Tree failure, while I was climbing it.

RyTheTreeGuy

Well-Known Member
This is a great thread and one that has me reflecting on some of the sketchier things I have done in the past and how I could have approached it to make it safer from every aspect. I applaud your honesty and appreciate you sharing your experience. It is never easy to be the one in the hot seat...I have just quoted 3 bone dry pin oaks and because of threads like this one I immediately thought a spider lift might be the way to go. I gave the quote with the rental of the lift as well as the work. Home owner thought I might be a little high, but I explained my reasons and the safety factors involved and he seemed to appreciate my thorough and thought out plan. If I get the job great, if someone else comes in with a lower price and climbs it, great...as long as no one gets hurt. Stay safe...Thank you
 

ghostice

Well-Known Member
This is a good thread. Who says Google's/ Cambridge Analytica's algorithms don't work? Was reading this thread today and then this video popped up:
https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuv3Gbjg32k
One thought about scaffolding though - how is it really different than a ladder? Remember all the Youtube videos of nutjobs cutting trees and branches and then falling 'cuz the tree swipes the ladder out from under them? Safest scaffolding setups I've seen industrially, that are any height at least, are tied into structure periodicallyon the way up. This is specified in scaffolding manuals/ regulations. But if the tree isn't stable? Or am i missing something? And getting ground stability for your scaffold setup can be a lot of work (guying?). Sounds more and more like a construction project.
 

Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
It would be a de-construction job :crying:

The idea for using scaffolding came from a guy who built scaffolding systems for construction. He took pictures of how he set it up and did a removal. He was as cautious about setting foot pads and making cuts as anyone using a lift would be.

That thread was revisited by an arbo who actually had scaffolding installed. It worked out really well.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Renting a tow-behind lift, and a (tracked?) mini to pull it if needed, can do wonders. I've barely, barely snuck in a lift to barely, barely be able to reach super dead, super leaning madrones toward a house. Only other option was a spider-lift (unavailable), as narrow access was needed.
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
wow.. that was crazy... stay in this business long enough and you're going to see some wild things go down... Gotta trust that little voice in your head!!!
 

RBJtree

Well-Known Member
Having inspected my gear thoroughly, one thing in particular stands out. The stopper knots on the bridge could still be untied by hand with relative ease. I believe it would be the best policy in a perfect world to replace everything. I will not make further comment on that because whether I retire my gear or not, I don't want anyone who might read this to assume my choice was the right one and make their choice influenced by mine.
 

tomstrees

Active Member
A local guy lost his life years ago going up a dead tree that he thought he had prepared for, a job that should have only been done with a bucket.

Those soft maples have a lot of hidden surprises in them and can be weak as here.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Having inspected my gear thoroughly, one thing in particular stands out. The stopper knots on the bridge could still be untied by hand with relative ease. I believe it would be the best policy in a perfect world to replace everything. I will not make further comment on that because whether I retire my gear or not, I don't want anyone who might read this to assume my choice was the right one and make their choice influenced by mine.
The guy who adopted me into the industry died while taking the top, tree failed at the root crown. Small dead little thing, tip at 30’
 

dmonn

Member
With all the talk about a breakaway lanyard, nobody mentioned a quick release lanyard. Why not?

I'm a kiteboarder for fun, and we have a primary support system that has a QR. A lot of us can do jumps at a "dead if you fall" height (50+ feet off the water, and from that height, hitting water would feel like hitting concrete) while doing all sorts of crazy contortions in the air. I've never heard of a QR failing during a jump, or being activated by accident. It's all in the design and placement. Why not use a QR on a lanyard instead of a breakaway? As stated above, most tree failures are at least somewhat gradual (seconds--not milliseconds), which is similar to the time needed to activate a QR while kiteboarding. It would certainly not be something I would have on a lanyard routinely, but might keep in a gearbag.
 

Bango Skank

Well-Known Member
When shit goes wrong, it can seem to happen really fast.
Maybe you’d be able to drop whatever is in your hands and release your lanyard before you get stretched or squished or struck by something or pulled to the ground. Maybe not.
Curious what the quick release looks like though, got a pic?

My takeaway from this thread is there’s some silver maples and other trees out there that cannot safely be climbed. Inspect and plan and reserve the right to walk away. Make use of adjacent trees for TIPs if you can, but sometimes you can’t and if there’s heavy enough decay, or hollow, it might not support a climber’s weight. You can always say no if unsure, and if boss has a problem with it then you needed a new boss anyway. ;)
 

dmonn

Member
Here are a couple of photos of an old type of Kiteboarding Quick Release. I don't suggest this is what could be used by arborists, but it works well for kiting. Push the orange/red thing away from you, and it releases the "folded over" metal tab that holds the ring attached to a harness.
 

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