Asplundh doing line clearance pruning with spikes


Well-Known Member
Reading through this thread I am amazed, horrified and disgusted. Ignorance is no excuse. Laziness is no excuse. Time savings is no excuse. Any person climbing a live tree should not be using spurs. Unacceptable from any professional organization and it harms the tree no matter the location of the tree. Anyone that tries to argue otherwise is being ignorant. The line clearance companies in my area, Asplhund and Davey are butchers. The needless top trees and butcher them in attempts to kill them. The practice of using spurs on anything but a tree coming down or a utility pole is just wrong.
It's all relative. You, coming from the viewpoint of a tree care professional, see it as unnecessary butchery. The utility, coming at it from a public service perspective, views it as effective and cost efficient. Another person might call all arborists butchers because the majority of us remove trees daily without any legitimate reason.

The utility is there to deliver a reliable power supply at a reasonable cost. Arborists are torn between meeting the demands of the contract and doing what's best for the tree. Unfortunately, in a capitalist society, money trumps all. In a perfect world there wouldn't be trees anywhere near or under power lines.


Active Member
I'm going to try and explain the way I see it.
The company I work at cuts approx 9000 spans a year of which approximately half are climb spans. If we had to climb spurless I have no doubt we would cut less than half of what we do now. So in theory the boss would have to double the span rate cost for it to be viable, as the consumer are you happy to see a large increase on your power bill to pay for spurless pruning???
While I'm only fairly new to the industry I have to see a tree that has died due to spuring, I have however seen thousands of large eucalyptus that have been spurred for tens of years.

As for the topping of trees under lines, it is hardly the person cutting the trees fault the wrong type of tree was planted under the lines, we are paid and required by law to achieve our minimum clearance requirements,