Beginner’s Help

PJPJ

New Member
Hello All,

I am having trouble climbing pines / spruce / etc. with spikes and feeling confident doing it. I was climbing a pine on lanyard / spurs the other day and did not feel comfortable at all. Do you guys usually get a TIP going when performing pine removals? What is the best way to go about this? I tried the double wrap on my lanyard but advancing / descending was difficult this way. Looking for suggestions / tips. Thanks a lot!
 

NailerB

Active Member
I am no expert by any means but I'll take a shot. The above video is very good, watch it. If you are worried about gaffing out and not having a tip you could set your climbing rope around the tree with a running bowline then tie into the bridge with your climbing device. Basically your making a moving tie in point and taking it up the tree as you go. It will be easier to advance than a double wrap of your lanyard around the trunk. You also solve the problem of maintaining a double tie in if you encounter any branch that needs sawed off on your way up. if you gaff out you may drop little but that loop is going to pull down on the trunk and stop ya. Good Luck!
 

evo

Well-Known Member
I hate spikes, and even more so on diameters smaller than my hips. The smaller the diameter the more I “weather vane” and less stable I feel.
Sometimes I will set a line from the ground, srt base tied to a neighboring tree. Problem is at some point you’re going to need to reconfigure the rope tie in, and you will likely wind up just advancing a choked tie in, friction saver, or using your climb line like a second flip
 

PJPJ

New Member
I am really liking the idea of NailerB and the second flip line tied in to the bridge in the Reg Coates video. I think I will try both and see how they feel. If I were able I would have a high TIP, three lanyards, choker and trampoline beneath me. I just do not like climbing on spikes but I am sure with more practice things will become second nature. Thanks again!
 

NailerB

Active Member
I know it can expensive but I have two sets of spikes, tree and pole. We have a wide variety of trees around here and I could do everything with tree spikes but I prefer to use pole spikes when I can. I feel my balance is better on smaller trunks but it's something that can be worked around as in doubling your flip line if need be.
The 2nd flip line tied into bridge works great to but you still don't have a climbing rope for descent. If you were to get cut or run into a nest of pissed of hornets it is best to get out of dodge fast. If you use your climbing line all you would have to do is unhook lanyard and bomb out of the tree, but you will have to go back to get your rope back.
 

PJPJ

New Member
I know it can expensive but I have two sets of spikes, tree and pole. We have a wide variety of trees around here and I could do everything with tree spikes but I prefer to use pole spikes when I can. I feel my balance is better on smaller trunks but it's something that can be worked around as in doubling your flip line if need be.
The 2nd flip line tied into bridge works great to but you still don't have a climbing rope for descent. If you were to get cut or run into a nest of pissed of hornets it is best to get out of dodge fast. If you use your climbing line all you would have to do is unhook lanyard and bomb out of the tree, but you will have to go back to get your rope back.
This job was in a new sub division that was recently cleared so what was left of the pines - they had high crowns and small diameter limbs up top as they were reaching for sunlight trying to battle all of the competition. Even with a TIP I would not have put any confidence or stock in to it because of the small diameter limbs.

These are the scenarios where I for sure do not feel comfortable and am trying to figure out ways to do the job more comfortably. The second lanyard tied in to bridge sounds great or the running bowline around trunk, I am liking those.

As far as spikes I have not tried pole gaffs but am thinking of giving them a shot. On the tree gaffs I feel so far away from the trunk and maybe that is throwing me off as well.

Thanks
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
I guess nobody is going to be comfortable at first on spurs, like many things it takes time and exposure and practice. After some time it'll practically be second nature climbing with a flipline and spurs. Don't rush it, focus on your technique, and developing safe habits. Trust in your equipment!

It's rare that I set a TIP for pine removals, but I'll never tell you it's a bad idea :)

Very cool studying other's techniques on YouTube, but do you have a trainer? I'm so grateful I had an experienced climber to teach me and watch my back and answer my questions and correct poor technique and habits when I was coming up.
 
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JeffGu

Well-Known Member
I have that trouble, too, with the long tree gaffs. On thin barked trees, like silver maples, it feels unstable and gets hard on the ankles. So, I also have two sets of climbers... both Gecko CF... one with pole spurs and one with tree spurs. I happen to like the velcro straps (both upper and lower) so swapping from one to the other isn't a big deal. I've even done it halfway up the tree.

I dislike the pole gaffs on thick barked trees, like elms and cottonwoods, so I really don't think I could get by with just one or the other.

If you only use one type of spurs occasionally, you could probably pick up a cheap, used set of climbers for those and use your best/most comfortable ones for the spur type you use the most.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
I hate spikes, and even more so on diameters smaller than my hips. The smaller the diameter the more I “weather vane” and less stable I feel.
Sometimes I will set a line from the ground, srt base tied to a neighboring tree. Problem is at some point you’re going to need to reconfigure the rope tie in, and you will likely wind up just advancing a choked tie in, friction saver, or using your climb line like a second flip

What do you mean by weather vane?

Do you have short/ pole spurs?

Do you do much removal work? Spurless instead?
 

evo

Well-Known Member
What do you mean by weather vane?

Do you have short/ pole spurs?

Do you do much removal work? Spurless instead?
weather vane = small diameter and staying on the up side of the lean or rotational

Short spurs

Little removal work unless felling. Which leaves little removals and small diameters..

