How many actual line clearance trimmers on site

paul phalloides

Active Member
To say everyone at asplundh is a lazy trimmer or incompetent is a very bold statement. I've seen a private guy weld a bucket knuckle fast to open secondaries because he was in a hurry and a davey tree bucket (with ISA sticker on the box) tear down a three phase because he forgot to cradle the boom after dumping. You can't critique and entire line of work because some of the guys in that field are lazy. Like bradirt said above me "quality work is a personal choice." Your going to find bad apples in every orchard.


Well-Known Member
Amen Paul! I've been in utility line clearance for 16 years and have been disrespected by "real" tree guys for every single one of em. Fact of the matter is, I'm better trained and more educated than most of the "real" tree workers I know- I just don't choose to talk smack-I prefer to let my work speak for itself.


Grand Rapids
I know it’s and old tread but I am new to the forum, I been doing lin clearence for the last two years I love this job but I hate that they don’t let me climb SRT, one time I was using the zigzag and one guy saw me and he wanted to send me back to the he hotel, he said mechanical knots are not acceptable doing lone clearence nice, I went to work in Reno and I seen a few guys using hitch climber pulleys, rope wrench’s and even the rope runner, maybe here in Michigan the big bosses wanted to stay old school, I had the chance to stay en Reno but I’d don’t Nevada, I’d rather stay old school here in Michigan.


Well after two & a half decades of never having interest in doing anything related to line clearance or electricity, yesterday was my second day on board an outfit as a card carrying member of IBEW.... Planning a family & needing solid income & health insurance was finally enough to get me to cross over! Alaska is a different type of place though so my role & scope of work is going to be fairly unique as I'm starting to truly glean my normal "face in crowd" good but not superstar climbing skills, are considered top notch up here and in my outfit specifically, I'm being looked at in awe over my efficiency & technique so far... feels kind of nice to be honest, finally lol... new chapters new paths :)


Active Member
Calavaras co.
I have years of experience as an Arborist, but only in the last 90 days doing line work in Calif. Don't know how other places do it but our work orders spell out what we do to the trees with little regard to the property owner. If the work order says top it below the lines its gets topped. If it says side trim to the trunk that's what we do. Most guys spike up every tree. I spikeless climb and SRT so I rarely spike a tree.
I think sometime if they redirected growth or took out a whole lead it would be better in the long run. Most these trees have been done for years with a bucket and to climb them is a pain.the canopy is a solid mass of growth. Most the trees are full of rot and fungus from the abuse they've gotten.
Here in Calif PG&E is being blamed for many major wildfires an it's a priority to clear those lines before more property damage or loss of life happen. Arborist practices are not at the forefront.
I'm not sure what the debate here is about but here in Calif. They'll bring the sheriff to your house if they want to top your tree and you say no.


New Member
I know that duke power don't play. They want the cuts right and it to b done safe. They take time each day for a safety meeting.


Line clearance is exactly that . I performed line clearance work for over 20 years and residential 7 and now into consulting work. Its the most hated form of arboriculture on the planet but there are some great climbers who do what they can and there are also those who don't. The real problem is easement , if the right of way is actually prescribed and not contingent on home owner desires a right of way can be made both beautiful and functional. Unfortunately what happens in most places is no planning and plenty of planting wrong tree wrong spot then blaming the contractor for mutilating a tree than never should of been planted in the first place. It's a very thankless job until a tornado or ice storms knock out the power.

Brando CalPankian

Active Member
I went from private side to IBEW trimmer, with poor expectations I might add. They threw me on an asplundh crew, and I can say I had low expectations. I met some of the most talented and gifted climbers I'd seen in my 11 years of arboriculture. There are poor trimmers and arborists everywhere. The times are changing for both private and utility side, and judging someone on their title is ignorant. Line clearance is a different kind of hard. When you're up 32 hours in the middle of subzero temps nonstop cleaning lines off for power to be restored, or when you're pulling "hot" limbs out of the lines, it's a different kind of stress and technique. I still perform high quality private work on the side, and I know I personally prune everything as perfect as I can. I take pride in my work, as do most real treefolk. And I love every minute of it!

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