knowledge online, you should realize that the knowledge is second-hand, and any advice they show you may be very wise, but it may not apply to your particular situation, or tree, or ropes, or climbing devices, etc.

Likewise, there are some slingers out on YouTube that are performing tree operations with the video production first and safety second. Don't underestimate the value of the safety required, no matter how cool the video looks.

Learn how a chainsaw works, and make sure yours operates safely. Take it to an authorized service center before you need to use it. Example: you don't want to learn the chain brake is faulty when the chain ends up in your arm when you're 30 feet in a tree. Keep it lubed & use the throttle responsibly.

Lastly, start low & slow. I spent a winter with a rope hanging from my 11-foot garage truss, learning rope friction & climbing devices, etc. Like a rifle is to a Marine, your climbing rope is to you. Spend a few hours on it before you throw it in a tree. Learn the knots (stopper knots are just as important as the climbing hitches or rigging knots). Learn the friction in the rope and how to control the friction. That is how you will be moving in the tree, no matter what climbing system you end up with. Learn the difference between life-rated gear and everything else. Don't climb on used ropes, and only buy life support gear NEW.

Did I mention you should learn your rope friction? Do it, it's one of the most important things you will need up there. Be safe!
 
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dmonn

Member
I'm also "new" to climbing but I'm 67. I know that sounds strange, but I have tons of trees that need to be removed and can't afford to pay somebody else to remove them for me. That said, I absolutely love the work. I'm currently attending YouTube U, which has been super helpful. I used to cave which is where I learned basic rope work, but that was almost 50 years ago. I find the current arborist climbing equipment amazing.

I agree with the comments that the best way to get started is to work as a goundie for an established company. You would basically get paid to learn. I do NOT recommend just learning on your own. I would have loved to get started as a groundie, but at my age it's not likely anybody would take me on. Since I'm still working full time, my only available time is on weekends, and I need that time to work on my own tree removals. The one thing I did that I would recommend as an alternative is that I hired somebody to give me private training. He is a highly qualified arborist trainer, and it was awesome working with him. It cost me $300 for a day of instruction, which is less than the cost of a good climbing saddle. Well worth it.

Good luck, and if you try to learn on your own, make sure you follow the advice to take it low and slow. Making a mistake when you're 4 feet off the ground is just an oops. Making the same mistake when you're 50 feet off the ground could be deadly!
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
What everyone else said, maybe read them twice... As for gear and your first setup beware of buying the newest top of the line uber sexy shit. Learn the basics and climb for a number of months before the big investment. There is great stuff out there and marketing mavericks but remember you are at ground floor.
 

Derpec

New Member
Thank you everyone for the replies! However to the people stating I should start off as a groundsman I cannot because I work full-time. I think I'm going to keep watching videos and buy some gear from wespur and start off small.

However I do have another question how do y'all cut down branches that are about 30 feet above your house? Use an anchor, and knots? Only doing it by yourself too, no tractor, groundmen.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Caution!

Your ambition is admirable but maybe over reaching. I'm not sure what your timeline is.

Climbing and access is a big enough challenge. Cutting limbs to drop...wayyyyyyy out there.

Get a copy of The Tree Climber's Companion. Read it several times.

Go back in Treebuzz archives...lots of good advice given to new climbers.

Welcome to the trees
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
Thank you everyone for the replies! However to the people stating I should start off as a groundsman I cannot because I work full-time. I think I'm going to keep watching videos and buy some gear from wespur and start off small.

However I do have another question how do y'all cut down branches that are about 30 feet above your house? Use an anchor, and knots? Only doing it by yourself too, no tractor, groundmen.
There is no quick, convenient road to success in this industry, whether as a side gig or otherwise. If you can’t give full time, give Saturdays to help a local company with whatever needs done, shop work, punch list, etc, in exchange for hands on training.

No education is free- it will take a lot of time, a lot of money, or a combination; and no matter which way you choose, it will take a lot of work.

It’s a great thing to pursue, but there is no room for a fast, casual approach. Treat it as though your life is on the line, because it is.
 

Serf Life

Well-Known Member
Thank you everyone for the replies! However to the people stating I should start off as a groundsman I cannot because I work full-time. I think I'm going to keep watching videos and buy some gear from wespur and start off small.

However I do have another question how do y'all cut down branches that are about 30 feet above your house? Use an anchor, and knots? Only doing it by yourself too, no tractor, groundmen.
Now that scares me...
 

Derpec

New Member
I believe you're misunderstanding me and thinking I'm going to be climbing a 110 ft tree whenever I receive my gear. The answer is no I am not I said I was going to start off small 10-15 ft and learn how to ascend, and setup my gear to my liking and be comfortable with it for a while. I'm also going to be only cutting trees that are 10-15 ft for a while before I feel comfortable with my safety in a tree before I go any higher. These questions I am asking are simply for me to just understand a bit more. Example: the limp over a house situation.
 

Crimsonking

Well-Known Member
In kindness-

It’s arrogant to assume that several seasoned arborists misunderstand you and are somehow blowing things out of proportion, when every message they gave you was the same. Instead of assuming misunderstanding, a wiser assumption is that there may be more to this venture than you realized, based on the gravity of these responses.

The people here aren’t comfortable giving you a text tutorial for a reason, and have expressed why. No one here can make you do anything you don’t want to, but we hope you treat 15’ the same you would treat 110’. I have a friend in a wheelchair after an 11’ fall.

One reason you have us concerned is the attitude that lowering limbs from 30’ over a house is “simple”. We do this work every day and would not call it simple.

Those most resistant to teaching or correction usually are most in need.
 
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Santiago Casanova

Well-Known Member
I believe you're misunderstanding me and thinking I'm going to be climbing a 110 ft tree whenever I receive my gear. The answer is no I am not I said I was going to start off small 10-15 ft and learn how to ascend, and setup my gear to my liking and be comfortable with it for a while. I'm also going to be only cutting trees that are 10-15 ft for a while before I feel comfortable with my safety in a tree before I go any higher. These questions I am asking are simply for me to just understand a bit more. Example: the limp over a house situation.
We are trying to help you avoid any kind of limping. Nobody wants to see you get hurt.
 

Derpec

New Member
Oh I'm not trying to be rude or anything to y'all. Sorry it came out like that I'm just curious that's all.
 
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