I do wish I were a little more confident for the 2 dozen times a year I pull the spikes out.

I was taught spurless, and taught my self spur climbing years later. much better with a overhead tie in.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
Saddles are not 'belts'. Saddles are meant to be sat in. I sit for most of my conifer removals, as much as possible. Spurs on the way down...what can you do?

If I don't preplace a line in the tree, I'll advance to a limb a couple whorls higher. Save my joints and all, by sitting in a comfy saddle.

For the feeling of wobbliness, coming back down a spar in small wood, on a big tree, leaving a couple strategic branches on, can help. Trees growing in the forest can be very slow tapering, giving a lot of bend.

540* wraps on the lanyard lock you in place... when advancing, move both parts as one. If you gaff out, just release. If you get settled into your work positioning...get settled with a little hip twist, left or right micro-adjustment to get the 540 locked in just as you need it to hold you.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Saddles are not 'belts'. Saddles are meant to be sat in. I sit for most of my conifer removals, as much as possible. Spurs on the way down...what can you do?

If I don't preplace a line in the tree, I'll advance to a limb a couple whorls higher. Save my joints and all, by sitting in a comfy saddle.

For the feeling of wobbliness, coming back down a spar in small wood, on a big tree, leaving a couple strategic branches on, can help. Trees growing in the forest can be very slow tapering, giving a lot of bend.

540* wraps on the lanyard lock you in place... when advancing, move both parts as one. If you gaff out, just release. If you get settled into your work positioning...get settled with a little hip twist, left or right micro-adjustment to get the 540 locked in just as you need it to hold you.
Thanks, I've done and do all of what you have mentioned. It's all good advice. Just time and consistency is all that is needed. Like I said, I do wish I were better but at the end of the day its not really what I want to do. Therefore It's not really what I sell, nor strive for.
 

SomethingWitty

Arkansawyer
Thanks, I've done and do all of what you have mentioned. It's all good advice. Just time and consistency is all that is needed. Like I said, I do wish I were better but at the end of the day its not really what I want to do. Therefore It's not really what I sell, nor strive for.
I seem to recall... "Show me someone who prunes like I do". Was that you? In a discussion about day wages varying for different kinds of work.

I'm kind of relieved. It's easy to assume that you guys climb 200 ft trees, rain or shine, spurs or not and absolutely smash it.
I'll just have to go play on the west coast sometime and see if I'm actually pretty good.
 

evo

Well-Known Member
I seem to recall... "Show me someone who prunes like I do". Was that you? In a discussion about day wages varying for different kinds of work.

I'm kind of relieved. It's easy to assume that you guys climb 200 ft trees, rain or shine, spurs or not and absolutely smash it.
I'll just have to go play on the west coast sometime and see if I'm actually pretty good.
Likely something along those lines.

Made my daily but today working along side one of the older heads of the Portland Japanese gardens. He comes up to the island for working vacations. We work side by side, sometimes he has me climbing to integrate the natives into his designs, last year I blew his mind with my airspade. We transplanted about 30 rhododendrons Japanese maples, $7,500 black pines, in a garden he designed for some dude that has more money than god.

These are some of my show pieces, I can make just about the same or more hourly pruning these guys than most other work..



9D40E81F-7BFE-4FDF-B44F-D54567AF8B73.jpeg 63A41585-F1FD-4A94-AC82-F8CDD24CA401.jpeg 64FD6ADC-0CD4-444D-BF9C-9C55D50CEF11.jpeg 9B7E793E-F571-4631-A3D4-90CCE2B0D34B.jpeg 305AA93B-9DF0-4D67-83B7-117DE582D4B6.jpeg
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
To the OP, Core-strength, core-strength, core-strength. Never have I heard of anyone with too much.


Are you used to climbing anything besides the mentioned conifers?
 

rico

Well-Known Member
Hello All,

I am having trouble climbing pines / spruce / etc. with spikes and feeling confident doing it. I was climbing a pine on lanyard / spurs the other day and did not feel comfortable at all. Do you guys usually get a TIP going when performing pine removals? What is the best way to go about this? I tried the double wrap on my lanyard but advancing / descending was difficult this way. Looking for suggestions / tips. Thanks a lot!
Another I am uncomfortable in spurs thread. You just have to suck it up and spend some serious time climbing in spurs and a flip-line if you want to ever feel comfortable doing it. There is simply no way around it. Learn how to have a subtle touch with your gaffs. Learn to roll a flip-line. Find a step rhythm that works best for you, and what ryhthm works best for the wood size you happen to be working in. You should have a different rhythm for bigger wood and smaller wood. Learn to push up and out, and not just up, as this makes for a much more efficient motion. Get comfortable leaving plenty of slack in your flip-line. Go build the muscles necessary. Like any other skill set in this biz, getting good in spurs and a flip-line takes practice and Knowing the proper techniques involved. Double wrapped flip-line? A crutch. 2 flip-lines? Another crutch. I suggest you go find a tree you don't care about, strap up, and go wear that mutherfucker out.

I am amazed at how many arborists out there are truly uncomfortable doing something that is so integral to our job. Why?

Now I certainly ain't no Reg Coates, but if i can do it anyone can!

 
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