Technique for Foot Placement

SlimJim1983

SlimJim1983

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Fellas

This has probably been covered somewhere, although I could not find it.

The other day I found myself just needing to take a few branches off a very tall old oak tree. The lower branches were hanging down and needed to be removed, as an average height person had to duck to get under them when in the backyard. The trees were in a backyard behind a fence, prohibiting the use of a boom truck and being too small of a job to bring in a lift crawler or something like that.

What I ran into was that I got up to the branches fine, but there was literally no where to put my feet. I did not want to spike the tree since it is very much alive and I have always been trained that spikes are for full removals. It was too big around to tie an endless loop without using 3 or 4 looped together. Ultimately, I used my lanyard and tightened it as much as a I could while still being able to make the cut (so I was tied in twice), and just made the cut free-hanging. I have also been taught to never do that, and I was not a fan, as had I cut the climbing line I cannot guarantee the lanyard would have been of much use. I did what had to be done, but thought "there has got to be a better way."

Is there a simpler way to do this? I have another job where a similar situation is going to present itself coming up and have had similar situations in the past, but this particular one really got me to thinking. Maybe it is because I am getting older lol.

Thanks so much
 
old CB

old CB

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I think I understand what you're asking. For a situation like that you can stand on the limb you're cutting and remove the limb at a distance out from the tree, say 24" out, beyond where you are perched. As long as you know what you're doing and do it correctly, you should be okay. Then, hanging from your lifeline that should be tied in above your position, remove the 24" (or whatever size) stub you just created.
 
mehmetk

mehmetk

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@old CB I think he gave the right tactic. I am doing a similar job. Because hanging can sometimes work. However, I learned more. I'll do it, man. Staying in such difficult positions while really working can be discouraging. I understand you very well... Good luck with your work, brother. @SlimJim1983
 
rabbit box

rabbit box

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You might consider a loop webbing cow hitched around the limb close to the trunk to make a foot hold. This can be one or two as long or short as you like. Go slow and stay safe.
 
Walkdog

Walkdog

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Most unsafe/uncomfortable work positioning issues in spreading canopies can be easily remedied by the use of multiple climb lines. I find it is usually easiest to ascend as high as I can and then spend a few minutes setting an additional canopy anchored line or two, so I always have safe options, and no excuse to take exposed limb walks. Midline attachable srt devices like the akimbo or rr pro really shine in these situations IMO.

Also, the 12ft Silky Longboy is an absolute lifesaver when pruning in these sorts of trees - allows to to stop in a nice comfy spot and delicately reach out to excise end weight, dead wood, or whatever else you find yourself struggling to safely reach.

In terms of specific body position when reaching for hanging branches on the undersides of larger limbs, I tend to throw a leg over the limb pinching it behind my knee, and then grip the underside of the limb with my dangling foot, or throw a 3-4’ webbing sling around the limb to make a foot loop if the limb is totally horizontal.
 

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