Spikeless Tree Climbing vs. Spike Climbing

There are two standard techniques for climbing trees. Spiked Climbing and Spikeless Climbing.

Spikeless Climbing is a term that encompasses a whole variety of different tree ascending techniques.  It is generally the preferred system that professional Arborists will use when pruning a tree, as it causes the least damage to the tree cambium. All spikeless methods basically involve installing a rope high in the tree with a thin pilot line (throwline) which has a weighted bag attached to it. The bag can be thrown into the tree by hand or launched using a special sling shot.

Heights of approx 20-30 meters can be reached when throwing by hand, and heights up to 50-60 meters with a sling shot.

A climbing rope is then attached to the throw line and pulled up into the tree. Once installed the climber then ascends the rope using a variety of methods, the most efficient way is by using SRT (single rope technique), where mechanical ascenders, originating from caving and mountaineering systems are used.

Spikeless climbing is the preferred method used when pruning or maintaining trees that are to be retained.

Spiked climbing involves the use of spikes or spurs, which are strapped to a climbers boots.
The climber wears a harness with a pole belt (flip-line) that is secured around the tree. The climber can then virtually walk up the tree on his/her spikes whilst advancing the pole belt as they go.

Spiking trees with thin bark will create a wound and injure the tree. The wounds can then become infected by a variety of pathogens (bacteria or fungi); some of which, may cause cankers (dead and diseased tissues) which can seriously harm the tree. It is not recommended that spikes be worn when pruning a tree.  Spiking trees should be limited to the following:

•    Climbing dead (decaying) trees
•    Tree removals;
•    Climbing hazardous trees where no other safe means of access is available;
•    Tree climber rescue or emergency situations
To ensure the health of your trees and the safety of your home, please make sure that any tree service provider you engage does not wear spikes when pruning.

For more information about Spikeless Tree Climbing – Contact Us on 0404 339 050

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