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.