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Discussion in 'Arborist 101' started by greg30, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. greg30

    greg30 New Member

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    Not a pro and not a homeowner. Somewhere in between. I would like to top off some wild cherry trees next to my house on the gable side. I do have safety gear as I worked as a carpenter all my life, but do believe better safety gear is needed. Can you all suggest what I should start out with? I realize I can google this but figured I would like to get it here, advise that is. I can post photos of the trees if that would offer better insight. I guess I have to find a secure place to tie off so I can be assured of a safe "fall" should it happen. Probably not the best way to prepare for this, but as long as I am tied off securely, I will have little fear in going up. Just need the right accessories. IE, climbing spikes? I have no idea how you guys start up a tree that has no low branches to climb up on. These trees are about 2 to 3 ft in diameter at eye level. Some are wild cherry, some are maple, and one is a dead elm. Is it better to trim when the leaves fall or can you do it anytime?

    thanks and please don't tell me to hire someone. I really want to do this myself. I figure if I can build this house myself, I can surely trim these trees myself, and do have total respect for the danger involved both in climbing trees and climbing roofs. Let me know if photos are needed as I do have to rope off securely and won't climb until I have convinced myself of this and gotten advise.
     
  2. Yarz

    Yarz ArboristSite Lurker

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    Generally from what I've seen, topping is not recommended around here for healthy trees.

    No spikes on a tree you're keeping! Throwball and line to set a climbing rope.. Then climb the rope.
     
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  3. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'm not sure you do. How long has that elm been dead?

    3 tree workers are killed per week in the US. PER WEEK!!! That is about 3x the number of roofers...which is about 3x other industries.

    Those are big trees to start on. "Low and slow" is the motto for learning to climb trees.

    Finally: before you learn to climb, learn about the trees. Topping and spikes are both no-nos. I can't possibly begin to address that in 1 post...learn why before starting. If I had never swung a hammer, fired a nail gun, or cut a shingle is a 3 story roof the place to learn? Just because I am tied in and not afraid of heights doesn't make roofing that house a good idea.
     
  4. The Singing Arborist

    The Singing Arborist ArboristSite Lurker

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    +1 on the throw bag and throw line to set your tie in point. Then practice climbing these trees recreationally (except the dead elm...generally very unsafe to climb dead trees) before using a chainsaw up there. Climbing is crazy fun when you're securely tied in. Maybe try some light trimming with a hand saw or such to get your feet wet.

    Unless you're training a fruit tree for production, or shaping a shorter ornamental tree, there really is no good reason for topping a tree. Usually the year after the topping, the tree replaces about 1/2 - 2/3 of what you took off. That's just the first year! The growth that comes on from then is water sprouts that are connected to the bark. These sprouts will never attatch into the wood of trunk like a regular branch...meaning these new branches will be weak and more likely to break in the future. Also...an added bonus, the topping cuts introduce decay into the hartwood, weakening everything below the cut as well.

    Sorry if it seems lime we are going off on you here. I think we have all experienced the creapy fealing of working in a topped tree.
     
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  5. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    My wife and I built our house entirely with our own hands. But those skills do not translate to trimming and felling trees. I enjoy climbing but expect never to be comfortable with taking a chainsaw up a tree. When I need to climb to prune, which is frequently, I will use a bow saw. If a branch is too big to do by hand, I know it poses dangers beyond my skills.

    As Dirty Harry said at the end of Magnum Force, a man's got to know his limitations.
     
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  6. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    You need to find yourself a Silky saw!!! Sugoi or Tsurugi are my 2 favorites depending on whether I am cutting small branches or big.
     
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  7. The Singing Arborist

    The Singing Arborist ArboristSite Lurker

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    I agree with the silky hand saw. They are amazing. Mine is the zubat and it follows me everywhere. You still have to be careful though. As you finish a cut and the blade follows through, you don't want anything of yours within a foot of the underside of the blade. I cut my fingertips pretty good yesterday.
     
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  8. CacaoBoy

    CacaoBoy ArboristSite Member

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    Okay, I believe you. I have a Silky-type folding saw about 15 years old that is due for replacement. I like the folding capability. Any comments regarding the Ultra Accel with the 240 mm 6.4 teeth/inch blade?
     
  9. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I have 2 folding silky saws...they are nice, but not nearly as good as the other 2.

    Watch prices on Amazon. I bought a few Sugoi saws for $45 a couple of years ago.
     
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